The name of this race just struck me as odd since mermaids don’t have any legs. Anyway.
Only 4 days after the race, so maybe I'm getting better with the recap procrastination? Maybe? Just a tad. Anyhoo. I ran the Mermaid Half marathon on Saturday in Mission Bay - flat course that was also .09 miles short - and ran 1:48:31. Technically, I ran faster at Carlsbad taking into account the course shortness.
A group of friends did the race, including Sophie who PR'd (woo hoo!). I also got to meet Sarah! Who kicked serious ass, running 1:49 and change (including sub 8:00 mile at the end!) with practically no training. WTF. She kinda towers over me too, but, well, almost everyone does.
The one bug-a-boo about this race was that I was fourth in my age group. How much does fourth suck!? Oh, I dwelled on that fourth place finish for hours. Two hours after the fact I found myself still cursing that fourth. The only consolation I had was that the third place finisher was over a minute ahead and that would have been hard for me to make up. Well, hard if I hadn't SLOWED DOWN by 20-30 seconds per mile in the last 3 miles.
I was 12th overall, so, normally that would get you a place in your age group. Except that my age group showed up and ran their collective asses off. In any other age group I would have placed. Seriously. Any of the others. 30-34 had the most "depth" as far as top finishers. Feh. Stupid most competitive age group.
The course was hard to navigate - there were several points where I was wondering if I was on the right path. As I came around into mile 8 or so, two halfers actually went off course and asked me where to go and I had to point and yell at them that it was "over there to the right!" Not ideal for conserving energy. The race needs better signage and more volunteers at turn points.
It was also interesting running with the 10K runners. As we were exiting Fiesta Island, I caught up with a runner and made it my business to latch on like velcro and keep up. She was keeping a good clip of 8:05-8:15 which is where I needed to be. I felt her keep trying to shake me off; I was like: WTF? Where is she getting this extra energy from? We hit the 10K/half course split, and off she went around the 10K turnaround. I chuckled out loud that I had been busy chasing a 10K runner. No wonder her pace wasn't all that consistent and she was probably annoyed that a halfer was all up in her business.
I was content with my finish time but, I think I have plateaud at 1:48+change for my half marathon time. I'm feeling that I need to change it up. So, for the first time since last January (when I was more than 15 minutes slower), I drew up a training plan that takes me through to the Safari Park Half on March 13th. Basically, my mileage is going to go from around 20-ish miles per week (which isn't much when doing half marathon training - I was running maybe 3 times a week - it's what I call bare minimum half marathon training), to 30-ish miles per week, running 4-5 times a week. The key will be to ice the living shit out of my shins and knees to ward off any over use injuries. I think I can shave off a bit more time on my half. According to the calculators based of my recent 10K time, I should be around a 8:05-8:10 pace. Carlsbad I was 8:16 (according to the Garmin). Ten seconds per mile shaves off 2 minutes. The key will be to not fade away in the last three miles and maintain the same steady pace (or run a wee bit faster in the beginning, like 8:00-ish, and only fade a bit, never going over 8:15-8:20 in the last few miles).
This week looks like this (tweaked from Hal Higdon's advanced plan):
Sunday & Monday: rest (had to skip work yoga)
Tuesday: 5 x 800 repeats at 10K pace (total was 5 miles)
Wednesday: 50 minute tempo (Higdon's definition of tempo is not fast the whole time, it's a gradual build up to 10K pace held for a few minutes before going back down)
Thursday: rest & yoga
Friday: 5 mile half pace run (8:06)
Saturday: rest and teach yoga
Sunday: 2 hour run (8:45-9:00 pace)