Well, mission accomplished. This morning I got up at 5 am, did what I do in the morning, applied my BBOR tatts and left around 6 for the race course. I rode my bike there since it's close to my house. The weather was nice, if maybe a bit humid, but cool enough to still be comfortable. I went into my corral about 10 minutes before the start and got close to the 1:45 pace bunny.
The race started exactly on time. Took me about 2 minutes to cross the line and as soon as we crossed, we were running at a good pace. That's a nice thing about the "faster" corrals, you get to go first and you're no stuck in a sea of people. Anyway, about 200 meters in, my Garmin hit something or someone and it flew off my wrist craddle. The pin had broken. I had run maybe 20m before I noticed and had to run against the flow to get it. Other runners were not impressed with the guy running the wrong way! Anyway, I got my Garmin and caught up with the pace group after about 1k. My Garmin was useless, with the tall buildings all around. As soon as we got out of the core, we ran under an elevated freeway for a while and that didn't help.
After about 6km I felt pretty darn good so I decided to push past the pace group. Never saw them after that. There isn't much to say. I lost my shades taking off my hat to empty a cup of water on my head. I had planted them on top since it was cloudy and they flew off and I decided to forget about them. The course is really flat. I upped the pace for the last 2k and sprinted the last 300m as best I could.
It's me in black, I had my number belt facing back.
Finished in 1:40:22 (Chip time), 4:45/km (7:39/mile) pace
It's really impressive how precise those time prediction charts can be. From my 10k and 5k times, my predicted half-marathon time was 1:40:20. One could say that it's a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy and I agree up to a point. For a big chunk of the race, I had a very vague idea of my pace, due to the highway and buildings. I just went as hard as I dared. I really thought I was going to be under 1:40 but it was not to be. So the chart wins.
I never look at my heart rate during the race but I do wear my strap to record it for post-race "analysis". Call me a geek. Since I dropped my Garmin and it got pretty far from me I don't know how reliable the numbers are at the beginning of the race, but they look pretty good for most of it. My max HR is ridiculously high (196 bpm) so 170 to 180 is pretty comfortable for me. I didn't get above 180 until the last 10 minutes. This tells me I could have gone harder. Things never got uncomfortable until the last 2 km. I wasn't too sure what to expect and I didn't want to blow up right at the end. Maybe next time!
Anyway, a most excellent race that confirms that I'm right on track for my marathon on October 19th!