BHM 26.2 – Pace or Place Redux

I’ve had 3 miserable races in my life. The first was the Publix A1A Half Marathon in 2016 when I ate a huge 3 way at Skyline Chili the night before and then thought running a sub-8 minute half marathon in the warm Florida air was doable. It was, well for the first 4 miles anyway. Then it was a huge G.I .revolt and a struggle to finish. It was that race that put me on the 13 mile long run every weekend schedule to insure that it would never happen again. The second was the 2016 TCSNYC Marathon which as you may know if you read my sad story about it was a testament to unpreparedness. The third was just yesterday, the inaugural BHM26.2 Half Marathon.
I have never seen this recommended before and I’m guessing now that I never will, but in preparation for this race I woke up early Saturday morning and spread 30 bags of mulch and laid a full pallet of sod on my property. Certainly an honest day’s work and by the end of it I was pretty wiped out. Fell asleep promptly at 9 and woke up extremely bright and early at 3AM. Despite the early lead time we still managed to have to scramble out the door to get there on time. Didn’t have time to eat and neglected to bring any Honey Stingers.
The race began in a nice cold rain which was invigorating and helped me stay with the 1:45 pacer for the first 3 miles, which is at the top of my speed range under the best of circumstances. By mile 6 I was at 8:44 per mile and it only went up from there. It continued to rain off and on and the heavy material of my shirt got to work removing a layer of skin from my nipples as my legs grew more and more weary. And instead of some motivational music to inspire me to press on, my app picked out a recording of a conference call made years ago where a belligerent client berated one of my employees for an hour and change. By mile 11 I was out of gas and had to take a couple of walking breaks during the last 2 miles. I trudged across the finish line getting passed left and right like one of those 90 year old drivers I used to see on the Florida highways. I had pretty much decided that this would be the last race for me.
I met up with my wife, staggered to the car, put on some dry clothes and headed out for breakfast. No need to stay at the after party for this one. I checked the BHM26.2 app for my time – 1:56:34. Not as bad as I thought since it felt more like 3 or 4 hours, but certainly not an achievement of any kind. After breakfast I went back to the app to check the results and laughed out loud. I won this race. Granted my age group was a small field of 12, but it’s my first half marathon win. My wife asked if I wanted to head back for the awards ceremony. Nope, not for this one. Now I know a lot of you will say a win is a win, but it didn’t feel like any sort of victory to me. I guess I’m more pace than place. Or more victories than medals. But maybe I’ll try another race now.

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One thought on “BHM 26.2 – Pace or Place Redux

  1. I’m all about my AG finish and less about my pace. So many things factor into race pace like weather, hills, how tired I am (doing yard work the day before a race would do me in), if I’m properly fueled for the race, and if I have any aches or pains pop up during the race. I say take the AG win when you get it!

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