I have completed two half marathons so far this year. The first was the Painter's Half on January 23rd at which I posted a fair 1:40:06, good enough for 146th place overall out of close to 2000 runners. I don't think that many showed up due to the rain that night which finally stopped 30 minutes before we set off. The course was good but challenging, especially the section of hills around 8-10 miles. For an early season race I was very happy with the time, but I did two 1:34 half marathons last year and have 8 career half marathons which are sub 1:30 including a PR of 1:27:37 at Hobble Creek in 1999 as well as a 1:27:50 at Hobble Creek in 2001.
I think that if I did a lot more speedwork I could possibly get back to a 1:30 at a fast summer downhill half marathon.
I have had three great workouts with my new training partner, Leslie, who is training hard for her first full Ironman at St. George in May of this year. We run well together as we both like to train at 7:30 to 8:00 per mile pace. In Moab at the half marathon last year we ran a couple of miles together in the middle of the race until I became severaly dehydrated as I failed to drink before the race started. We hooked up again at the beginning of the Ogden marathon two months later where we ran at least 18 miles together at exactly 8 min. mile pace., and finished only a couple of minutes apart.
So here we are at the end of the run ( taken on Lelsie's camera phone)
Another friend, Mary Anne, had organized an unofficial half marathon yesterday which involved meeting at the new GET FIT running store in Highland, carpooling down to the soccer park in Orem, and running back. Four of us showed up at Get Fit, and seven more in Orem. Leslie and I ran together and added a little bit on at the end to make it exactly a 13.1 mile distance. We clocked 7:40's early on with some sub 7:30's on the downhills and over 8:00's on the long uphill from the Alpine tabernacle past the cemetary up into Highland. We finished in 1:42:20 which was perfect for a training run and gets us some good mileage to get us ready for spring racing. We ran 9 miles late on Wednesday afternoon which was difficult after a long day at work, but when you have a reliable training partner, it is so much easier to get some good miles in even after work.So Leslie is pure dynamite... yes we ran 13.1 miles yesterday, but GET THIS... the day before , she did 80 miles on a bike trainer. There is NO WAY I could have done that and then run a half the next day, but this, folks, is no ordinary girl. In May, Leslie will swim 2.4 miles at 5 am, then hop on her roadbike and crank out 112 miles, then run a full 26.2 mile marathon probably starting that leg of the triathlon at 3:00 o'clock in the afternoon. And 3 in the afternoon in St. George will not be pleasant at the beginning of May... believe me.
Until then, we are going to make Wednesday afternoon an 8+ mile run with speeedwork and hils, and hopefully a long run on Saturdays. With Lelsie's help, I hope to get close to a 3:30 in may at Ogden, and, failing that, have another whck at it a month later at the Utah Valley Marathon which this year, starts further back in Wallsburg.
So here are a few more photos from the end of the run yesterday where we were posing for Robyn who was behind the lense:
So until who knows when, we will run and run and run. And while she swims, I will run, and while she bikes a lot, I will bike a little, and we will chase our athletic dreams until the end of the rainbow !