On Sunday, I completed my third half-marathon, the Pleasanton Half Marathon. It was a great day for a run! A little overcast, start time temps in the high 50s with just a hint of a breeze. Dawn, Makenzy, and I got to Dublin early to pick up Mike and Rachel before heading out to Pleasanton Sports Park.
Before the first mile, Mike was in front of me. Although I could still see him up ahead, he wouldn't see me until I crossed the finish line five minutes after him.
The route was great. For nearly the entire race, I had no idea where I was. I worked in Pleasanton for many years, but didn't recognize any of these streets. The unfamiliarity made it very interesting. The path parallel to I-680 was as close to looking familiar as I would get.
The course was along a few different surfaces. The loose dirt and other surfaces of some of the trails were a cool change to pavement.
I started off feeling pretty good. I hadn't added any bike or running miles all week so I was plenty rested. My first five miles were pretty fast for me, 8:41 pace. I first tried to hang out with the 1:55 pace group but only lasted a few miles. I then tried to stick with the 2:00 pacer but only managed to hang on for a few more miles. After mile 8 I was starting to slow down and was really starting to hurt. My knees (and ITB) were fine, just my quads were hurting.
Just before mile 10 I looked behind me and saw the 2:05 pacer running by himself. He passed me but I pushed until I caught back up. This was my first experience running with a pacer. He proved to be just what I needed. He kept me focused and I was able to push through the pain for the last few miles. He slowed a bit near the end to get back on pace and told me kick it up a gear and finish strong.
I finished at 2:01:47. Still looking for the sub-2 time, but was pretty happy with how I did, and very thankful to that pacer. I couldn't help doing the math afterward. Based on my pre-pacer pace and trend, I think I would have finished at 2:07 or so. So, thanks pacer!
Not too long after the race it started to rain. Just for a couple of minutes, but enough of it that I was even more happier that I finished when I did.
Looking forward to my next half in Lodi in a couple of weeks.