Monday, 13 February 2012

A new PB and one of this years targets broken :)

I didn't set out to get a PB at yesterdays race... it just seemed to happen !

The Portsmouth Coastal Half Marathon is not one I have run before and when I left home it was -4C and I did wonder if it was a good idea... it would have been so nice to stay tucked up under the duvet !

Normally before a race I would reduce the miles run in the previous two weeks and make sure that I started without any aches and pains and general tiredness. With this one I didn't. I could still "feel" a few muscles from Wednesdays circuits session (not to self: skip circuits on Marathon week...) and I have still been running my training runs for the marathon.

I decided to leave my heart rate monitor at home and just run on feel. I also bought my own water with me and my own "fuel" to have on the way round, more as a practice for the marathon than anything else.

So, I lined up with nearly 900 others on a very cold morning on Southsea seafront.... and shivered.... I did a bit more of a warm up than I normally do, more to try and stop hypothermia before I started running than anything else ! Then the sun came out and if you were out of the wind it felt a bit warmer, especially on dark coloured clothing but my feet still felt like blocks of ice...

The race was chipped timed so I did my normal thing of starting about two thirds of the way down the field and set off with what felt like a comfortable pace that I thought I could maintain. I didn't look at my watch for the first five miles and then just glanced at the pace and it was showing 9:35 min/miles so I wasn't too worried thinking that I was well outside the 2hrs. It was only a bit later that I realised I had looked at my pace at one of the slowest points over the shingle... when it got to mile 9 I looked at the elapsed time and I started to realise that I was running faster than I had thought and that I may just beat my previous PB of 2:02:57, i still didn't think I could get under 2 hours until mile ten when evern I could work out that by maintaining a 9 min/mile pace I would *just* break the 2 hours...

So, I did my best to maintain a steady 9 min/mile pace until mile 12, knowing I only had just over a mile to go I increased my pace and ran the last mile in 8:30...

And yes, I finished in 1:59:06 (chip time) so I was a VERY happy bunny.

Things I learnt yesterday.

1. I didn't drink enough on the way round - I didn't bother stopping at the water stations and drank my own water but I know it was not nearly enough. On a HM I could get away with it (especially with the cold) but in the Marathon I must drink more...

2. I need to start re-fuelling from 20 mins in... - Again not a problem with the half but I did suffer from cramp in my feet and one leg afterwards, not something I have had happen before but most probably due to the lack of water & re-fuelling

3. Everyone is really friendly - It doesn't seem to matter which race it is, when you are at the start line you are all equal !

4. People that run with headphones and talk to each other are REALLY LOUD - Don't they realise they are shouting and everyone around them can hear their conversations VERY clearly !

Anyway, these are a couple of photographs taken by a fellow photographer, James Musselwhite, yesterday :) and a link to the Garmin data for the run. I'm even smiling in one of the photos !

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