Provo River Half-Marathon, 1:14:43, 2nd overall, 1st master.
Curt was having a hard time this year with a number of things, including bibs and buses. So our van was the bus and an old Fast Running Blog 5 miler bib was Dave Holt's bib. Dave came to my house, we drove to the finish of the race, put 13 more people in the van, and drove to the start. There was only one port-a-potty, and there was a long line. Since we had time I decided to offer a special unique type of service - Bathroom Express. We took another load of runners down a mile to a nice bathroom in a park, and then brought them back.
Dave was warming up in the first half mile or so, so I went with him. But then he hit the gas, and was going out of my range in my current shape, so I just let him go. First mile was 5:08. Dave was already ahead by 10 seconds or so.
Then I saw a treasure - a bunch of runners - I think I saw Dan there, then Tony, Matt Poulsen and Mike Nelson, and Dave Taylor - doing what appeared to be a tempo run. So I worked my way up to them. They were spreading out each running his own pace. Matt and Mike appeared to have been running the right pace for me, and I knew they could handle it comfortably, so I asked them to pull me. I was able to stay with them until a little after mile 6, which was very helpful.
Curt's marks have improved - he adjusted them so that all of the splits were reasonable. Mile 2 was 5:15 (10:23), then 5:18 (15:41), 5:32 (21:13) - this one may have been a little long, 5:13 (26:26) - this one was definitely short, then 5:43 (32:09). 6 mile marker I think was right on.
In the 7th and 8th mile there is a nasty uphill with headwind. I do not remember the splits there by Curt's marks. However, I timed my split at the S mark which was 35:00, then the uphill mile from that was 6:48 - ouch, and that same mile back was 5:44. That hill really took a lot of out of me. However, something special happened. Shortly after the turnaround at the top of the hill I saw Tony. Somehow he knew that I was struggling and could use some help. So he modified his tempo run to do the last part of it with me.
I had a Tongan companion on my mission, and I know a little bit about the Tongan secret. They have a special gift. They know when you are struggling and they have a sense of what to do to help. I experienced the benefits of that gift today. Tony seemed to know the right pace for my condition even though I suspect that right pace was not easy for him either. He stayed with me for about 2 miles.
My split at the official 10 mile mark was 56:22. I think finally Curt got the 10 mile location right - last year it was actually long. My 3 mile tempo course split was 17:41. I was just coasting along a little bit under 6:00 per mile, but I could not go any faster. Not a surprise, though - I have not done enough training to endure the full measure of the half-marathon grind.
I was happy to finish in 1:14:43 beating my last year's time (even though in a sub-par race) by 5 seconds. This is my master's PR. Dave won with 1:13:04. He struggled at the end as well with a hamstring injury.
Afterwards I jogged home and then ran with the kids and Sarah. Julia did 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2. William had a breakthrough run. We've been trying to talk him into breaking 10:00 without holding the hand or stopping. He has resisted the idea so far. But today something happened. He asked me if I would get him walkie-talkies, and I of course agreed on the condition that he break 10:00 in the mile following the above mentioned rules.
We did the time trial on the course that I measured earlier with the wheel for the ward 2 miler - 0.5 out up a small grade, and then the same way back. The biggest concern, of course, was not his physical fitness, but avoiding mental breakdown - common for 4 year olds in general, but particularly the cause of concern for William. His first quarter was 2:22. Shortly after he said he did not want the prize. Somehow I managed to convince him that the prize was worth the effort. Then he saw a moving truck and decided to get scared of it. I assured him that it would not hit him. He argued with me, but I miraculously was able to prevail without losing much speed. Our next quarter was 2:26.
On the way back William sped up an ran the next quarter in 2:22. We were 20 seconds ahead of our target pace now but the cat was not in the bag yet. I knew very well that one spectacular fit could throw the record out of the window. So I made sure that we kept the pace under control not allowing it to get too fast knowing from experience the difficulty of the effort could result an emotional breakdown. William saw his favorite piece of plastic on the road that he thinks is a snake, and starting complaining that he did not want the snake to get him. I really did not want the "snake" to kill the record, so I led him as far away from it as I could. Once we passed it he forgot about the "snake". His next concern was that he might throw up when he finished. I told him since we were well on pace, he could slow down a little and that would prevent throwing up. He slowed down for 5 seconds just a little,then forgot about it and sped back up. His last quarter was 2:19 and he got the goal finishing with 9:29.4 which is our new family record in the 4 and under age division.
This was a nice prize for me at the end of 20.5 miles for the day getting up at 4:30 AM and racing 13.1 of them.
Benjamin ran 6 at the camp-out. Jenny ran around 2.5 at girls camp.