21.1k 1:32:59. HR Avg 171 Max 180
Course: Gold Coast Half Marathon.
Start Time: 6:30 am Temp 13 - 16C.
Session Type: Race
At last a RACE. This is what I consider to be the first race that I have trained for since my comeback to running. Not a Time Trial, the real thing. It has been my focus for the last six months.
Saturday night and the Brisbane Lions steam rolled Melbourne and I avoided an adrenaline charged close encounter and managed a good sleep. Sunday morning up with the alarm at 4:00am and everybody is ready to go by 4:40. Ahead of schedule so far. Arrive at Southport in plenty of time to get a close park, a relaxed toilet stop and head to the start line with plenty of time to spare. I plan to do between 4:25 - 4:30 pace till half way and then take it from there according to how I feel. Only a couple of minutes to go. I look down at my Polar watch and the Heart Rate says 181. Talk about pre race nerves. I don't think so. I stop it and start again but this time no HR reading. I put it up close to chest transmitter but that doesn't work. I stop it again and start it again. Still no HR reading.
And we are off! Just hope the timer is still working. Press start as I go over the line and yes the stop watch is working. The first 500m is a little congested and the first K is 4:29. So far so good. The second K is a 4:20 which is a little too fast at this stage so easy back a little. I notice I now have a HR 158 which is OK. The next K is 4:21 and I'm feeling quite comfortable at that pace so pretty much lock that in till 8k. It is then that the lead runners start coming back and that must have inspired me( or was it the tail wind picking up?) as the next two ks are done at 4:16 pace and am still feeling comfortable.
Get to the half way mark in 46:23 and my HR at 170. Gee a sub 1:33 may be on here. Mustn't get excited still a long way to go and the HR is a little higher than I would have liked. But tell myself, I only have to keep going at the same pace. I manage to do this right up to the 18 k point at 4:24 pace. Since halfway, I hadn't been taking notice of my elapsed times just looking at my one K splits as I take the lap times on my watch. It is here at 18k I make a strange error of judgment. I look at my time 1:19:01 and for some reason think I only have two Ks to go and at my current rate (calculate .....) WOW a 1:30 time. That is worth putting a bit more effort in for. But the head wind was now quite noticeable and I was getting tired but I told myself to concentrate on form, deep breathes, relax.
That last thing I was expecting at the 19K marker was the 19K marker. For all my effort the last K had been 4:29 and I still had 2 and a bit more kilometers to go. I quickly adjusted to the new world order but the next K was a struggle at 4:34 but I knew wasn't going to fade anymore than that. (Oh and why did Plu choose here to take his photos). One K to go. Past the CR Cheersquad, which helped me pick up a gear. The last K in 4:27 pace and down that seemingly never ending shute to the finish. For once remembered to stop my watch rather than take another lap time and it said 1:32:59.7!!!
With splits of 46:23, 46:36 I am also very pleased with how I ran the race. I knew I could do 1:35 , would not have been surprised with a 1:34:x, a 1:33:x was my absolute highest expectation, so to have just snuck under 1:33 I am really really pleased with that.
Met up with a lot of CRs (minersrun, miss skarmel, Davo and others) in the recovery area. Had a nice chat about music with Johhny Dark also. Was going to wait for my sister and a work mates who were expecting around 2 hour runs but the recovery area started to get really crowded so went out to watch the finishes with my family.
Saw the marathon finish and the 10k finish, cheered LuckLegs as she went by at 27K and waited round to cheer her in at the finish. Pity more people don't stick around and watch the 5 - 6+ hour marathoners, there is some inspiring runners amongst them. Those older Japanese ladies look so far from being marathoners but they shuffle along and get to the end. And it was quite a moving scene to see Lucky Legs coming down that shute with all those CRs beside her in support. Well done to you all.
Stopped in for a while at the post race drinks and met lots of CRs. But two beers and I was history. I had basically given up drinking for the last three months in order to lose as much weight as I could for the race, so combining that and the run and the family who I had left shopping at Southport I had to go.
My wife drove us back to Brisbane and I fell a sleep . Woke up just before home as the Bronco's game was finishing with a Broncos win. The perfect end to a great day.