Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Freedom Park New Years Eve Half: Round and Round...

Happy New Year, everyone!  I capped off 2012 with a bang.  As I said in my last post, my goal for 12/31 was to break 90 minutes for Half Marathon at Freedom Park New Years Half-Marathon.  Everything went down more or less according to plan.  Well a little bit faster than planned.
In planning my race strategy, I knew I would be running roughly 13.3 laps of the Freedom Park Greenway, so my intended 6:40 pace would translate to a 6:34 for one full lap (1:59 for the first 0.3).  Here are my actual splits:
Lap time     (Lap Pace according to Garmin*)
1:50             (6:11)
6:30             (6:32)
6:30             (6:32)
6:29             (6:31)
6:30             (6:33)
6:34             (6:37)
6:40             (6:41)
6:36             (6:39)
6:32             (6:32)
6:28             (6:31)
6:30             (6:32)
6:34             (6:34)
6:34             (6:34)
6:16             (6:16)
*My Garmin recorded all of the laps as 0.99 or 1.00 miles, but the certified distance for each lap is 0.98 miles, so the average 6:32 pace in inaccurate.  According to the certified course measurements, my average pace for 13.1 would have been 6:36, which still is faster than I ran at Lungstrong 15k.
Running fast on a lap style course was an exercise in cutting tangents.  There were a handful of S-curves along the greenway, and hugging the tangents allowed me to run a fairly straight line through them much of the time.  Also, there were a couple of very modest hills along the course, but climbing each of them 13 times at race pace got old after a while. 

It was great to see fellow DURT team members Stan Austin and Bobby Aswell, Jr. at the event.  Stan ran the Full option (3:39:xx) and Bobby ran the Half with me (1:33:xx).  Also present was Richard Heffner, who ran a 1:38:58 for the Half, only 3 seconds behind his time from the previous year.  Running the 24-Hour ultra were a couple of familiar elite ultra-running faces, namely Anne Riddle Lunblad (last year's winner with 140+ miles) and Jonathan Savage.  My time of 1:26:37, aside from being a massive 5-minute PR, was good enough for 3rd place overall in the Half.  This earned me a hearty handshake from RD David Lee.  Like all of Lee Timing's events, the volunteers were wonderful and the spread for the participants was fantastic.  I'd like to come back next year and try my hand...er...feet at the 24-hour option.  Now on to Frosty 50k!
What worked:
Shoes: New Balance MRC1600.  While not protective enough for 26.2, these shoes did prove to be great 13.1 racers.
Layers: I wore two pairs of socks (ironic for the Sockless Runner), and I had two long-sleeve tech shirts and a pair of arm sleeves on over my singlet.  It was cold!  By the end of the race, I was down to my singlet.  That's the advantage of a lap style race: you can leave your clothes wherever!
By the way, here is my Garmin data for the race.

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