I traveled to Nuremberg this weekend to run another half marathon. I wanted to run another half a few weeks before the wedding in order to have a goal to work towards to lose weight for the wedding. Training was easier this year than last year's marathon prep and I was probably more prepared for this half than the last one. It still sucked.
My preferred race situation is a road race with lots of runners, lots of spectators, lots of things to distraction, cool, but not cold weather, flat and dry. When I chose this race, I chose based on the date and nothing else. So when I got there today, there were only a few hundred runners, running through the forest, virtually no spectators, relatively hilly (although not too bad), and it rained for about 20 minutes half way through. The worst part, however, was that the road was compact gravel which means that 30 seconds into the race I had pebbles in my shoes which remained there for the whole race.
Despite all my bitching, I ran well. My (apparently, slightly inaccurate) GPS on my phone told me I was running a good pace - just over 10 minutes/mile and despite not normally being able to keep that pace up, I was feeling good. Turns out that the GPS was not exactly precise and ultimately had me running 13.48 miles over a 13.1 miles course, so my 10:06 pace was really about 10:18. Still, this was almost five full minutes faster than last year's half marathon and 3 minutes faster than my best split from the marathon.
I leave Thursday for the wedding. I am getting super excited. Most of the wedding planning is moving along smoothly and I think everything is going to be really awesome. I'm also bidding for my next tour right now. So, basically, putting all the big life things at one time. Kind of puts a half marathon into perspective.