Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Cowtown Half-Marathon

Race: The Cowtown Half-Marathon
Clock Time: 1:58:29
Official Time: 1:57:03
Pace: 8:56 min/mi

Comments: It has been two years since the last time I ran the Cowtown Half Marathon. That was my last race until the 5K I did last week. Work had a lot to do with that as well as finances. But it's way past time to get back in the saddle and this was probably the best race to do it.

I went into this one way undertrained and I knew it. I did put in a few long runs over the past two months that gave me confidence I could finish but how fast and in what condition was anybody's guess.The one thing that I was sure of was that I had to start slow or I had no chance to survive.

It turned out a reasonably slow start was 9 min/mi pace. I initially thought that was way too fast but, in fact, the only miles I did slower were the dreaded bridge into downtown and the last mile -- both boasting brutal uphills. I hit a pretty solid pace at about mile two and really only wavered from it on those inclines and when I rode the downhills to slightly faster times.

So instead of a brutal slog, most of the race went very well. I didn't push it too much but still had better pace times than I expected. But you can't dodge lack of conditioning forever and, just like the last time I did this race, the big hill into downtown sapped my reserves.

After that I had to work for it. I did alright on the descent back to the river but the uphills on the last mile were brutal. There was nothing in the tank. I even had to fend off the idea of walking it in.

But I really wanted that sub-two-hour race and at that point walking would put that out of reach. So I sucked it up and kept plugging at it. And it paid off. I surged across the finish just with almost three minutes to spare. A great effort for a return to distance racing.

Hour: 7:00 a.m
Surface: concrete
Weather: overcast
Temperature: 54 degrees
Humidity:  70 percent
Wind: 10 mph gusts
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Shoes: Asics Gel-Kayano 21

Injury update: nada