This morning I ran a half marathon in under two hours, 1 hour, 55 minutes and 40 seconds. Back in April of this year, I was disappointed that I missed this two hour threshold by 2 minutes and 36 seconds. So, I was focused on this goal during the last several months.
All of this long slow distance seems to be having an impact. In the 16 weeks leading up to this race, I ran over 500 miles of training runs. This is more miles than Hal Higdon’s Novice 1 and Novice 2 full marathon plans include and these are 18 week programs, not 16 week programs.
There were a few times during this training where I was sneezing a lot, perhaps because all of this training depressed my immune system. I didn’t feel much fatigue, as one would expect when one catches a cold. But it’s hard for me to conclude that I simply had allergies in early August and again in the week leading up to the race. A few days before the race I was worried that whatever ailment that was making me sneeze and blow my nose so much would hamper my race performance. Fortunately, whatever is bothering me, I accomplished my goal for the race. It’s just that in the future I would like to avoid this problem. Maybe it’s just a case of needing to get more sleep and eat more green leafy vegetables and/or more fruit.
I wonder, though, about this race. I don’t think the half marathon course was USA track and field certified. And when I finished my Garmin said that I only ran 13.00 miles. When I ran the two half marathons in the spring, my Garmin said that I ran 13.14 miles and 13.26 miles. So, did I really finish a half marathon in less than two hours? Well, even if I didn’t do 13.1 miles, I did come close. And I finished with enough room under my self-imposed two hour time limit so that even if I did have to run another quarter mile or so, I would likely have finished under two hours. Perhaps it’s an accomplishment with an asterisk next to it.
In six weeks I will run a much more popular half marathon, the Monumental in downtown Indianapolis. Instead of the few hundred runners this race had, there will be close to ten thousand runners attempting either a half or a full marathon. It should be fun.