On Sunday March 20th I ran the USATFNE 1/2 Marathon Championships at the New Bedford Half Marathon. I have been battling some plantar issues in my left foot for a while now and I really didn't know how the foot would react to 13.1 miles of racing. I had taken some down time over the last week to rest up my foot and legs. So I figured I would just get after it and see what happens. The goal was to shoot for a PR (currently 1:11:15, 5:27 pace) and see what happens.
I got out pretty relaxed and settled in with the Kim Smith group. She ran here last year and was a bit under 1:11. So I figured this was a good place for me to settle in. I stayed relaxed through the first 4 miles (going 5:21, 5:22, 5:15, and 5:25) which has some rolling hills and got to the flat section that follows. At this point the splits were pretty good and I knew I was on pace for a new PR. During this flat section I began to lose Kim as she started to push the pace down, but I was actually able to catch up to Jim Johnson and Greg Hammett, two of my CMS teammates. We went through mile 5 in 5:08, well under PR pace and a bit quick! I think I hung on with them for about half a mile before they started to pull away. My pace was still good as I passed the 6th, 7th and 8th miles in 5:18, 5:21, and 5:26. At this point I ended up by myself for a bit and the wind was a little tough. Soon enough my CMS teammate Andy McCarron came by and I tucked in behind him. I was able to hang in there with Andy for a little while, we soon passed by mile 9 in 5:41, a bit off the pace I needed and soon Andy was pulling away. I was again alone and beginning to struggle. The 10 mile mark went by in 5:35 and I just kept thinking only a 5k to go, just got to hang in there! But I was really starting to hurt at this point. The legs were really starting to get heavy and my calfs were starting to cramp up. I hit the 11 mile mark with a 5:29 and started to think I could really get to the finish with PR. During the next mile CMS teammates Mike Quintal and Scott Leslie went by me like I was standing still. I went by the 12th mile with a 5:38 and knew I was really in trouble as I began the up hill last mile. At this point a guy wearing a hula skirt and no shoes went by me! I really struggled up the long hill and to the finish. My form was awful and my lower legs were cramping up pretty bad. I passed mile 13 with a 5:50 and tried to kick it in. I finished up with a last 0.1 of 39 seconds, finishing in 1:11:28 good for 33rd place.
The overall results are not awful, but this is not how I wanted to finish up a race. I thought I was having a really good race and I was on pace for a big PR till the last 5k of the race. I really think overcompensating for my left foot really caught up to me in the late miles as my lower legs really cramped up and my right hip was getting tight. The good news is that the CMS team ran great and we finished 2nd to BAA. We had 5 guys under 1:11 and most of the team scored a PR today!
5:08 (26:30) 5 miles
5:35 (53:52) 10 Miles
0:39 (71:28) 17:36 last 5k