Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sandy Point Half Marathon

I live and run near the beach so I am used to the fact that there is nearly always a wind to contend with down there. But this morning was bordering on ridiculous. Today we had to deal with a 50kph (gusting to 60kph) northerly wind during a two-lap out and back course from Sandringham to Brighton.

In order to get the k's up for the day I ran down to the venue at Sandringham. Nice and easy, 7km at 5.25m/k pace. There was only 15min to race start when I arrived so I quickly got my race number and free 2XU compression socks and went to the start line.

A side-bar here on these compression socks. I have been wearing some Skins socks to bed regularly. I find they make an enormous difference to my recovery, especially when I have sore calves as I had this week. But I hadn't worn them in an event. Now these 2XU ones are soooooo sexy (not!). More like something Zorba the Greek threw out. But since there were so many people wearing them today I decided to give them a go. (They probably helped too!)

My plan for the race was to run steady 5m/k pace for the first half then a "fast finish" (straight from the Greg McMillan handbook) at 4.38m/k. I ended up running 51.26min (4.53 m/k) to half way so was pleased with that, then put in a burst for a couple of km back into that bl**dy headwind. I managed to pass quite a few people but paid for the effort as I was soon tucked in behnd a couple of other guys biding my time till the final turn.

At that point I decided to go for it. It went something like this:
Brain to Legs: ok, run faster now, you have a tailwind and there's only 5km to go.
Legs to Brain: you don't run much, do you?
Brain to Legs: I COMMAND THEE to run quicker.
Legs to Brain: ok, you're pi$$ing me off now, I am going to run SLOWER.

So, rather than knock out a fast finish, I actually ran slower for the second half, a 52.10min (4.56m/k). This gave me an overall time of 1:43.36hrs (4.55m/k) and a total run for the day of 28.13km in 2:21.43hrs (5.02m/k).

This is a general improvement on most of my times, but I had wished for more - not much - just 5 sec/km. But considering the awful wind, a sore throat that returned after only three days of feeling good, and some still sore calves I should be pleased. And am!

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