I cross the finish line (yellow jersey) at the 2016 Trenton (NJ) Half Marathon on October 29, 2016, in a personal-best, sub-2-hour time of 1:59:06.

img_4247I know it’s been awhile since I’ve posted a training update as I prepare for my first-ever marathon, the New Jersey Marathon in April, but I felt my finishing yesterday’s Trenton Half Marathon was reason enough for a quick update.

This marked my third straight year running the Trenton Half Marathon, after running in the event’s companion 10K race in 2013. I spent much of 2014 training for the Broad Street Run, a sprint triathlon and an international triathlon, and finished that year’s Trenton Half in 2:07:12. Last year, with minimal training going in, I completed the Trenton Half in 2:15:43.

However, I’ve been doing a lot of running this year. And while I haven’t been able to do much in the way of longer-distance training, I’ve managed to knock nearly a full minute off my “cruising” pace, from closer to 10:00/mile to around 9:00/mile, during the course of the year. Going into yesterday’s Trenton Half, I really wanted to finish in less than two hours.

Well…mission accomplished.

img_4258My chip time of 1:59:06 was obviously a personal best, marking my first-ever sub-2-hour half-marathon time. And that was with serious leg cramps forcing me to walk about a quarter-mile in the final two miles of the race. But when I entered the outfield warning track of Trenton’s Arm & Hammer Park (home of the New York Yankees’ AA affiliate, the Trenton Thunder) for the final stretch toward home plate, I saw that I still had a shot at finishing under two hours, so I really pushed hard at the end.

And while I was happy with the sub-2-hour time, I realized how much harder I still need to work in order to be ready to complete a full marathon. I really need to get in more longer runs because my legs still don’t have the endurance to get through 13.1 full miles, let alone double that distance.

This also means I’m adjusting my target finish time for the New Jersey Marathon. I was really hoping to finish that in around 4 hours, but I’m going to be a realist here and accept the fact that 4 hours, 30 minutes is probably a more attainable goal.

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