Sunday, September 28, 2008

Pillar Point Half Marathon - 1:24 PR

Has another year come and gone already? I really enjoy this local race and this was my 5th time participating. My main goal was to set a personal record and to run faster than an average pace of 6 minutes 30 seconds a mile for the 13.1 miles. And I did it!

Another guy showed up who was nearly exactly as fast as I was and we stuck with each other the whole race. I gradually sped up and so did he, with him running slightly in front of me for nearly the whole race. He definitely pulled me along and perhaps I pushed him, as well, since I was breathing down his neck for many miles.

Around mile 10 I was a few steps behind him when we both grabbed a cup of water. For some reason, drinking the water interrupted my breathing and running and I slowed down briefly, but then I felt especially tired. The guy in front of me pulled away to at least a hundred feet. I put in a couple of surges of effort in the last two miles and I nearly caught up to him, but he must have increased his speed as well.

As we finally approached the finising area, I felt like I was "red-lining" my heart and I put in one last big push for the last quarter mile, but I just wasn't quite able to catch him. He sped up as I got closer and I finished about 20 feet behind him. My average pace, according to my Garmin watch, was 6 minutes 26 seconds a mile and I hit my highest heart rate I've ever seen -- 184 . I'm happy! I'm not sure of my official time yet, but my watch showed 1 hour 24 minutes 26 seconds.

Thanks to everyone who showed up and I really appreciated the shouts of encouragement during the race.

My 6 year old daughter, Claire, successfully ran the entire 3K course! It was wonderful seeing her at the finish line. Thank you, Jennifer for being there for us and for watching Claire for so long.
Thank you, George Miller, for sharing all of these photos, for supporting the Coastside Running Club, and for holding my keys! Thank you, Ken and Dave B. for coming out and saying "hi" even though you weren't running. Congratulations to my friends, Julie and Dave, Jenna-from-Pacifica, Lynn, and new club member, Margaret. And it was great seeing Franz and his family, who ran the 3K.


Franz said...

Ron great job out there! Thanks for your encouragement to turn out for this race. It was a wonderful family event that we'll likely make a yearly tradition too.

One precious moment that we captured... was when you were no more than 5 steps out of the finish chute and still "redlining" from a very strong finish, Claire bolted up to you yelling, "Daddy! Daddy! -brief pause- I came in 4th!" It was cute.


Ron Little said...

Thanks, Franz! I'm so glad that you and your family made it out there and had a good time. And yeah, that was sweet that Claire was there at the finish line.

Prudence said...

Ron You did so awesome! I am very impressed and proud of you!

You are inspiring my to try to get faster - somehow.

Ron Little said...

Thank you, Prudence, that's an incredibly high complement, coming from you.
I only wish I could be as fast as you on a 50 miler! I like telling people just how good you are, compared to me, at these long distances. You ran the Miwok 100K in 9 hours 47 minutes which is exactly how long I took to do the 50 miles. On the same trails. In similar weather. Yet you went about 12 miles farther! That amazes me.