The April Fool's Run, the "little half that rules". A half-marathon event and nothing but. And my best run to date, at 86 minutes 3 seconds for 21.1 km.
Even though I had an excellent time (better than my expectations), my run was far from flawless. I ran the first half in 40 minutes and the second half in 46 minutes… not the even splits that I was aiming for! But I felt so good running that first half that I really did not want to slow down, too bad that my body eventually made that decision for me! Honestly, though, I think it would have been possible for me to keep that pace for the whole race. So why did I slow down? The main reason was lack of hydration. I only hit one water station (at 12 km) and it was too little, too late. Those flimsy paper cups are so difficult to drink from while on the run. When training I never carry fluid unless I'm going for more than 20 km because I can easily run that far without water and suffer no ill effects. But now I know that if I want to keep up a 4 min per km pace, it is a different story! Sure, I can run 20 km without a drink, but I cannot do so without slowing down… a lot!
The interesting thing is, even though I was very low on energy, I had no trouble accelerating to a sprint as soon as I saw the finish line. So I'm guessing that in addition to the dehydration, there was also a psychological barrier that was keeping me from running at my best… a barrier that didn't come down until the goal was within my physical sight. This is another thing for me to work on during my next race: even if the race is only half-over, the finish line should be mentally in sight and you should be doing everything within your power to keep up your goal pace.