Sunday, October 7, 2012

It Must Have Been the Shoes -- Pt. 2

So, my love affair with the Saucony Kinvara 2 continues.  Today was the Staten Island Half Marathon, my last race before the NYC Marathon in a month.  I wasn't sure what to expect.  I have been in cross-training mode, more than Marathon mode for the last few months, so while I'm pretty fit, I have not been running very much.  I've managed to do my "long runs" on the weekend, but midweek, I've been swimming and cycling more than I've been running.  Just to make matters worse, on Friday, I rolled my ankle while out for my morning run.  In my experience, there are three levels of turned ankle:  (1) Yikes, that could have been bad; (2) ouch that hurt, but I can still run on it with moderate discomfort; and (3) something popped, crying, screaming pain and the end of the season.  This one was definitely in category 2, and I wasn't quite sure what it would be like on Sunday.  Saturday, I iced, stayed off it and took ibuprophen.  Saturday night I slept with the Strassburg sock to loosen up the calf muscle.  Sunday morning, it was not perfect, but good enough.

The race weather was perfect -- mid 50s, light overcast, no wind.  Rain was predicted to start at about the time we finished, and it conveniently obeyed the prediction.

I went out hard.  The first mile was at 7:45, which was what I thought of as the high end of my pace.  Miles 2 and 3 were at 7:17 and 7:18.  Let's be clear, that's faster than I've been running 5Ks lately, so this was a bit disconcerting.  I felt okay, though, so I carried on.  Miles 4 and 5 were uphill, so my pace dropped to 7:34, but then lifted right back to 7:17 on the backside for mile 6.   My 10K split was 47:11.  This made me extremely nervous.  My 10K PR is 46:44, and that was in 2002. . .  On the other hand, I was feeling fine.  I backed it down a bit.  Miles 7-12 hovered between 7:34 and 7:50, depending on the elevation gain, but mostly at the lower end.  Mile 13 I slowed to 8:02, but that was a hill, and finished with a good kick.

 End result 1:40.55.  WTF!!!!    This was not just a good race, it was a great race (for me).  My half-marathon PR before this was 1:43.26, and that was from, um 2001.   My most recent half was five minutes slower, and I was happy.

Anyway, knock me over with a feather.  I have been joking about wanting to set a PR after turning 50, but I expected to do it in a 15K or some other distance that I don't run much.

All in all a good day.  


  1. You ROCK! And I will definitely try out the shoes. I am finding Nike Frees too lacking in support for me to build back up into running, following PF. It is amazing how three years off has changed the main focus of shoe selection in the running mags...everyone seems to be going for minimalist. I was aiming towards that when I developed PF so I am only going to gradually build into those types of shoes, but these you suggest sound just right. Have ordered a pair this morning, thanks!

  2. Wow. Very well done. I 'm going out on a limb and saying -- glad you like the shoes, but those aren't what did it.

    You've seen the running time predictors, right? Greg McMillan has one online. Basically, take the 1/2 marathon, multiply by 2, add 8-10 minutes . . .

  3. Phil, careful with the minimals and PF. The midfoot stride puts a bit more stress on the PF than the heel strike, so you may want some support when you transition. I agree about the Nike Frees. I have been running in them in New Haven. They are very comfortable, but not enough structure. I have also liked the Brooks Pure Flows. I'd try both of those in the store.

    Max, I have never found the predictors to get it right. I always slow more than they think. I don't think I'm headin gfor a 3:30 in NYC, though I'd be thrilled if I could bring my time down into the 3:45-50 range.