AM: Detroit International Half. 14.6 miles total.
It was a cold morning. Around 34 degrees but it felt colder. Race was at 7:00AM, so I had to get up at 5. Megan and I drove down and found a place to park, which was quite easy. Did an easy 16' warmup with two strides. Probably should have done 20' or 25' as I used to, but I've been trying to warm up without doing too much for a half. I have done as much as 3 miles and that might be too much.
Goal was sub-1:20, which I knew wasn't out of the question but difficult. Figured I would start around 1:21-1:22 the first mile or two and work down. I figured 1:20-1:21 low was probably an accurate assessment of fitness, but I am also not doing the same sort of workouts I usually do.
It was extremely congested at the start and the C coral was full of just-barely-sub-8' pacing and starting line selfies (the starting line area was packed with non-racing people as well). I decided to butt my way forward as far as I could go without looking suspiscious. It makes you look like a jerk, but it is annoying and dangerous to have moving at too disparate of speeds. It was still too congested, but I forgot what it is like to be at a relatively big race (just under 10k just for the half).
First few miles were pretty slow. First 5k around 19:20-19:30, which was not making me happy. Most of the first miles were dark enough I couldn't see my watch that well and I wasn't taking splits anyway. My legs felt like they wouldn't turn over. Breathing felt like harder marathon effort. Honest hill around mile 3 going over the bridge and you get it back on the other side. I started to pick up things after that and got rolling okay.
Miles 4ish to 8ish were in Windsor, Canada. It was a nice area. Very metric. Looked a little different than my hometown of Windsor Maine.
The tunnel coming back was weird, hot, and creepy. Nice downhill and then a slight uphill for your efforts in the fart steamy air. Around miles 8 or 9 I tried to push because I knew I was probably in the 1:20 range. Passed a few people and worked on passing a few more in the final 5k, which I did. Around mile 11 my quad started to give out, which is rather strange as my quads are never an issue. Started to lose my legs at the 13-mile-mark, but made a decent attempt to kick. It's a long finishing stretch. Not Boylston street long, but long.
Did not cool down as my quad was painful (I think it is just a cramp). I did walk a bunch in the cold with my lips turning blue and teeth chattering because I have no sense of direction and couldn't find Megan.
Splits from Strava (even though they are likely not completely accurate):
6:06: 6:13, 6:19, 6:04, 5:47, 6:03, 5:58, 5:52, 6:06, 6:06, 5:59, 6:04, 5:58, 5:33 pace for partial
Satisfied with my time, which is 3 seconds slower per mile than a 10k 4 weeks ago. Lots of work to do, but I had a good time and raced fairly well.
PM: 16.1-mile ride. HR 126.
A good portion was on single track. It was cold and very beautiful and I had fun.