The Morgan Hill Half is the only race I've started and then failed to finish. That was the 2012 fiasco. This year, I vowed, would be different. And since I've been running so much more in '14 and doing pretty well, I figured I'd have a good race. It's actually a scenic course - but challenging, with lots of uphill and steep downhill all on pavement.

I showed up at Ferrell's before dawn, and we headed over Hecker Pass and promptly got lost on the many back roads near Morgan Hill. In our wanderings, we did spot this convenient comfort station, and Ferrell's a blur making full advantage.

A chilly 44F at the start, which was just after sunrise.

At mile 3 is a hill which goes up a canyon far enough to make the full course 13.1 miles

Then along the road bordering Chesboro Reservoir (bone dry) and Uvas Reservoir, then up and over a long hill...

and then steeply downhill northeast towards Morgan Hill

I was hurting pretty good by now; why hadn't I bought new shoes, given I'm on pace for doubling my milage this year - must remember to swap out those shoes now more often.

Back in town, and I'm really hoping to see the finish line at the park soon.

...brought a smile. Even more, I spotted extensive green grass up ahead - the finish! It was a cemetary. Doh! Felt appropo, as my left psoas was cramping bad

The actual finish, at last! 2hr 38min for me; I was hoping to do about 10 or 15 minutes faster, but I've now learned twice that this steep paved course is not well suited to me.

Collapse on a yoga mat afterwards, to savor the experience

So Good My Pain Parade was over! 2:38:16 for me. I don't wanna know where that placed me. More work still to do before I can do pavement half marathons w/o pain it seems.

The official results. Ferrell had a pretty good race - a full hour ahead of me! 1:38:40, 4th in the 55-60 age group, and 36th overall. Solid, since this race attracts a quality field