Did the Melbourne Half Marathon 2009 today in 87:05.
A small PB - feeling slightly more disappointed than happy.
I failed to take advantage of a fine, calm Melbourne day (which is rare), a flat course, and a good field (164 runners finished ahead of moi)
Was hoping to run 85-86 - which I thought was doable given the conditions. Coach thinks that I had a good chance for 86:20 and asked me to go out at 4:05 pace. In the end, I averaged 4:05 according to Garmin. But as usual, Garmin always overshoot race distance, it measured 21.3 on a certified HM course. Actualy, the km markers were a bit disapointing for such a big run as some of them (especialy the so-called halfway point) were inaccurately placed. For future races, perhaps I should take into account GPS' typical 100-200m over-estimation (worth 20-40secs for my speed) into my pacing plan.
As mentioned previously, I pulled a hammy during last week's 3000m. Went to a physio (reputed to be the best sports physio in SG), but very disappointed with the visit. He used a deodorant roll-on to massage voltaren to my hammy which I could do by myself. He simply told me to rest and that was it. What a rip-off! Give me tennis ball and foam roller anytime!
On Friday, I did a 50mins run in Melbourne and the hammy was ok. Hence, I was in confident mood going into today's race. However, I aggravated the problem in a funny circumstance. With about 15mins before the start, I was still queueing at the port-a-loo. I (with a few other runners) decided to go to the Botanical Garden across the road from start point and ran hard up the hill to find a bush to pee. I pulled the hammy again during the uphill run and I knew that it wouldn't be an easy day.
In light of this, I ran very cautiously all the way to avoid the hammy blewing up. I didn't take any drink until the 13k mark because I didn't want to take a risk of stopping and resuming the run with pulled hamstring. In the second half, the hammy just got tighter and I also faded due to tiredness. Even in the last 1k, I didn't make any attempt to sprint pass people as I didn't want to risk sprinting on the slippery grass field inside MCG.
Average HR was 169 bpm - which I think is a bit on the low side. (my marathon HR from Gold Coast ws 165)
As expected, I had positive splits due to the tight hammy and fade. 5k splits: 20:10, 20:26, 20:36, 20:44 + 5:07, 10k splits 40:36, 41:20. Official Result: 87:05, Position 164, gender position 147, age group position 36
4:04/156, 3:59/166, 4:00/169, 4:03/167, 4:04/169, 4:06/168, 4:03/168, 4:05/169, 4:06/169, 4:06/168, 4:06/169, 4:05/169, 4:13/170, 4:06/171, 4:06/171, 4:10/171, 4:09/171, 4:03/171, 4:11/172, 4:11/175, 4:05/175, 1:02/179 (300m)
In the end, I managed a small PB for the Half Marathon. On the posive side, this is the first time in 3 years that I managed to get 2 PBs in one year.
Slightly disappointed as I felt that lack of self-belief is my weakness. I think I probably should have pushed the boundaries a bit today. McMillan predicts a 3:03:40 marathon based on today's timing, so I am still far from sub 3-hour shape.
Anyway, what's done is done.
Commiseration to Rob who pulled out at 12k due to injury. We had a few beers afterwards at the Young & Jacksons, and the yak pale ale was nice!