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.