Between the Dumbo Double Dare – and this race. I started to become a little cocky. I was so impressed at my ability to run 19.3 miles in one weekend without burning myself out – that I viewed my 3rd and last half marathon of 2015 to not be a challenge.
Boy was I wrong. The 2015 Berkeley Half Marathon humbled me, and put into perspective that if running a half marathon were easy, everyone would do it.
Like my past three halfs – I put in the time and miles. I was all trained up. My speed has definitely not improved during my training runs – in fact they might have slowed down a little – yet for some reason, I thought there was a possibility of me getting a PR.
The morning of the race, I hopped in an uber that took me across the bay to Downtown Berkeley. My corral had an 8:22 am start time, so I got there with a little over 45 minutes to spare.
I placed myself at the front of my corral and had a quick start. I hit the 5k mark around 35 minutes into the race – which was speedy for me, but soon after that – I started to experience pain in my stomach and a little bit of nausea. I slowed down a little and by the time I got to mile 4, I started to feel better.
This course was very hilly in the beginning. The inclines felt greater than the Rock’n’Roll SF half which I ran earlier this year. Living in SF – I pretty much have to train on hills, so I was prepared, but hills do wear me out sometimes.
Around mile 9 is when it hit me – or I hit it. The wall.
At mile 10 it got harder, and by mile 11 I had to switch my 30:30 intervals to 15:30 (run 15 seconds, walk 30). Once I turned the corner and saw the finish line in view I *trotted* to the finish line. I was worn out. My finish time as 2:47:10 with a pace of 12:46. Not a PR. However it was my second fastest half.
Despite my pace not being too far off from my PR and definitely faster than my long training runs – I felt unfulfilled with my performance.
This race was small compared to the other half marathons I have ran in the past. In every other half marathon I have run – the crowds never truly thinned out. I always had people in front of me AND behind me. Even my first half – with a 3:17 finish time – there were plenty of people crossing the line with me.
While I never was truly ALONE during this race – it definitely got pretty quiet during the last two miles – and once I saw my official results on how I placed – OOOF McGOOF.
I don’t know if I will ever run a sub 2 half. I am not an athletic person by nature – however I know I made mistakes during training and during the race – if a PR was something I wanted. I think can muster up a 2:35 finish time.
I need to push myself during my weekday short runs. I had become a little lazy toward the later half of the year – and pretty much went through the motions with all of my runs.
I also could have paced myself better throughout the entire race. Gone slower in the beginning – so I could finish strong. I did not finish strong at this race.
It also made me question my marathon goal. When I finished the race I thought to myself “how in the heck can I double this and finish without being swept or diverted away from the finish?”
I also thought to myself – do I even want to do another long race in the near future?
For the past year and a half – I have been training for half marathons. I had written about the glory of taking some time off of the longer runs in the past – and I think that might be something I plan to do through the rest of the year.
I plan to keep my long runs in the single digits (probably maxing out at 8 miles) until the start of the new year. At that time I will think about my 2016 goals. Do they include a marathon? A half pr? A 10k PR? I need a little time to reflect and think about it.