Race stats: 13.09 mi, 1:42:56, 7:52 avg
(warm-up: 0.79 mi, 8:05, 10:11 avg)
Ran the half-marathon in Safety Harbor. No expectations other than to try and push myself a reasonable amount. Hoping for 1:40-1:45. Felt pretty good going out, much better than at the start at NYC marathon. First mile was 7:57, then had 5 good miles averaging in the low 7:30's. For mile 7 slowed down a little then even more when I stopped to take a gel, next two miles I missed being under 8:00 and then found one more mile sub 8:00 at 7:44. On track for another sub-8:00 but slowed down too much on a hill. After mile 10 I mentally felt done as in "10 good miles is good enough", this made it really tough to even stay faster then 9:00 pace.
Fortunately, Strider friend Rudy came up behind me, gave some encouragement and said something about locking onto a pace. He pulled ahead of me but I was able to just concentrate on him and soon forgot about my slow pace and caught up. We ran together for a bit. He said his brain was getting fuzzy. I pulled ahead a little bit hoping he'd hang on with me. My last mile was finally back under 8:00 (7:53), which was slower than last years last mile but was more of a pick back up than last year.
My new garmin told me I had two PRs today, fastest half and fastest 10k (new garmin knows how to make me feel good). I haven't run this pace for 13 miles since quite some time ago (maybe last spring?). I've got some work cut out for me and had some good mental practice at staying in the game.
Lots of fun hanging out afterward with big group from the Striders.