First, I'd like to mention that my time of 2:02:32 today is a P.R. A big thank you goes out to Jon Walk for remembering what my time was at the 2006 Surfside Half Marathon. So therefore, I join the ranks of many fellow bloggers who P.R.'ed today. My previous best was 2:04:37, besting my last record by 2 minutes and some change.
Second, it was great to see some old faces and some new ones. Meeting old friends once again at this race brings back many nostalgic memories from last year, my first year of marathon training. Once again, it was great to meet again (in the order I met this morning) Vic Kaiser, first attempt at Half Marathon distance and P.R.'ing, Bar-Bar-A, Edwin Quarles (P.R.), Joe Carey (P.R.), Professional Man of Action, Keith Kellerher (P.R.), Jennifer Kim, Jessica Alexander (P.R. - a minute or so faster than me to the finish....just like the 10 miler from 2 weekend's ago) and June Vidrine.
Third, a big shout out to Jon Walk, the energizer bunny of the running circuit for last minute inspiration. Jon was there around mile 12, saw me, looked at his watch and said, "Holden, if you want to beat your time from Surfside, you better get going!" It was a good thing too because I was starting to unravel after 10 miles. Between the severe camber of the road and not being well rested, my mind started to drift and couldn't keep a good running rhythm. After Jon's feedback, I started to count my strides, "right, 2, 3, left, 2, 3..." until I got the rhythm back and was able to manage a good finish.
Fourth, thank you Striders for putting on another great race. For those wanting to belong to a great running club, I highly recommend the Houston Striders.
The weather was great for the first hour and half of the run. It got a little hot for me during the last 3 miles with the hot sun in my eyes. But there was no humidity and a gentle breeze most of the time. The water station volunteers were superb. A special thanks to Steve Bezner who was volunteering and from whom I took a cup of water.
Mile 1: 9:46
Mile 2: 9:14
Mile 3: 8:59
Mile 4: 8:48
Mile 5: 9:12
Mile 6: 9:03
Mile 7: 9:03
Mile 8: 9:28
Mile 9: 9:22
Mile 10: 9:53
Mile 11: 9:43
Mile 12: 9:35
Mile 13: 9:27
0.1 Mile: 0:52
Total Time: 2:02:32
Shoes: Asics Kayano XI (153.9 miles)
I spent a lot of time dodging slower runners during the first 2 miles and probably spent too much energy. My biggest mistake was staking out what I thought was a good spot for a 9:12/mile pace in the starting area. Unfortunately, there must have been too many first timers who did not know this etiquette. Looks like I started to unravel around mile 8. But overall, I'm very satisfied with today's run.
Next: San Antonio Half Marathon on November 12th.