Sunday, March 16, 2008

March Madness Half Marathon - 1:29:21 P.R.

I set a new half marathon P.R. today. OK, it was by a whopping nine seconds, but it is still a P.R.! I ran 3:30 faster than last year's time at this same race.

The Cary
half marathon course has some pretty wicked hills. It's a great pre-trainer for Boston in April. It is not widely considered a P.R. course. But I P.R.'d today. I'm totally confident that I would have run a 1:27 on flat ground today. I'm hungry to rock out a 1:27 at an upcoming flat, cool half-marathon.

The race itself went pretty well. No serious pain. Just lots of speedy heartrates and wheezing up and down hills. This is a very well run race on a challenging course. Weather today was better than expected - in the 30's with much sunshine. In fact, I was over-dressed for parts of it.

Today's race offered me the chance to re-connect with a number of the
CARA Wheaton runners that I have not seen all winter. Most notably, I ran with Anthony, who I trained with quite a bit last summer. He qualified for his first Boston with a 3:09 in the Grand Rapids Marathon after our meltdown in Chicago on 10/7/07. This was 3 weeks after Chicago - the same day that I crashed and burned and put up a painful 3:22 at the Chicago Lakefront Marathon.

Anthony and I ran into one another at mile 9 and we chatted casually until the final mile. That SOB left me in the dust on the last hill and finished 7 seconds ahead of me. So much for a friendly finish! :)

If I play my cards right over the next four weeks, I think I have a chance to P.R. in Boston - even if only by a few seconds. I am going to for it. But before I go for it, J (my wife) has to be OK with me going to Boston.

Up next is the
Chicago Shamrock Shuffle 8k downtown in two weeks. This is considered the unofficial kick-off of the spring running season here. Sold out once again, the race has a field of 30,000. I put up a P.R. of 31:52 there last year in some very warm weather.

I plan to beat 31:52 this year. My absolute "A" stretch goal would be 30:59. However, that time is probably slightly out of reach with my current fitness level. My more realistic goal is a 31:30.

After arriving home today, I strutted through a recovery 4-miler at 8:30 pace. I chalked up 48 for the week.

Happy St. Pat's day, everyone! Drink some
Guinness to celebrate the wonderful Irish holiday!


johnking said...

congrats on the PR!! Boston is only a month away!

yumke said...

Smoking time! Especially on a hilly course!

Triseverance said...

Dude that is Mad fast.

wayfool said...

Nice job on a very tough course. I thought you didn't have hills out in Chicago!?!?

jen said...

Congrats on the PR Ryan! This translates into a spectacular Boston Marathon for you. :)