Lowering expectations can be a double-edged sword. As noted on Friday, I wasn’t feeling like the race on Saturday was going to be my best. Shockingly, it wasn’t. I ran a 3:55 which is my slowest time since my first marathon in 2002. I was on pace for about a 3:41 at the halfway point, but I was already feeling the breakdown at about mile 12. Historically, this comes around mile 17 for me. Heart rate was way too high as well which typically happens to me when I don’t sleep enough.
Other things did not go as planned. My sometimes training partner and I were unable to run together and I imagine we would have been able to motivate each other to push a little harder. The 3rd person I knew running the full pulled a groin at mile 9 also.
Overall, the course was pretty good. The half-marathon is more popular (5,000 runners) so the crowd (and the hills) was concentrated on the first half. 2nd half was a bit lonely, but the course involved a lot of the Anacostia river and the weather was perfect. Margie jumped in with me for around 2.5 miles around mile 19 which was a nice boost. Pride kicked in for a little while and I sped up. I was both thankful to have her there and also wishing she would move on to her other trainees so I could slow down again.
Throw all these things together with lowered expectations and what you have is me jogging along, trying to enjoy the scenery and ignore the pain. My rationalization was this was a great training run for the upcoming American Odyssey Relay (lots to come here).
Lots of others I know had great races (or at least good ones) though. Among others, I will point out Nonwife Heather threw down a 1:49 which is a full 10 minutes faster than a half she ran in December. Wife Heather was at the finish taking “pictures”. Turns out, they were actually movies. Sorry that these are short and not that exciting.