I bought an espresso machine. An actual espresso machine--with non-pressurized portafilters, a 58mm grouphead, &etc. Very, very excited. To the right of it you can see my coffee roaster.
This is a little late for Pubski but halfway through November I ran my second ever half marathon. I beat my old time by nearly 11 minutes by running a 1:46:06 (8:06 pace). Race report is as follows:
I was trying to beat my "PR" set at the first half marathon I ran earlier this year. I was aiming for 1:55 since my last time was 1:56:59 on a fairly flat course, and I figured that was a reasonable goal since Berkeley is also a pretty flat course. I originally started training with my housemate, but he wasn't as consistent with the training towards the second half of the training program, which will come into play later.
Used the Hal Higdon Novice 2 program for the most part. I tended to extend the weekday runs by .25 or .5 of a mile. I rarely (if ever) did the suggested Sunday cross training, and I may have flopped the order of a couple of the Saturday runs. The last two long runs I did in the week up to the race were only 9 and 10 miles, but I did them on some local fire roads to gain the benefit of hilly runs. Most of my long runs were on those fire roads.
Before the race, my housemate and I decided that we'd start running together and we'd go our own ways once he couldn't keep with my pace.
On race day, the corrals were pretty crowded, and once the race began it was difficult to make much forward progress--we were kind of stuck running at the pace of the group until things began to thin out and we ran onto wider streets. Once we got onto the UC Berkeley campus about 2 miles in, my housemate told me to go on ahead and I started running at a little faster pace.
I only ever looked at my average pace on my watch during the race. As we had a sort of slow start, I ran until I saw the average pace hit 8:49, but as the race went on, I kept feeling on top of things and I saw my average pace continue to drop. At that point, I started running based on how I felt. As we crested the last rise before heading all the way down to the edge of the San Francisco Bay, it seemed like it'd be a good time to take advantage of the gradual downhill and keep up the quick pace I was running.
At the 6 mile mark I saw my housemate and another friend on the course, running the other direction as part of the race has an out-and-back section. Once we were back in the residential part of town, and passing the mile markers, I clung to the pace that I had mustered for the earlier part of the race and told myself it was only a 5k to the finish. Folks along that part of the course who were cheering us all on were a welcome morale boost.
At the 13 mile marker, the finish line was in sight, and I just booked it with all I had--after all, I wouldn't be running for a few days after the race, right? Ran past the finish line and immediately my quads just wanted to cramp up. Thankfully they had volunteers with water and bananas right at the finish line.
Checked the final results and was absolutely floored by my finish time. Never expected I could possibly run that pace for that long.