Half Marathon, Full Misery

Winds gusting up to 22 mph and a wind chill of 19 were not conducive for today’s workout.  Week #6, workout #2 was supposed to be 13.1 miles at race pace.  I had planned to do this run on Saturday but the Cherry Stoners kept me out too late.  I think it was nicer on Saturday but now I’m not quite sure.  As Jimmy Buffet said “it’s my own damn fault”.

To make things easier on me I drove out to the Lost Bridge Trail.  I figured a flat, isolated, out and back course would give me the best race simulated workout.  No redlights to contend with and flat, just like Chambana.  Unfortunately the wind was out of the NorthWest giving me cross tail wind out and an almost straight on head wind on the way back.

Having had a long weekend already I was pretty tired before the start.  The Goose Island I.P.A.s that Dan brought over the night before didn’t help either.  Motivation was not my friend.  I even yelled at myself right as I pulled even with the poles to start the run. 

The run sucked from the beginning as I couldn’t even take advantage of the downhill start because the wind was blowing in my face all the way to the straight away.  Once I hit the straightaway I felt the tailwind and recovered into a rhythm.  I was already thinking about how bad my time was going to be because of the horrendous start.  To make matters worse I could barely hear my iPod.  I forgot to check the volume before I left and it was turned on too low.  I don’t usually start out a run listening to my iPod.  The headphones are in my ears ready to go.  Only after a few miles do I turn it on.  My puffy gloves were too bulky to adjust the volume and I couldn’t stop to take the them off.  My iPod was barely audible the rest of the run.  Only during periods when the wind would die down could I even understand the words of the song.

At 5K my time was 21:36.  Not bad considering the bad Karma that had occurred.  However, I decided to pace myself better and prepare for the upcoming 5 miles of headwind. 

I turned around where the bike path ended.  I think it was around 5.5 miles.  Knowing this was short of 13.1 I did a small loop in Rochester before heading North.  Out of the trees the wind was especially brutal.  I was too nervous to look at my Garmin but I knew my pace was slowing.  I did glance at it at 10K and the time read 43:56.  Too exhausted to do the math in my head I decided I wasn’t loosing THAT much time.

In the trees the wind was less intense but still enough to numb my mouth and blow me sideways.  The return trip was windy and the iPod not audible.  It took everything I had to stay focused.  Turning left before the hill to the parking lot I picked up the pace; taking advantage of the tailwind.  Topping the hill I was 1.8 miles short of 13.1 so I had to do laps in the IDOT parking lot.

It took only 2 laps to make 13.1 miles.  Half a lap into the wind and the other half with a tailwind.  At the end of the odyssey I stopped the Garmin at 1:34.  My best half marathon by almost 10 minutes.  I still can’t believe my time was that good considering how bad I felt.  Hopefully the Garmin isn’t lying but it did read 13.1.  I didn’t pay attention to my pace during the run as to not affect my morale.  It turns out my average was right at 07:13/miles which I still can’t believe.  Hopefully it’s not an aberition but a reality.

Exhausted yet ecstatic I sat in the truck for a good 10 minutes before leaving trying to get my composure.  It was a tough run but I’m glad I did it.

Weekly Total:  33 miles