One of the advantages of training for a marathon is to add a few 1/2 marathon during the Long Run portion.
I can do this because my running pace is fairly slow.
When my training calls for a three hour long run, I can sign up of a Half-Marathon and not be worried that I didn’t do enough time on my feet.
Niagara Falls International is a beautiful course. The run starts in Buffalo, goes over the Peace Bridges at the boarder, loops onto the Niagara Parkway and finishes up at ‘The Falls’.
The 1/2 Marathon starts along the parkway and you can easily forget about running, as you enjoy the trees with sparsely lined homes on the left and the river on the right. There was even a paddler keeping pace with me for a little while.
Of course, the weather could have been a little better for the run. The rest of the week was beautiful, but during the race it rained. Not a bad rain, but enough to get instantly soaked, cold enough that you need a few layers, and windy enough that you need glasses to keep the rain out of your eyes. But, hey, we all have to experience this type of run sometime, no?! And with the scenery along the course and lack of thousands people trying to pass you (like the Disney races), every moment was enjoyable.
To top it off, the last 3k is slightly downhill to the finish line. So I decided to sprint the remaining distance. But… it was a big mistake as running full speed down hill is not a good idea for my knees. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem for most runners. But, being 55, having a torn meniscus, and being over weight does not make me ‘most runners’. Next time I think I will just keep my pace.
I came in over 3 hours and was actually shocked at the slow time. I planned on breaking the 3 hour mark based on my pace. However after everything was done, I realized that I miscalculated my pace for a 3 hour half. I was thinking it should be ~ 9 min/km pace (a very very long run training pace), so I was pacing around 8’40”. In reality, it was supposed to be under 8’31”.
Oops! Well that’s okay.
It was a training run, after all – and I did get a nice shiny metal and had an enjoyable experience.