Windward Half Marathon, Kailua, Hawaii
March 25, 2018
Just what I needed to boost my running morale - a road race in an exotic new place. After a longish winter of disciplined snow training, I have been feeling kind of stale. The trails just have not gotten me excited of late. Most of my racing career has been on the roads so getting back to them seemed to whet my appetite for more speed training in the days ahead.
The 68-degree 0600 start in the dark with a couple hundred island runners felt good. Despite running only four days this month, I felt as ready as ever. Certainly rested. The increased tempo from the gun was a welcome reprieve from the sluggish all day shuffle of the trails. I started in the middle of the pack with a mostly pedestrian field - not too fast and not too slow, probably at about a ten-minute per mile pace. The first couple of miles wound through the lovely neighborhoods of Kailua as the morning light came up gradually. From there I upped my tempo and began pulling back runners. Many of the speed limit signs for traffic had digital displays that read actual speed of cars on the streets on digital displays. Once I discovered they also read runners' speeds I began watching for the signs. At times my speed read 7 mph before settling back into 6 mph and slowing from there. Very cool.
After midway I slowed for fatigue, but attempted to keep my tempo with shorter strides. I was pleased with my strength, despite not having the leg speed of younger days. All the trail running has taken it out of me. I hung in to the finish without slowing signficantly, finishing in 2 hours and 3 minutes even, slightly slower than I had hoped for, but satisfying given my recent training and rest. The day heated up into the very warm 70's before 8 o'clock, so it was good it didn't go longer.
Collecting a shiny new medallion and a few handfuls of watermelon I headed back to our condo in Honolulu after cleaning up and cooling off a bit. If I lose interest in trail racing in the days ahead, I feel good about still having the desire to run faster on the roads.