Today worked out to a generally successful run of the half marathon distance for me. I ran 2:37:11--slightly slower than I had hoped, but I am in no way disappointed with the time.
I have these overall observations:
1. This was my third best time at this distance, and less than 4 minutes off my PR time.
2. Today's weather was pretty good, although the humidity seemed high and it was definitely 10 - 15 degrees warmer (mid 60's) than the previous night's weather forecast (low 50's) during much of the race.
3. The knee injury that I had been nursing came somewhat into play during the run. The knee was a bit stiff at most times, and especially after the race; however, I can't say that my knee slowed me down much. I think I was more slowed down by the plethora of people walking several abreast who couldn't have done a better job of blocking the path had they tried. I am not bashing walkers/run-walkers, but please don't block the path of other runners trying to run. I, for one, look back and try to pull over to a safe spot when I walk as a courtesy to others.
4. Local race support was outstanding, perhaps the best I have seen--even surpassing the San Antonio Rock 'n Roll event last November. I could feel the energy pick me up at times.
5. I had hoped to run with one of my friends, but we never got together before the start. I held back to near the start to try to find her, figuring that if I missed her I might see her as I ran past. In the end we never saw each other until well after the race. It turns out she stayed even farther back looking for me, so I never ran past her. In the end I outran her by about 8 minutes.
6. I ran a negative split by about 12 seconds per mile for the race.
After a small rest period, I can look forward to running the Austin Half Marathon next month--28 days away as I write this. Hopefully, I can get my knee to heal up to unlock a sub-2:30 effort at that event.
By popular demand of half my known readers (Rae, this means you!) here is the one known photo of my race taken from around the mile 5 by Heather (the other half of my known readers!)
Yes, I am running backwards, I had been running on the opposite side of the street and crossed over past Heather before I could get her attention. It is one of the better photos of me running, even with the awkward circumstances. I had been slowing a bit around here and seeing a friendly face helped get me going!