1:56 – official time on the Ogden half marathon. One second of my goal pace…perfect planning or sheer luck? Well I can attest that the planning that I did do was more a blind hope without a lot of knowledge since this was my first half marathon (even though I did the St. George marathon last year). I want to express my gratitude to GOAL (Get Out And Live) and the directors of the Ogden Marathon for putting on one the best races I have participated in. The support was excellent and the venue was perfect. Having grown up in Huntsville I knew the route like the back of my hand, and yet running down Ogden canyon gave me a new appreciation for its beauty.
My brother Troy was supposed to run the race with me but he didn’t train and decided to sell his entry, which my friend at work Allison decided to buy. Leading up to the race my main goal was to run it in under 2 hours. The only problem I usually have is that I start a race too fast and then burn out well before the finish. I started searching the web to find out more about negative splits. Last year when I ran the St. George some people were talking about negative splits and I didn’t exactly know what that meant. So my search began…
Negative splits means that you start the race at a slower pace and then finish at a faster pace in order to finish at an overall average to meet your goal finish time. For example, I wanted to finish the race in 1:55, and at that pace the average per mile pace would be 8:47/mile. But I knew if I started out that fast I would bonk before the finish. During my web search, I found this ghetto site that actually has a very handing tool to figure out what negative splits you – http://www.users.on.net/~klima/rkcalc_home.htm. Read the instructions, they tell you to use a negative number (i.e. -40 seconds) to obtain a negative splits. For example this was the formula I planned to do for the race:
Friday night my family and I drove up to Ogden to pick up the packet and then to Huntsville. My sister was kind enough to have the kids stay over night there while Angela and I stayed at the Valley House Inn, a great little bed and breakfast in Huntsville. It was nice staying up there because we could sleep in until 6 a.m. rather than 4:30 a.m. to catch the shuttle down in Ogden.
It was so hard to hold back when the race began especially since there were tons of people passing me, but I did my best to hold my pace back at around 9:10 or 9:20 for the first few miles. The first 2 miles go around the north west side of Pineview with a gradual climb and the drops down Ogden canyon. The spring scenery was amazing, and the lake was so picturesque. My friend Allison was moving faster and I finally lost site of her blond hair bobbing along ahead of me. Now that we started down the canyon I tried to maintain a 8:38 pace but it fluctuated a lot, but I was moving faster and my legs felt warm and loose. My shin didn’t hurt and everything was feeling good.
At mile 8 I came up to Allison and in her words on Facebook, “That PUNK Tyler Toone edged up on me at mile 8, smiled a sly one, and tossed me to the curb.” Of course she hardly trained for the race with just a handful of runs, so it’s impressive she ended up finishing just seconds over 2 hours.
It was so fun running through the Ogden dinosaur park. There was intermittent shade and the trail ran along side the raging Ogden river. Then we emerged onto the road around Washington blvd and then made a straight shot south on Wall to the finish. I felt strong all the way to the finish and realized after that my last complete mile I average 8:31, which for me was great.
The Ogden half marathon is one of my favorite races I have participated in, and I think next year I may do the full marathon.