Sunday, March 24, 2013

hot damn...

I set my half-marathon PR by over 2 minutes today at the 2013 Oleksak Half-Marathon in Westfield, MA. My previous best had been at the same race a year ago when I ran 1:36:25 (a 7:21 pace). Today it was 1:34:22 (a 7:13 pace). And I felt good the entire run. As you might imagine, I'm feeling really good about this.

The winds were biting during the warm-up run, but I remembered how much I usually heat up regardless so I stripped down to just shorts and a t-shirt. This ended up being a good move as the sun came out and it warmed right up to the low 40's by mile 2. I did wear gloves most of the way, though.

The first mile is flat and I hit it right on my goal pace of 7:21. Mile two was a little slower, but that was OK since it had some uphill. 7:27. Mile three is almost all ascent and has the steepest hill of the race. That one was a 7:53. Fine. Mile four levels out but still climbs. 7:32. Again, fine. Mile 4-5 is mostly flat, and I began to make up the time. 7:05. Mile 5-6 has the biggest downhill. 7:00. From there it's a very gradual downhill/flat trend (with a couple of short hills) all the way to mile ten. 7:12. 7:09. 7:22. 7:08. Somewhere around mile 8 the effort began to catch up with me and I started to flag a little, but another Gu and some extra water at the next station perked me right back up. Then you get to the flat final three, through neighborhoods. Here I methodically picked off a couple of the guys I'd been behind for a bunch of miles, and I have to admit I felt pretty good doing that. It just all felt right. Nothing hurt, nothing felt tight, and I had the energy to just stride away. Love it when that happens. It's not all that often, but I love it when it does. The final three mile splits were 7:02, 6:52, and 6:30. Hot damn.


  1. Hey Ben, I shared this on the Level website today. Thanks for joining our blog network, and sorry it took so long to update the list with yours. Looking forward to seeing more of your material.

    1. Thanks, EJN! No worries, and I'll do my best to amuse. Cheers, -b