Becoming Faster

A week ago I ran my fastest half-marathon, and I did it at the exact same race I started my half-marathon running to begin with.

The H2O half-marathon is a fairly new race in Wrocław, and this year’s edition was only a third race in the series. If you remember my last year’s post, I barely made that three-hour cut-off point with a time of 2:40:59.

This year I ran it in 2:16:23. A 24-minute improvement year over year, which is my fastest half-marathon time to date. I have run some impromptu half-marathons since the H2O race in 2018, with Endomondo in tow as proof, and truth be told my last Sunday’s time was only two minutes faster than my fastest half-marathon yet. This means that while I have improved heavily since April of 2018, I’ve shaved only a couple of minutes off of my best halfie yet. Nothing crazy, but an improvement nonetheless.

I sort of knew things were going a bit better than a year ago as I couldn’t see the ambulance anywhere in sight. Last year, as I was struggling to walk the last few kilometers, I felt the warm exhaust of an ambulance and the race closing police car on my neck. This year I only saw them once during a long hairpin turn. A stern reminder to keep on moving.

What’s cool about this year’s edition was that;
1) I ran the entire race, no walking this time, and
2) I sort of just went on with the rest of my Sunday afterward, meaning it wasn’t that big of an ordeal. A year ago I was happy to be alive after the race, but I have run a lot of kilometers since that event and last week after crossing the finish line I went home, and then walked my dog like any other day. Actually, that Sunday having been a beautiful spring day, Ania and I went for a long walk around the city with Fado in tow, catching some fish&chips by the river.

Now I did feel my old bones a bit the next three days, but overall I’m happy with my progress and can’t wait to see what the next edition in 2020 will show me.

The race itself felt extremely well organized, with three water holes along the way with snacks to boot. A pre-race warm-up session was a nice touch, led by a professional running coach it was fun to see a few hundred people stretch and run in place.

The word becoming in the title does have a double meaning in this post. Not only did I actually ‘become’ faster, but I ran that entire race with the soothing voice of Michelle Obama in my ears. I’ve been listening to Becoming by Michelle Obama for a few days prior to Sunday’s race curious to hear about the journey of what I think were the most awesome white house couple yet. Coincidentally, I finished that audiobook at the finish line. No joke. I knew it’d be close since I had about 2.5 hours left of the book at 1.25x speed going into the run, but I didn’t expect to finish both the race and the book at the finish line.

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