Not my day :( 1:30:48 (watch)
Two minutes slower than last year’s race which was done on a slower course. Only one minute faster than my first half split of Gold Coast Marathon :(
Failed to take advantage of cooler weather (5.30 am start), better route (last year had a muddy trail section), preferred start (by virtue of last year’s top 20 placing in the local runner category), accurate course (GPS measured 21.25) and marathon fitness (a two-edged sword).
Disappointed, but I have identified the reasons why:
1) I never fully recovered from Gold Coast Marathon 6 weeks ago. I ran pretty close to my best in GC, in other words’ it was a ‘giving it all’ effort or my peak. Using a banking analogy, I withdrew almost of all my cash from the account in one go (ie the effort at GCM) and currently I am just surviving on the leftover cash reserves.
As indicated in my previous posts, since the marathon, my legs felt heavy all the time. The generic rule of thumb is 1 day recovery for every mile raced, but since I started HM training right away after the marathon, I got burnt and simply trained on limited reserves
2) Aggressive pacing at the start. Since there was a 500m long steep hill at km 3, I decided to put some time in the bank by running the first couple of ks faster. While this was detrimental, the effect was not as big as Reason #1 (see splits)
3) Shorter sleeping hours. Having a baby really re-defines the baseline for sleeping hours. I’ve been going to bed around 1am each night after his night feed. Last night, I slept around 3 hours as I had to wake up at 4am to make the 5.30 start.
Now the race: My original plan was to go put at 4:05 pace (86mins) and tried to hang on as long as I could in order to give myself a shot at PB. However, after around 5k, it just went downhill from there. My legs felt ‘DEAD’ and simply had no strength to run fast. Personally, I don’t think the fast start was the culprit, it was simply tired legs from the long marathon training cycle. Ten days ago I ran 8k tempo at 4:06 pace and I felt fine. Av HR at that time was 166 and this morning it was 172bpm, so something was really wrong since today’s temperature was cooler due to early start.
From 5k, I decided to give up and revised my goal to sub-90 meaning that I had to average at my Gold Coast marathon pace for the last 10k. But even running at that pace, I was struggling big time. I really had no strength to run any faster that 4:20s except in the last 1k. I was basically done and started to walk at every drink station and didn’t care about the race anymore. I crossed the line in just under 91mins (only a minute faster than my first half split at GCM).
Splits (warning: ugly !!):
5k splits: 20:23 (4:05), 21:25 (4:17), 21:55 (4:23), 22:04 (4:25), last 1.2k 5mins
10k splits 41:48 (4:11), 44:00 (4:24) HUGE positive split
What’s done is done. I treat it as a training run. Looking forward to a break from training for a week or two (I still run but mostly jogging). This will also offer me some time to think about running plan for the remainder of 2009.
Training for the week:
M: 57mins easy incl 6x12secs hill (total 11k)
T: 50mins incl 3 x 1000m (av 3:53), 4 x 400m (av 1:25), (total 12k)
T: 47mins very easy (total 9k)
F: 35mins incl 3.2k Tempo (total 7.5k)
S: 2.5k warm up, Army Half in 90:48
Total 63k for the week