I’m missing a gear.

by david on December 5, 2009

I ran my seventh half marathon this morning in 1:58:07.

[Sidebar #1: I’ve run more marathons than halfs. Wondering why.]

It was my second visit below the two hour mark. 

[Sidebar #2:  There is absolutely no explaining my other visit – at 1:50 – back in 2005. That was just crazy fast for me with 8:30 miles.]

Five of the other six were either 2:02 or 2:03. So what does that foretell for a marathon time? I’ll tell you: about 4:20.

So why can I not manage to come in under 4:40 in the marathon? Where’d that 20 minutes go? It’s like I’m missing the 10 minute per mile gear.

Today’s race was better than expected, given the overnight torrents of rain …

[Sidebar #3: my pool water level is very happy. My brown patch fungus lawn is not.]

I had a well executed pre-race plan and a fast start. I was with Lytle for the first lytle bit of the race. I cautioned her to avoid the sock soaking puddle right across the start line. My pace was maybe too high for the first three miles (8:30, 8:18, 8:28) but I was aware and looked at the good time as “in the bank” for later.

Miles 4-6 were around 9 minute pace with a pause for Shot Bloks. The next three miles showed an erosion of performance, sliding down to a 9:37 9th mile. I averaged 9:15s the rest of the way. My legs felt heavy late. The humidity made breathing tough. I thought about taking off my shirt. Lytle passed me. So did Cheryl, Todd and Jen. In the end, I beat Jen by eight seconds. Other acquaintances I missed seeing were Wendy, Cyndy and Abbie. I did see Doug S, Lorraine, numerous other folks and all the staff from Florida Citrus Sports who put the race on.

Mark V said on Facebook he missed the joys of serving beer at the OUC Half. That’s one of the reasons the race is so popular. The beer never runs out. They gave out a long-sleeve tech shirt this year which was very popular. A lot of people ran in them.  I held to my belief that you don’t wear the shirt until you’ve done the race. Do you agree?

april anne December 9, 2009 at 3:00 pm

Congrats David!

david December 9, 2009 at 2:59 pm

Hey look at that, I’m still you. Should I log out or not? Hmmmm.

david December 9, 2009 at 2:58 pm

Have you picked a place for OKC yet?

Cheryl December 7, 2009 at 11:11 am

Ya know, I managed to find the 10-minute-mile gear around the 9th mile of OUC! You ran very well and I’m proud of you for breaking the 2:00 mark again. Maybe we’ll have to run a marathon together, because my goal is 4:20. If we pace each other, we can make it happen.
~Smiley

Rhea December 6, 2009 at 11:34 am

Really nice job! This is just a guess, but perhaps the reason why you’re not hitting 4:20 in your marathons is because you probably start out too fast. My old coach used to say, “Start slow. Finish fast.” He advocates running as much as 10 seconds below your marathon-per-mile pace for the first 10 miles or so, then at your marathon pace for the next 10. Then, for the final 5-6 miles, try to maintain and even go above your pace.

jeanne December 5, 2009 at 5:46 pm

sweet! very nice job.

I’m looking at my slowest half mary next weekend. sigh.

no, you don’t wear the shirt until you finish the race! i don’t make the rules, i just enforce them. 🙂

darrell December 5, 2009 at 5:40 pm

It is a mystery why those time predictors don’t seem to work out as advertised.

And I do believe that it a universally accepted rule not to wear the race shirt during the race, although I have done in a couple of times with seemingly no negative consequences (although never in a marathon).

We may actually get some rain this coming week in Cali, we’ll see.

Joe December 5, 2009 at 3:36 pm

If you find that “gear”, will you send it to me, please? I have exactly the same missing gear. And can’t get under 4:40, despite consistent 2 hour HMs.

Nice run…way to persevere at the end.

And, yes, very VERY bad form to wear the shirt for the race in the race. Your style choice is exactly right.

Nice job…enjoy the full pool and go kill a fungus or two.

Jon (was) in Michigan December 5, 2009 at 3:19 pm

Nice job, David!

And I think its bad luck to wear the shirt before the race.

As for the marathon time, I wonder if it has to do with the time of year or the temperatures. Didn’t you run Chicago during a heat wave?

Dianna December 5, 2009 at 1:38 pm

nicely done david! and yes, i do agree…i never wear the shirt until after i have completed the race. and the one time that i wasn’t able to start a race that i had registered for, i gave my shirt away because if i didn’t run it, then i couldn’t wear it (my own personal rule).

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