Albuquerque Half race day was yesterday and I started the morning with the nerves a little on edge. I felt after six days acclimating to the elevation, I'd be OK. But, you just never know when you've got 13.1 miles ahead of you.
I finished much better than I anticipated. I placed 49 overall (641 runners) and 11 in my age group. I had a 7:38 pace, finishing in 1:40:01. See here. I'm very happy with this time. However, we all know I want a PR of 1:30. It continues to elude me, but I'll get it.
I'd say the one thing that was a bit annoying with this race was the first two miles. The start was on a stretch of dirt and when you've got a lot of runners in front of you hitting a dirt road you've got a lot of dirt coming up. Not good for the breathing or the eyes (especially if you wear contacts). But, after the opening two miles we hit the pavement and we were good to go. This was a mostly flat race with the exception of two small hills that came toward the end. Unfortunately, being this was a fairly small Half there were no large crowds cheering you on throughout the course. I did see small pockets of a few people here and there. I do like races with big crowds and I feel most runners do. The adrenaline boost you can get from a cheering crowd can really help carry you at times when you're starting to run out of energy.
My good friend Doug joined me for this race but did the 10K portion. He actually placed third in his age group allowing him to receive a medal. A really great job. However, we found this out after we got back to his house so he never got his medal! He did call the events office and left a voice mail so we'll see if he can get it mailed out to him.
A very nice Half in Albuquerque. I'll continue to train while I'm here for the next five days. I'm looking forward to seeing how I feel when I get back to DC and at sea level. The timing couldn't have been better as my next Half is NJ (May 6) and it is all flat - no hills. I think this may be my 1:30 race. Stay tuned!