2014 CHAD Hero Half Marathon – PR – 7th place – 1:23:16

Going into the 2014 CHAD Hero Half Marathon, I had one goal: to run comfortably, and not hurt myself on the hills. This was a much more challenging course than the New England Half Marathon in September, and I knew I wouldn’t PR.

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The New England Half Marathon in September. No sustained hills, 374ft of climbing, and 604ft of descent at the end when you’re fatigued.

Region capture 5The CHAD Hero Half Marathon in October. 810ft of climbing, several sustained hills, and lots of loops and turns in the course.


Before the race: 

It was drizzly and cold all morning, so I stayed inside, took my time changing, and headed out for a short warmup about half an hour before the race. I did very little, to force myself to stay slow in the beginning.

The start was a little overcrowded. The 5k and half marathon started and ran the first mile or so of the course together, so you had a wide variety of folks toeing the same line at the same time. They held us there for awhile during a special saying/oath, the national anthem, and finally the start command was given.

 

The Race:

I started out quick, but settled in within a tenth of a mile or so. I ran the first mile in 6:06 and the second in 6:07. Mile 3 (6:16) saw the first hill, a gradually sloping one back up to the finish area, before running to the west side of the green. So far, I was feeling completely relaxed, and running was still effortless. Mile 4 (6:05), we headed downhill toward the river, before crossing it, and heading back uphill  under the interstate into Norwich. I passed three guys in the first four miles, but I had no idea what placings were like, as we’d started with the 5k.

Next, came the first real hill, a two-mile long hill from 3.8 to 5.8. This one slowed me down a bit, because I focused on keeping my effort level down. Mile 5 (6:25) was the worst, while mile 6 (6:17) was a bit better because you could sense the downhill was coming!

Miles 7 (6:07), 8 (5:56) and 9 (6:20) were mostly downhill, sometimes steep, and my legs were just starting to fatigue. I focused on keeping my stride rate up, and letting the stride length take care of itself. I passed one more guy here on the downhill, who was clearly feeling the quads more than I was.

Mile 10 (6:24) had the longest steep hill, at about half a mile with 150 ft of gain. Luckily it started to go downhill again right afterwards, letting me pick up the pace again.

Mile 11 had a short, but very painful hill… I felt like I was sprinting, but my pace slipped to 8:46, and I very nearly walked. But I crested the hill, and saw that the blue-shirted guy I’d been chasing for 5 miles was about two minutes ahead.

Mile 12 (6:16) was a gentle downhill, but at this stage of the race, my legs were somewhat fatigued, and I couldn’t really capitalize on it. I finally passed the guy in blue with about 1.5 miles to go. He really hung close after I passed him though, so I still pushed my legs as hard as I could. My heart rate fell quite a bit, as my legs just couldn’t keep up!

Mile 13 (6:16) had ANOTHER &@MN HILL. My heart rate rose again, and I kept the effort level pegged for the last .3 (this course was long, because we didn’t have full control of the roads).

I crossed the line in 1:23:16, for a 41-second PR. Not bad for a much more challenging (and long) course! I was very pleased with the time, but even more pleased with what I felt was a smarter race.

Here is a video clip from several points in the race: 

 

And the Strava details: Region capture 7Region capture 10

 

One comment on “2014 CHAD Hero Half Marathon – PR – 7th place – 1:23:16”

  1. “ANOTHER &@MN HILL”

    Ha, love it!

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