It’s been two weeks since I had a drink.  So I woke up this morning and had myself a beer, immediately after having run the 2012 Boulder Half Marathon in 2:03.  Except it wasn’t really 13 miles at a 9:24 pace.  It was 2 x 6.55 mile runs, the first one at about a 9:40 pace and the second half around 9:05 per mile.  I broke this run into two routines, like I did last year.  Part of the reason for doing this is because this course goes out uphill and returns downhill.  I’m just taking what the course gives to me and making a workout from it.  I did repeat last year’s negative split by a similar margin, although I ran quite a bit slower overall today.

I arrived at the Boulder Res around 7am.  I parked and began to walk around.  I wore fleece sweat pants and a wind jacket, but might have been fine without them.  It was warm.  I walked around the setup in circles until the race started.  I used the facilities a couple of times and returned my warmup gear to the car before the start, fairly certain that shorts and a tech t-shirt would be fine for today.  It was.

One thing unique to this race is how runners just mill around like fitness Zombies until the last minute before the race gun fires.  And this is fully orchestrated by the race director from his mic.  There is no sense of where to stand with the line of runners until he gives the go ahead to line up.  In 60 seconds, everyone does.  It’s like everyone around here is an old pro at this stuff.  The only reason I notice this is because I’m looking for a pace sign to stand next to – as an aid not to start off too quickly.  There are none.  I decide to take my chances by simply standing where I’m at.  I’d start in the very back, but I don’t know where that is in this shapeless queue.

I didn’t wear my Garmin thinking I wouldn’t need it.  I’m going out slow and hoping to run back fast.  I know what slow and fast feel like.  Having run this last year, I also know the results will include splits for the two halves of the run.  That’s all I’m interested in knowing.  To reiterate what I said up top, it appears I ran my game plan, but I don’t know that I did entirely.  I almost wish I did wear my garmin to prove this but I am certain I started out way too fast.  I was tired the first half.  I did recover and settle into a nice pace by the turn around point, but I felt heavy until the course turned downhill.   Last year I ran fairly hard the entire run back, except for a cool down the last half mile.  This year I only ran hard on the noticeably steeper downhills.  Then I would slow back down again.  Sort of an organic fartlek set by the natural course terrain rather than timed rest intervals.  Even though this is perhaps my slowest overall half marathon time in recent memory, I’m happy with the workout.

I should add the heat played a factor today.  I drank at all the aid stations except for the final.  I don’t usually drink at more than two of them for a half marathon.  I made a good call on wearing the single short sleeved t-shirt.  The breeze felt cool at times, but of course that was welcome relief.

The story on the picture above is this.  First, I don’t have any race photos yet.  That might take a few days.  The other thing is I discovered this drink today after the run.  Vuka setup shop next to the compost and I grabbed one of their aluminum bottles from a barrel they stocked with ice water.  I used it for a few minutes like an ice pack, cooling down my head and neck.  I loved this thing before I ever drank it.  I don’t know what good stuff it’s made from, you can read up on them if you click on the link.  But it’s a tasty beverage.  I only took a few sips of the complimentary beer because I liked this more.  I grabbed a stack of Vuka coupons before leaving.  Actually only four, it felt like more at the time but they are a bit thick.  I’ll leave them on my porch for anyone who stops by and wants to try it out with a $1 discount.

I didn’t hang around very long for the post-run festivities because I didn’t know anyone and it was hot.  I tossed my beer after a few sips and headed home slurping my Vuka.  I’m not overly concerned that I ran slower than my typical pace because I treated this like a workout.  I was happy to see my weight afterwards was 184.  I haven’t seen that number on a scale since 2010.  I’ll take that as my win today.