pace check for half-marathon in Philadelphia

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November 12, 2014 by scratchtype1

Today I probably did my last sort of check on what kind of shape the legs are in and what it will mean on the 23rd. The legs didn’t have full snap and spring to them like I will try to have them ready with on race day, but they weren’t sluggish feeling either. The temperature was on the warm side, enough so that had it been 15 to 20 degrees cooler like it may be on race day, I would have run a fair bit faster than I did today.

The run plan was simple enough. Wear the Xeros to get me to the that lovely stretch of road for barefoot running. Use that time in the Xeros to warmup, then take them off and run barefoot at an effort that feels like it could last me 2 hours, and run that for 5 kilometers/3.1 miles. So what would I see?

The results were very encouraging:

mile 1 — 9:01
mile 2 — 8:51
mile 3 — 8:53 (this mile regains a lot of the elevation that was lost in miles 2 and 3)
last .1 — :50

So I ramped up some since the first mile was the most downhill of the miles and by the end on a level section I was running about 8:40 pace and the sun out and me fully sweating. That would have been even easier if it had been cool and dry, instead of warm and humid. I felt very good about how I handled the uphill during the 3rd mile, it was some work but I never felt like I was working too hard and when it was done, I found myself running that 8:40 pace on the level.

This makes me feel much more confident about breaking 2 hours on the 23rd. I’d say it’s more likely that I’m being overly conservative, but I intend to stick to my plan of an easy easy first mile, then accelerating to pace. That should give me a good go of things and should get me up that uphill in mile 10. I’ll be working hard by then, but there should be enough in the legs to keep me moving at pace for the final 5 kilometers.

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