Sunday, January 15th, 2023 at 7:00am CT, I raced in the Louisiana Half Marathon, in Baton Rouge, LA. The last race I participated in was a Spartan Race in November 2018. I ran a 1:19:52. I averaged a 6:10 mile for the first 10K and averaged slightly below a 6:06 mile for the entire race, running a negative split. In the half marathon, I placed 6th overall, and 1st* in my age group, 25 -29.
I have fantasized that from ages 28 - 35 I am entering into my physical peak, and during this season of my life, I am actively seeking those value within myself. My training is not calculated, as I have reoccurring injuries that come up once my milage exceeds a certain number, so my cardio/endurance is balanced between cycling and running. About a decade ago, I abandoned wearing a watch to keep track of my time, both pacing and overall time on a long-run, so although I had an idea of how fast I run, I truly did not know what to expect.
Prerace outline: wake up at 5:00am, cook a two egg burrito breakfast, make and drink an Americano, dress in racing attire, wear new shoes, pack a bag, look up parking, head out to Capital Building at 6:15am, and start race at 7:00am.
The weather started out cold for a guy like me, being raised in Lubbock, TX. At 7:00am, it was 34°F, and by 8:00am the weather warmed up to 40°F. Deliberately starting out at a slower pace, I started to make my moves as the approached the mile markers. I knew I had ground to make up, as well as I did not want to have an adrenaline dump with a start that I could not maintain. A negative split, running a faster second half than a first half, is always the goal, even in my training without a watch. Although I had success, with my new found experience, I have much to learn from this race. I felt like I was fading in the second half, not being able to breathe through my nose and constantly fighting off an abdominal cramp. The last 4 miles were difficult to feel like I was responding well to adversity. Sticking to the game plan or racing for placement, the rule of thumb is to pass someone and make sure they don't pass you.
Afterwards, the experience was nice, as all of us runnings went through pain and everyone was quick to give compliments. I grabbed my things, went back to my car to grab my phone, and returned to the afterparty festivities. I was done by 8:20am, so the Americano with half and half meant I had to scrap the gumbo for servings of rice. I texted my family and best friends to let them know my results. It was nice to be recognized by other runners who were quick to give out compliments and hold conversations, even if it was for a short time.