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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

2016 Cowtown Half Marathon

Fort Worth, Texas - February 28, 2016

I have no idea why I’m writing yet another race recap from Cowtown.  Let’s see.  Well organized, great course, and good crowd support.  To be honest, I think most of the established races have nailed it.  I run Dallas and Cowtown year after year because they bookend my race season and I can count on a great experience.  And much like Nascar’s season starting at Daytona (the best race of the year), I start my season with Cowtown.

The only wildcard from year to year is the weather.  Generally good for both events with the exception of wintery weather at Cowtown (2015) and Dallas (2013).  This year the weather was not much of a factor.  Even though the temperature rose from mid-40’s to over 60 degrees, the humidity was mild.  If I had to gripe about something, it would be the strong winds throughout the morning.  This made pushing the pace for the miles along Main Street more draining

No need to give a blow by blow recap of my race.  My 23rd half marathon went about as well as planned.  That is, if I had a plan.  I find that these races have become so routine that I do little in advance planning for race strategy.  Strategy for me has evolved into a simple mantra.  Start slow and less slow.  Given that most courses measure longer than 13.1, I know I need to average about 9:00 minutes per mile to break the 2 hour barrier.  So, I try to keep the first half above 9:00 and the second half below.  I continue to run negative splits race after race, but the delta is shrinking.  I fear it won’t be long before age catches up with me and the anticipated second half effort is no longer within my reach.

The other thing I continue to notice is the increased number of the slower runners.  I’ll put my stats below, but being in the top third of participants has nothing to do with me getting faster.  The pool is growing and most are getting behind me.  I’ve written this before, but I point this out to simply say that running is for anyone.  The athletic and non-athlete alike.  All are welcome.  I’m not sure when we’ll reach the tipping point of too many races or too expensive entry fees, but it is nice to see so many out training on a day to day basis.  Keep it up!

Now, it is my time to ramp up the swimming and cycling.  Triathlon season in ON!

Run in Peace, Rest in Grace

By the numbers:

1:57:33 overall time (8:58 pace)
1,283/6,326 against the field
896/2732 against Men

118/386 in the 45-49 Age Group