Had quite a day at the Gary Bjorklund Half Marathon after a night with zero sleep. This is something that I really need fo figure out and it just keeps getting worse before every race. I can't seem to switch my brain off at night. Just once I'd like to run a race after a decent night's sleep.
Ann dropped me off at the bus pick up at the U. of Minnesota Duluth. The course is point to point along the Lake Superior shoreline.I was supposed to hitch a ride with our friend's next door neighbor who was running the half as well, but he called at like 4:30 AM to say that it was raining too hard and he wasn't going to run.
Rained hard right up until the 6:30 start time. I got to huddle under a tent with the other ELITE ATHLETES and laugh at the masses of ordinary runners as they got soaked and froze their a**** off. Also got to make extensive use of the ELITE ATHLETE POP's which were nice and dry. Dropped my bag off at the ELITE ATHLETE bag drop right on the starting line about 30 seconds before the race.
Seriously, I felt a little self conscious hanging with all these Kenyans who were going to run 62 minutes for the half marathon. Clearly there is a wide disparity in what qualifies as "elite". But I really appreciated the fine treatment and I highly reccomend Grandma's/Gary Bjorklund to all of you considering an out of town race. And it's on a Saturday which I know is important to a lot of Utah people.
Gun went off. I was wanting for once in my life to avoid going out too fast and this was the perfect race to succeed at that as I didn't know anyone and so felt free to run my own race. Good racing weather - cool, light rain, nice tailwind.
Here are my splits: 5:48, 5:42, 5:42, 5:51, 5:48, 5:38, 5:55, 5:52, 5:48, 5:43, 5:42, 5:45, 5:46, and 5:24 pace for the point one.
I ran too conservatively, and looking back, I realize that if I had run more aggresively that I could have run a really nice time. But I wasn't sure how the zero sleep would affect me in the later miles and I wanted to finish strong. I just got into a nice comfortable groove. Nobody passed me after the first mile and I must have passed twenty people over the last couple miles into downtown Duluth.
Off to the awards ceremony now.