Sunday, September 16, 2007

Pillar Point Half Marathon, 1:25:19, 2nd place

This morning was the 4th time I've run this charity race, put on by the Coastside Infant Toddler Center. The weather was cool and overcast -- a bit dreary, but perfect for running. There was a good turnout of about 150 people for the half-marathon (13.1 miles), 10K (6.21 miles), and 3K fun run. Astoundingly, Jennifer and I both entered the same race on the same day -- she entered the 10K and I signed up for the half-marathon. She's been running a small amount and I'm real proud of her for signing up for this. One of her sisters and a family friend watched Claire this morning.
I ran this course just a bit faster than I did last year, covering the distance in 1 hour 25 minutes 19 seconds. That works out to just under 6:31 pace, and was good for 2nd place. I was a few minutes behind the overall winner and about 5 minutes ahead of the 3rd place finisher. We were really strung out! I started out in 2nd place and finished in 2nd place. The leader slowly pulled ahead of me during the race. I was getting fatigued and I could feel that I wasn't far from cramps in my calves.

Jennifer ran the 6.21 miles mostly with another woman, Sharon, who recently joined the Coastside Running Club and who is training for a marathon in Florence. They took about an hour, but the results aren't in yet and Jennifer didn't use her stopwatch.
And here's my finish. Thanks, George, for taking the pictures.
There was also a good turn-out from the Coastside Running Club. We mostly wore our new dry-weave black shirts with our own custom logo.

This race is a real benchmark for me since I've run it every year since I started running in June 2004 (after taking about 10 years off). In fact, this was the first race that our running club trained for.
2004 -- 1:36:59 (7:24 pace)
2005 -- 1:29:55 (6:52 pace)
2006 -- 1:25:37 (6:32.1 pace)
2007 -- 1:25:19 (6:30.8 pace)
I've approached the limit of diminishing returns. More and more effort is turning into smaller and smaller improvements.

Other running notes:
I weighed 170.2 lbs this morning, an all-time high for a race. I don't think this was all muscle. Sigh. Well, at least there's some room for improvement in my running times, even if nothing else changes.

I enjoyed my Garmin Forerunner 205 GPS watch and I set it to "auto lap" mode so that it automatically recorded my pace and time for each mile. Here are the results:
mile 1: 6:26
mile 2: 6:32
mile 3: 6:24
mile 4: 6:26
mile 5: 6:28
mile 6: 6:39
mile 7: 6:21
mile 8: 6:21
mile 9: 6:19
mile 10: 6:16
mile 11: 6:32
mile 12: 6:30
mile 13: 6:36
mile 13.1: (13.23 reported by watch) 1:23 (6:09 pace)
The watch indicated 13.23 miles in total, so if the race course was accurately measured by the organizers, each of these miles recorded by my watch was measured as being longer than its true distance, so that means the reported pace was slightly higher than the true pace. That's plenty accurate enough and more accurate than I could ever get my old Polar watch to be during a race.
I ate a bowl of whole-grain cereal and a banana about 2 hours 15 minutes before the race start at 8am.