This is the data from my half-marathon training run yesterday. The horizontal dotted line represents my average pace of 4:09 per kilometer. I'm happy to see that my pace was generally consistent. This was something I had not managed in the Hypothermic half-marathon in February. This time, I managed to not go too much faster than the pace in the first half of the run. I was fortunate to have Alex with me on her bike. She carried my water and gel packs and stuff, and generally encouraged me, saying stuff like "OK, only 12 minutes until the turnaround point" or "only 25 minutes and you're done!". When I needed a drink, she would pedal ahead and station herself on the side of the trail to hand me a bottle. Pretty sweet.
One problem with the data is that I ran pretty much a straight line out and back, and when I turned back, there was a slight wind against me, which means I had a tail wind in the first half. So I don't really know if the fact that I slowed a bit in the second half (and my heart rate climbed) is due to fatigue or the wind or both. One thing I do know: I was nowhere near as dead as I had been after the February race (remember those photos of me after the race?). I felt pretty good. I feel pretty good today as well, no soreness anywhere. I really have Christian Brouard to thank for the awesome training plan. Whereas in February, I had hoped to do a time of close to 1:30, I really had no basis to expect a strong performance. Now, I am following a detailed training plan with specific instructions for each run. The instruction for yesterday was simple: run a half-marathon at a pace of 4:10 per kilometer. The fact that Christian expected that I could do it at this point made it seem possible and it turned out it was possible. If my marathon goes as well as yesterday's training run, I will be very happy.