The good news is yesterday I completed the Rim Country Challenge Half Marathon in Payson. The bad news is this course (see map) really whipped my butt, and I barely finished. I am not sure if it was the altitude (perhaps, I got here about 36 hours before), my drop in miles this week (resting sore shins), or just that the hills here were hard, but my time was horrible, well over 12 minutes per mile, my last 2 miles closer to 14:30, barely moving.
But I was just determined to finish, i ugh… something like 2:50, whereas the front runners did it in about half of that!
My first mile pace was on target (9:30), but I decided to let it up, knowing there was a steep hill on Airport Road around mile 7. The plan was to pick up the pace after that climb, but there was no juice at all.
The course would back and forth through neighborhoods west of highway 87, almost snake like, climbing up the hilly areas, within sight of the top of the mesa, then dropping again, to leave that hill climb up to the airport. I completely missed a sign for mile 7 in tracking my splits.
At least the views were spectacular, great vistas of the Mogollon Rim (I was in no mood to stop and take photos), and around mile 11 I was doubting I had the energy, and just plodded along to an inglorious finish, somewhere like 5th from last place.
But like I said, I ran the whole 13.1 mile course, and find myself wondering… how the *#$%*@ am I going to go twice this distance? The best news is that I am feeling none of the shin pain I felt last week…
Anyhow, the sad mile splits were:
- 13:05 (neighborhood hills)
- 14:39 (the “challenge” hill(
- 12:22 (steep descent on Vista Dr)
- 13:52 (90 second walking rest)
- 14:55 (out of gas!)
- 15:25 (gasp, uphill finish)
Definitely not the most proud moment on the road, and thinking very much about the title of this web blog!