Sunday, 20 February 2011

Good stready half marathon

New Balance Half Marathon (Wellington)

not looking too bad for 19k

Not quite the 1:12 PB of Mr Vaughan at Wokingham but I was still satisfied with today's run out.

I just checked back and this was my 25th Half Marathon. If only I'd followed the pattern of the first six and pb'd every time I would be running sub 60 by now... 

Today was probably the best day in Wellington this summer, mid twenties and still - as in no wind!!  Well there was a bit of wind, Aucklanders probably would have complained about the roaring gale, but for those conditioned to force 6 as a normal day, it was super.

I did this race last year as a sharpener for Taupo and came away a little disappointed, it was my first half marathon in New Zealand and was expecting to run 1:16-18 easy enough, but somehow halves are harder here (that's the excuse I'm sticking to).  The courses don't tend to be designed for speed and they are always honest. Garmin had the clock at 21.5k today.

Last year I went out hard looking for a 1:15, held that for about 5k, and then started going backwards, finishing in 1:21:30 ish and pretty unhappy.  This year I didn't go out with too much of a target, I wanted to try and beat last year and to go under 1:20 would be great.

I warmed up well and it all rolled out to plan.  I hit 10k in 37:18 and felt like I was cruising, the course is a partial out and back and at the 13.5k turn I was in 6/7th with another chap.  Shortly after that we got overtaken and I jumped on to this guy to hold on to 7th place and we moved away from the 8th place guy.  Around the 18k mark I was still holding the 6th place shoulder when we both got taken and I couldn't hold on to these two as their pace picked up.  The last 3k were pretty tough but I went through 20k with a second 10k of 37:54.  A push through the last k and I crossed the line somewhere around 1:20:15.  I'd been checking the pace through the race and was confident I'd be under 80mins, probably around 79.  But I hadn't allowed for the Garmin being so far off reality.  RUN THE RACE LAURENCE!!

Time to chat?!
I worked hard today, the course is almost pancake flat and with only light winds it was a consistent effort, my HR went from 172 to 182 rising by a bpm every k or two.  Mostly I was pleased with how easy it felt.  The pacing was probably about right, I was shot at the end, but I was able to mentally stay on top of the race.  Two guys came through me in the last 5k, but they were better runners (on the day) and it didn't impact my pace.

Prior to Taupo it was great to hurt myself a bit, be faced with the option of slowing, and still push on through to a good result.  I wasn't expecting to PB today, the last months of running have been around consistent volume and preparing for 4:30k's when I'm ruined, not smashing out 3:35's but it's left me confident and I don't feel I did too much damage.  Perfect.

Training Load is dropping down to half by the end of this week and I travel up to Taupo next Tues / Weds for the pre-race fun.  Last few bits to sort (like a race wheel and HPU kit) otherwise I'm ready...

Quick thank you to Mark for taking some great pics today (thanks especially for catching me chatting), more soon, Laurence

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