16 August 2009

Army Half Marathon 2009

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)
W: off
T: 47mins very easy (total 9k)
F: 35mins incl 3.2k Tempo (total 7.5k)
S: off
S: 2.5k warm up, Army Half in 90:48
Total 63k for the week


Barefoot-J said...

49secs from a sub 1:30, I would consider this a decent run. Good job, bro! A well deserved break awaits you, just don't put on 5kg during this period :P.

Clown said...

Still not a bad effort though Sling, especially after your great GCM, I'm sure you'd take that over a half any day of the week. Enjoy your rest period.

I can sympathise with you re not sleeping. I prob sleep between 4-6 hours per night, very interrupted and it's not fun at all.

Julie said...

Have a good break!

trailblazer777 said...

Still a pretty good run, and you didn't die wondering so well done on having a shot at the PB, even if you werent ready this time...Its always tough backing up from a PB marathon, and the added complicatiuon of an adorable Sling Runner JR makes it even more tricky...try and rest up a bit then reload soon after, all the best with adjusting to the new unpredictable routines...stay focused mentally...
do you get the world champs on TV there...some good inspiration there...
Even though the PB survived this time...Well done on a good effort in the Half!

Ewen said...

Sorry it didn't go well. At least you've identified the reasons. Lack of sleep an obvious one. Not sure though why you'd be running a 3.2k tempo run two days before a race!

I thought you'd got back into pretty serious training very soon after such a fast run at the Gold Coast. Never mind, there's always something to learn in this running game.