One problem with doing your second race, is that it’s either a PR or a PW, there’s no in between. Well, the first half of this race went well, 01:47:16, or about 8:10s, a conservative pace by 10-20 seconds for me. And considering my training has been lacking, and really only gone up to 13 miles, doing well for the first 13 makes sense. Last year, I began to fall behind at this same point, for this same reason. The difference, though, is that this year, I cramped up badly… very badly. Like, walking for the whole last ten miles.
So, at about mile 19, I decided to hit my lap button, just to see how bad the pacing was. By then, my average pace on the front 19 had dropped from the low 8s to 9:08. The last 7 miles? 16:37, or 3.6mph. Not even a brisk walk (4mph), but at least better than a slow stroll, and that includes having to stop and try stretching several times.
So what have I learned? Obviously, training is important, and while I can skate by on a half (and have several times), there’s no easy route for me on a marathon. Also, that when it comes down to the mental game of “This sucks, I hurt, I should quit!” I can make it past the mind battle… or at least could this time. And lastly, my friends and family still love and support me, no matter how badly I do.