This time last Sunday I was getting home from the Hyannis Half Marathon. Last time I was at this race was in 2008 and I was doing the full in prep for Ironman Lake Placid later that year. I was thrilled to be going back this year and only having to do one lap!
I went up on Saturday afternoon with Ochoa and met Pat and Courtney Wheeler at Ryan's aunts house in Mashpee. We lounged for a bit before heading out for dinner at Sienna. If you are interested in the details of dinner (i.e. Ochoa's ability to drown pizza in red pepper flakes) you can check out the evidence at www.thatrunnerchick.com.
After dinner and a little Big Love (not my or Pat's request) it was bed time. The nice change of pace for this race was that it was not until 10am. We had our breakfast and met up with various Cyclonauts and QT2 racers at the convention center. Weather was back and forth rain and snow, but at least the roads were clear...just wet.
My goal for this race was to be faster than the Westfield Half last April (1:25 and change). I have been doing a lot of running with Ochoa outside on Tuesdays and Thursdays and we both agree that it prepared us well for this race. I had a loose plan of taking the race out around 6:00 -6:15 pace and simply hold on as long as I could.
I secretly wanted to see how close I could be to Andy and Pat. I knew Pat was going out at something crazy like 5:40 and knowing Andy he would be close behind Pat.
I stayed nice and steady as well as consistent. I saw Andy in the distance after about the 1 mile mark when all the heros started to fade from the front. I knew Andy wasn't too far ahead but with all the runners that sprint the first mile then die, I didn't actually see him until most of these runners had faded. I kept inching closer and closer till about the 5 mile mark or so. He informed me I was on pace for 1:19 which sounded awesome, I just hoped I could hold pace. As you will see with the data below, I did begin to fade a bit between miles 6 and 9 but not too badly.
As I was rounding the corder with less than a mile to go I heard someone say, "thats it Paul, nice work!" I looked quick enough to see that it was Tim Snow. I thought he had already finished and was doing his cool down run so I had a few in appropriate words (kidding of course). I came to find out later that the race was just a longer than he was looking for. I had a nice push to the end and crossed in 1:21! New PR! My previous PR was 1:22 at the end of Mightyman in October.
I owe the majority of my progress to QT2. Before 2010 my PR for a half marathon was 1:38 (which I had done 3 different times. Since then I have run 4 half marathons...
April - Westfield Half - 1:25 (stand alone)
July - Providence 70.3 - 1:25 (off the bike)
October - Mightyman Half - 1:22 (off the bike)
February '11 - Hyannis Half - 1:21 (stand alone)
I am hoping this progress continues as I have 5 half irons on the schedule this year and I really want to succeed at this distance. The next test at this distance will be in May when I head down to NC with Pat and Andy for the White Lakes Half. Starting tomorrow I will be doing and Ironman volume block with the culmination in October when I return to Mightyman. The hope is my durability will increase in time for IMLP 2012. Till then, its time to keep fighting the good fight!
Hyannis Half Data