What does two months of not training (or eleven, if I'm honest with myself), a good day, and a half marathon look like for me? Apparently a socially fun day with non-stellar, but acceptable results.
The RaceFleet Feet has made minor changes to the course, year on year, and the improvements have always been for the better. This year's course is near-identical to last years, with one notable exception: the run through old town was on the streets, not on the cobblestones. This little improvement removed the one primary annoyance, and made this course one of my favorites.
The first few miles were spent with Harry and Joy, slow to start being near the back of the wave one pack, moderate to continue, and overall quite social. At mile two, Harry and I left Joy behind, and at mile four, I left Harry to his recovery pace, and sped up a bit. Running into Alan Capps and KC from STC was a great bonus, and I spent the next six miles chatting with one or both of them, and enjoying the pace.
Prior to mile seven, I left Alan behind, only to hit a pit stop at the relay exchange point, and find myself right behind Alan and KC again. Alan and I talked for the next three miles, when it seemed he was ready to slow it down for the final stretch, and I was ready to push a little into the end. Whereas two years ago, that push, at almost the exact same spot with Harry, took me from low eights to sevens, this year, I went from high eights to low eights.
STC for building up groups to socialize with, my annual membership is well worth this benefit. And thank you to Fleet Feet for putting on my favorite area race of the year, the biggest in the area, and continually improving it.
My FriendsJoy, congratulations on such a great time! Just a few minutes behind me, and proof that training well really does help you improve. Carrie, congrats to you as well on a PR! Bill, you surprised me with your time, I had no idea that you still maintained such good times (7:37s!) and fitness, it's great to see you out on a course where you don't have to work, but can enjoy the time on the road.
And Diane, even though you didn't get to see me race, it's wonderful to have my family out there. Thank you very much for bringing all of the kids out to enjoy the time at the stadium, and to join me for post-race breakfast.