Sri Chinmoy Yarra Boulevard Half - 21.1km
- Last Sunday was the Grape Run, 13.2km at threshold to VO2max intensity with some decent hills.
- Monday hit the anaerobic pathways with 4x120m, 5x500m, 4x60m hill sprints.
- Tuesday was 3 hours worth of running at around 5:11/km (below marathon pace (MP)).
- Wednesday was a very easy day, as the MTSS (aka shin splints) was threatening to flare up again.
- Thursday was 26km @ MP (plus 3km of warm up/cool down).
- Friday was the world shortest run due to being stuffed after night shift
- Saturday about 15km at a steady clip
- Sunday: 21.1km worth of racing.
A good amount of work above, below and at marathon race pace. Averaging out to 115km per 7 day week, my work rate has been solid. Interestingly the stiffness and fatigue I've been experiencing at the start of each day seems to be easing a little. So how did all this lead to racing a half marathon?
My alarm disturbed me at 05:00. The beers and lack of sleep after watching the footy the night before made getting out of bed this early not all that welcoming. After some food and a double espresso, things were looking and feeling better. My mind and body were waking up and looking forward to the race. It helped that it was our warmest morning since last summer.
The plan was different to usual. I wasn't too concerned about how I went in time and placings. Instead I wanted to experiment with a different strategy (that would also hopefully give me a good training effect). This strategy was to run too hard on all the uphills (undulating course) over the first half, and take it easy on the descents. Knowing my descending is a strength, I thought I'd see what happened to my legs and pacing with this different approach.
Furthermore, I planned on not worrying too much about time during the day. So no kilometre splits. I just hit the lap button after the first 1.1km, then at the end of each 5km lap for inspection afterwards.
weaving through the 5 & 10km runners
Over the first half, I really enjoyed hammering the hills. It was hard work, but the reprieve on the descents made it reasonably sustainable. Sticking with my race plan the rest of the field sorted itself out. This resulted in beginning somewhere ahead of 20th place after the first 1.1km. My position just kept improving from there.
The first two 5km laps had me run something like 19:21 and 19:43. On the third, I steadied my effort to something closer to even and ran 20:01. For the final 5km it was becoming harder to hold my pace. My legs wanted to slow down and cruise. Instead of worrying about time or placings, I only focussed on running with good form. I didn't really push any harder, I just made sure my technique was as good as I could get it. That resulted in finishing those last 5km in about 19:43 again.
into the turnaround
The end result was a half marathon in 1:23:06, and an overall place of 5th or 6th. I haven't got the official results yet.