A new half marathon PR of 1:44:48. The conditions were perfect, sunny, 45 degrees at the start a bit chilly but warmed up to around 50 degrees.
I have been running close to 25 years now but only got really serious about running and going longer distances when I ran my first half marathon in June 2009. At that time I had no clue how to train, I didn’t know what a Garmin was, never read a book about running, and had no involvement with internet running forums. I don’t think I ran over 5 miles but some how came in with a time of 1:47:38, call it the magic of the unknown. My wife said I looked like death warmed over when I crossed the finish line. I was just out there running in the purest form.
Which brings me to a point of a personal observation when I started to get too deep into running and reading more into it, in which I discovered there is an over-load of information and gimmicks when it comes to something so simple as running. Too many books, McMillians calculator’s, people telling you to do this and that, eat like a caveman, don’t eat meat, do strides, you need to stretch, you need a coach, get a HR monitor, run slow, Maffetone Method, on and on. Life in general can be complicated, so I keep running in the simplest form as possible. I don’t follow a “diet” and really just run by feel and do use a Garmin from time to time.
Anyways that half marathon in 2009 was the last time I wore running shoes. I decided to give barefoot running a try and the transition came to me with great ease. It took me 6 years to beat my shod half marathon and it finally happened with this one. I have ran some exciting races, but when it came to feel I have to say this was my best race.
I felt good right from the start. My initial goal was to keep a 8:30 pace but of course I started too fast, the first two miles were about a 7:30 pace, so I dialed back to an 8:00 pace and decided to keep it there and see what happens. Something else happened as well, I finally experienced a “runners high”. At mile 10 I felt this euphoric calmness, my breathing slowed down like I was walking, my pace increased and miles 10 through 12 felt like was I floating with complete effort-less running. Then at mile 13 the high wore off and it was back to reality. I was skeptical of this running high, but can now say it’s real.