Run Melbourne - Race Report

So I finished work late on Saturday night. This left me with only about 4 hours worth of sleep before it was time to be up and ready for the Run Melbourne half marathon. Tired and narcy, I swallowed some breakfast, gathered my gear together and drove along the wet roads into the city. To avoid parking fees or fines I chose a car park away from the race start. A walk through the light rain. Change out of the warmer clothes, hand over my bag and off for my warm up.

Despite the weather it looked like a good size field was building. Of course all the toilets near the start had long queues. The advantage of a long warm up, meant I was able to find a toilet further away that no one else was using. So no waiting around, standing still in the cold.

Warm up finished. A few minutes standing at the crowded start. A short speech from the starter. Then we were off. Well kind of. I was only a few rows from the front, but there certainly wasn't any urgency in the speed. The main influence was probably the narrow archway. Too many people trying to fit in one spot. Yet the atmosphere was very sporting.

Over the first couple of kilometres everyone ran friendly. Yes it was crowded, but it wasn't a problem. Soon enough we reached Birdwood Avenue where there was room to spread out. Up and over Anderson St hill, across the Yarra River and it was about time to take stock of how I was holding up. I wasn't impressed with my answer.

Heavy and disinterested.


Probably not the best mindset for a race. I felt like was carrying an extra 10 kilograms. I'm not. Plus my body was tired. So why did I seem to have a lack of interest? The answer is I had other things on my mind. Unfortunately my team manager at work died unexpectedly a few days ago. We were having a get together this morning and my plan was really to get this race over and done with so I could get there on time.

Into the rain, around the landmarks of Melbourne, up and down some of the surprising hills. I went through the motions. I forgot about split times and heart rates. Having raced a good number of half marathons over the years certainly held me in good standing. Towards the closing stages, someone asked me if we were on track to break 90 minutes. I had no idea, but it got my head back into its racing space.

My body was tiring, but with my new focus now on the race I was able to make it do what I wanted. Within reason anyway. About 4 or 5 kilometres left. Around the MCG, a short, but relatively steep climb where I managed to gain quite a few places. Not only was I passing people on the descent like I often do, but today I was actually making good ground uphill.

About 2km left and the is the last long climb, before the last steep downhill stretch. Nothing for, but crank the pace. Only a few steps and my legs started burning. This time it didn't slow me down. Somehow it became the incentive to keep my speed up. I was chasing the burn. Then over the crest, around the corner and I took the mad dash down Spring St. Before I knew it I had crossed the finish line. I was hurting, but I now felt good.

Later I found out my time was 1:29:26. Placing 122nd overall out of nearly 2500 in the half marathon. Not bad, but not my best for a number of reasons. The last few races have tested out my training changes. Time for a bit of a rethink.

Comments

  1. That unexpected death and short sleep probably meant your head wasn't in the right place - I'd say there's 3 or 4 minutes there. Still a bit to go for the 79.

    I'll be interested in what you come up with in the rethink.

    BTW, love that photo of Melbourne (and the running track in the G!).

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