The annual March Madness Half Marathon in Cary took place this morning. This is both one of Chicagoland’s ‘early races’ to start the season as well as the classic Boston preparation due to the hilly course. I have now run this consecutively for six years (see 2005. 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009).
As for the race conditions, we had fantastic weather all week with temperatures up to the sixties and then all of a sudden a forecast of rain, snow and even sleet for the weekend. Luckily, and while yesterday was sucky, today was allright or better. A little chilly and damp, but neither rain nor snow — or even wind. So the conditions were good, with the course challenging as usual.
The race itself went fine. I ran more or less steadily, never had to stop but was not particularly fast at 1:39:38 or a pace of 7:36.3. I had aimed for beating 1:40, had missed that target by miles 4 to 6 and was about 10 or 15 seconds behind but managed to get a negative split on the second half of the course to reach that goal. Which is nice, but the time is still the slowest I’ve ever run that race, and my slowest half-marathon since 2004.
Training had been sluggish all winter. Oddly enough, already in last year’s post I stated pretty much the same and feared that Boston may become tough — which it did. But this year may well be a lot worse as I had no spring in my step all winter long. No fire in the belly for training will make for a long race. We’ll see how it goes. Four weeks to go.