The short version: A new half-marathon PR: 2:31:15. (Old PR: 2:35:40). (According to the Garmin, we actually ran 13.25)
The long version:
I guess all that long, slow marathon training finally paid off!
This race was not a goal race at all. I was just planning on running it as a long run, and having fun running through the city. I did have a great 8 miler last weekend, that was a lot faster than I expected, but I had no expectations of running that same kind of pace today. For once, my bad weather luck was absent, and conditions were fairly nice. It was a little warmer and sunnier than forecast, but nothing major, and most of the run was through the Englischer Garten, a large park in the middle of Munich, so we were running along nice shady paths with lots of trees. The few times we were running directly in the sun (especially at the end of the race), you could really feel the difference. But it was still lovely weather: 16°C when we started and a high of 20°C (68°F) by the end, with just very light winds (7 km/hr / 5 mph at the most).
The race started at 8:00 am, and there were tons of people out to run. A record number of registrants: 17 000. But that was between the half, the 10K, and the 5K. So it took us about 10 minutes to cross the start line. We started in downtown Munich, at Marienplatz, and ran towards the Englischer Garten. Once in the Garten, we were running in very familiar territory. Hubby and I do most of our runs, especially our long runs, on the various paths there, and the race went along many of the same paths that we regularly run on.
The first several kilometre markers were way off, so I had no idea what kind of pace I was really running, but hubby had the Garmin on and although he kept asking me if I felt okay, he had no concerns about my pace. Turns out I was running at a good clip. Everything was feeling good though. Legs felt fine, I was breathing comfortably and talking to hubby. The only thing that told me I was running a little on the fast side was that I didn't want to take in anything other than Gatorade. Gels, bananas, etc. all held no appeal.
The course was very flat, with two exceptions: going over a bridge in the Englischer Garten to cross over major roads at one point, and then right before the 20km point, there was a hill to get out of the Isar River valley where the Englischer Garten is, back to the normal city elevation.
Kept a good, fairly even clip up until the 11 mile point. Then I started to feel a little tired. Wasn't sore, but the legs were starting to get tired and I was starting to breathe a little harder. So miles 12 and 13.1 were slower. But I had a bit of a kick at the finish, and was delighted to cross the finish line in 2:31:15, a huge PR for me!
After the race, we were given water, then made our way to where we could gets bananas, apples, Semmel (buns), Breze (Bavarian soft pretzels), and Alkoholfrei Bier (non-alcoholic beer). The banana, Breze and beer were great post-run food.
This was a Stadtlauf (City Run) so it was a little different from other races. We did have chips, and very nice technical race t-shirts, but we all had to wear the race t-shirt as part of the run (to have access to all the race stuff, including the refreshment stations during the race and after). No bibs, no personal photos, and no medals. But hubby and I took some photos of each other after the race. There were also only four refreshment stations along the route, with only water and Sprudel (carbonated mineral water) at the first two, and water along with bananas and apple juice at the last two. Hubby carried two bottles of Powerade for us, however, so that was what we drank. After the race, we slowly walked home, taking about an hour and a half. It was a nice, long cooldown, although my hamstrings were starting to complain (didn't bother me at all during the run) and they really didn't like having to climb out of the Isar River valley.
I wore one of my running skirts, along with the race shirt, and it was very comfortable. I'm sure it helped me run faster. Photos below.
So I finally had decent weather for a run, and I finally ran another PR! Now I'm actually thinking of doing a 30km run in the fall, instead of a half, and then hopefully try to break 2:30 for a half next spring.
Here are the photos we took.
Splits (some of them are really off, although my total time is close to my chip time):
1 km: 8:13
2 km: 7:20
3 km: 7:51
4 km: 5:27 (this can't be right!)
5 km: 4:54 (I'm definitely not running this fast!)
6 km: 7:14
7 km: 6:56
8 km: 6:53
9 km: 7:33 (don't think I slowed down that much)
10km: 7:06 (that's more like it)
20km: 9:40 (this seems off too - I was slowing down, but not this much! This was the hill out of the Isar River Valley)
Garmin splits for the miles are much more even:
Mile 1: 11:34