Hampton Half Marathon results

Well, apparently I coach better than I perform… which obviously means that Ken beat me AND met our goal time of sub-1:40.  I was close at 1:41.04.  (although Ken’s GPS does say 13.27…hmmmm….. definitely worth 1:05 seconds at least!)

It was a gorgeous day for mid-February in New Hampshire- about 39 degrees at the start, with a brisk wind of about 19mph.  This made it feel chillier than it really was, and I think I changed my shirt/jacket/vest combination about 16 times.  As my knee had been bothering me, I also had a major decision to make about what shoes to wear.  I finally decided to err on the side of caution and stick with my trainers, this was a good decision as that was one thing I did NOT struggle with over the course of the 13.1 miles.

I made a silly mistake which probably cost me the 1 min 4 seconds that I needed. 

At the start, they announced that there were pacers, beginning with a 7:30 group.  I thought, “what the heck”, maybe I can hang onto 7:30 for at least 8 or so miles.  Well, the pacer wasn’t too good because we ran the first two miles at 7:15 pace.  I hung on for one more mile, which he did get closer to 7:30, but when he sprinted through the water station, I realized that I was in over my head.  My heart rate was in the 180s, which I know I can hold for 5 miles, but not for 13.  So, I backed off, and about that time we hit a hill… which REALLY hurt.  I struggled for a couple of nearly 8 min miles, but eventually found the right rhythm and was about to finish in what is at least a “50+” PR.   I was happy to finish 3rd in my age group, although now I understand what people mean when they complain about the “youngsters” as the two women ahead of me were exactly 50.  🙂

Ken also started with the 7:30 pacer, but he was able to hang on to him until 8 or 9 miles.  He slowed a tad, but had enough “time in the bank” that he was still able to run his predicted goal pace.

My coaching reflections on this are that we both had really good runs.  We’ve done all our training together, and as much as I hoped to run with Ken, I know that he is a stronger runner.  Our speed workouts were always way above threshold pace for me, and yet probably right on for him.  Our recovery runs were truly recovery for Ken, and a bit fast for me.  It is a lesson to learn- you can’t ALWAYS train with someone faster, occassionally you have to run at your own pace.  And definitely in the race, you should run at your own pace!


1 Comment »

  1. ken said

    Coachee perspective:

    Up early in the hotel room with our stated goal to relax before leaving for the race.
    We wrote down our splits for a 1:40 finish time.
    A 1:40 pace would be a 7:38 Minute mile pace, which is what we had been traininig for.

    We got down to the race course with plenty of time so we wandered into the registration
    area with our foam roller and stretched and rolled our “weak” areas. Anyone our
    age knows those areas to be the butt and hamstrings .
    The weather was getting better by the minute . One last trip to the car to take off jackets
    and switch to vests. We were ready.

    At the start line they announced “pacers”. I had never had a pacer in a race. Heck
    I’d never had a coach till I married Coach Kathy. We cozied up to the 7:30 pacer
    realizing that we would probably stay with him for a few miles, then fall off onto
    our pace.
    We felt great and the pacing group was a nice wind block.
    The first mile went by at 7:20. Not a problem, just wrote it off to early mile enthusiasm. The
    second mile was again at 7:20. This felt fine now but we both were a bit concerned.

    At the water stop, the pacer sprinted ahead to spread the group out. Now we were playing catchup.
    I decided to push to catch the group while Kathy decided to settle down her pace a bit.
    At around the 6 mile mark the pacer took off with a small group. I stayed back and was spot on a
    7:30 pace at 8 miles. I was really thinking I could beat 1:38. But at 9 miles I fell off to an 8:00 pace
    and now realized I was holding on just to make my original time. The miles were really feeling hard
    and my heart rate was at its racing max. I hung on and did a 1:39:21 . Thanks to my coach who held me to a great training plan. With the half marathon behind us, we are now excited to plan our and begin our training for our half Ironman Triathlon on June 19th. Who says 57 is old!

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