So today was my first race.
It was a Half Marathon (21.97km) and it was my club (Heleneholms IF) that held the contest.
Since my ironman 70.3 is coming up I had to see what would be a good pace for me to run in.
I’ve only run this distance, in one go, twice before. My Personal Best was Sat, 2013 Oct 26 and the time was 1:54h.
I’m no stranger to running this long distance on my Tuesday practices, but they are always intervals, with small breaks. And it is quite different to do it all in one go.
My preparation for this race started Tuesday with a very compact training regime. It was 5x500m in 5km pace with 3 min rest in between.
It felt weird only doing such a small session and when I woke up on Wednesday morning my legs really felt like they wanted to run everywhere.
Not the feeling I usually have!
My trainer said that I should only do light workout rest of the week. And with that in mind, I focused on technique on my morning swimming practice Thursday/Friday and also with a 6km slow paced running workout on Thursday. I did not have the same feeling I had on Wednesday as I did on race day. But then again, maybe my tapering should have been longer or I shouldn’t have done the swimming practice.
Anyways, since I did not want to compete in the sense of giving it my all, I tried to steer clear of some people in my club that I know would have made me go faster than I should. This way I could focus on finding a good pace where I feel I can go on forever without much fatigue. I also wanted to try a fueling regime, eating GELs packed with energy while the body is at work. If you are not used to this, your stomach can act up and make you feel queasy. I started with a GEL with caffeine, 20 min before start. After 10km I took another one without caffeine and yet another one after 1 hour from start. It worked well as I did not feel anything wrong with myself.
The first 10km felt really good and I was gaining on people that had started in front of me. When I hit the 10km sign I looked at my watch and it said 41 minutes. Holy shit, new Personal Best (PB)! I started to have many positive thoughts, which always nice to have during a race. However, sadly, even though it was a new PB, the sign had to be misplaced. It was only 9km according to my garmin. At 10km I had 45:28 beating my PB on 10km with “only” 1:30min. At this time, fortunately, I’m more focused at running longer than faster. After Ironman I’ll go for completing 10km under 40 minutes,
I passed the first lap and 3 people from another club (Björnstorps IF) was in front of me. I slowly gained in on one of them that had fallen a couple of meters behind. Then I went for the other 2. It turned out one of them was a pace keeper for the other one ( a girl). I passed them both and still felt really nice.
Problem was, the girl now tried to keep up with me. And her pace keeper was shouting at her, stuff like “you’re looking good, you can do it, great pace” etc.
Mentally I was affected by this and thought I was slowing down as I could hear her coming closer. I thought that I should increase my pace to get rid of her, but increasing my pace was not an option as I wanted this to be my race. To take control of my negative thoughts I started cheering at her, when her pace keeper said “only 5km left” I responded with “5 lovely km left!”.
The pace keeper shouted at me “I like you.. but I like Åsa (name of the girl) more”. Really funny 🙂
I now had control of my negative thoughts and did not mind her running behind me. I concentrated on my running stance instead and then felt the gap increase between us still feeling alright.
My second 10km was very close to the first 10km as I ran them on 45:46. For me I think this is a good sign and I think I could probably do this pace yet another 10km.
Important to me as I will use this information when doing my Ironman 70.3 in Mallorca in about a months time.
The total time of my half marathon was 1:36:41 which I’m very proud of. I held my pace and did not let myself get carried away.
I beat my old PB with 18 minutes and by beating myself, I’m a winner.