|I don't know that I really "took it easy", but the half turned out fine. I didn't exactly stick to the plan in that I started running right from the beginning with a fairly intense effort, but there's something about the adrenaline rush of a starting line that I just can't resist. The start was friggin' cold and windy (being as it was right on the edge of the ocean), but even after the three mile mark where we turned inland and away from the beach, it felt like quite the blustery winter day. There wasn't much to block the gusts and the pavement along the route was buckled and bowed as if the asphalt had melted, developed a strong current and then frozen solid again. I removed my gloves when approaching the water stops in an attempt to keep them dry (and transitively, my hands warm) and struggled to keep my grip on the slippery frozen cups as I slurped down the slushy approximation of water inside them. It was a rough day and I think a lot of people's times reflected the challenges of the conditions. That doesn't mean that I wasn't still a little disappointed that my effort didn't earn me a sub-1:30 time, but I can not let myself lose sight of the fact that my calf did not hurt at all the entire race.||O6:35 O7:01 O7:07 O6:43 O6:46 O7:05 O7:04 O6:59 O7:05 O7:20 O7:36 O6:47 O6:50 O0:43|
In the end, that's really the most important thing. I got in a good workout and I don't think I jeopardized my physical well-being in doing so. My team didn't end up winning this time around, but I would have had to have run nearly four minutes faster in order to single-handedly change that outcome. One of my teammates did however win the race, and that was pretty darn cool. Presently, I am off to take a badly needed nap.
(For the record, I think the 1st mile was measured short and the 2nd and 3rd were a bit long. Also, the eleventh mile was a real bitch.)