Sunday's race wasn't the worst finish I have had. I was slower in 2008 (the 2009 results on Active.com are still showing only the 5 mile race - how anyone could see the half marathon finishers with top times of under 30 minutes and think it was correct...), but not by much. This spring hasn't been my best training experience, and I made a couple of mistakes that resulted in sub-par results.
Mistake 1: I hate running in shorts. Yet there I was on race day in shorts instead of making sure on Saturday that I had the clothing I wanted to race in. I have never used Body Glide, so running in shorts means chafing. To minimize chafing that meant a lot of running.
Mistake 2: Poor shoe choice. I haven't gotten used to the Vibrams and had bought a new pair of Mizunos the week before the race. Because I hadn't broken in the Mizunos I wore my gorilla shoes. I had a blood blister on the bottom of one of my toes that had just finished healing, but at the end of the race I had two blisters, one on each toe, despite walking a large portion of the race.
The real problem with the Vibrams, at least for me, is that they make all of the small muscles around my ankles and calves ache. It wasn't a huge problem in the race, but it makes recovering after training runs a bit more challenging. Flexing my foot is hard on the day or two after a Vibrams run!
I consider my result pretty good for having walk-jogged from about mile 4 on, but I'm hoping for better training over the summer. The Applefest is a much hillier half marathon, and I would like to better my time from last year.
(Oh, and I'm up, because I didn't want Victor to freak out at the very loud thunderstorm. Gah, it sounded like it was right on top of us, and was only worse from the living room with the skylight.)