Sunday, 2 March 2014

#Bestfoot - Chilly Half Marathon Recap

Today was my first half marathon of 2014.

All week they were calling for frigid temperatures, but I was hopeful that the weather man had it wrong. Saturday gave me some hope, since the sun was out and it was a balmy -1C. But all that did was bring the snow. I woke up to 10cm of the white stuff and temps at -20C. It also took us 4 attempts to get the car up the ramp of our parking garage, but we eventually got on our way. The day wasn’t exactly off to a smooth start, but we were on our way none-the-less.

I was feeling good. But with the weather being what it was and this race being so early in the season, Coach said I should race conservatively, and opt for a negative split if possible. So with that in mind, I lined up at the very cold start line.

I started out at a 5:50km/pace. I was comfortable. I felt good. But I didn’t want to be arrogant and overestimate my abilities. So I kept it steady. I ran a steady 5:45-5:50km pace all the way along.

Kilometer Splits for the first 10km

1km – 5:51

2km – 5:48

3km – 5:49

4km – 5:52

5km – 5:46

6km – 5:42

7km – 5:42

8km – 5:49

9km – 5:46

10km – 5:48

At 10km I felt strong. I felt like I could go harder. I felt like I had more speed in my legs. But I questioned my ability to push the pace and maintain it for the remaining 11km. So I stuck to my plan – run steady for 16km and kick for the final 5km.

I felt good throughout. I walked through the water station at 16km, drank a full cup of water, and started my kicked. I pushed my pace down to 5:40-5:33km over the final 5km, and crossed the line with a Personal Best – 2:03:38.

That is 7 minute improvement on my last half marathon and almost 15 minutes better than when I ran this course 2 years ago as my 1st half marathon. But I would be lying if I said I was completely happy with my performance and my finish. It is true the conditions were less than ideal. It is true I followed my race plan. It is true my legs are sore today. But I believe I had more in me, I just was not confident enough to execute it.

I wanted sub-2. And I think I was capable of that today, maybe just 1:59:59, but I think if I ran a more aggressive race it could have been mine. My heart rate remained comfortably in zone 4 for the duration of the race. My cardiovascular fitness is on point for the first time since my surgery last February, maybe for the first time ever, if I am being honest. And maybe because it has failed me so many times before - I did not trust its strength. I hesitated. I opted for the pace I knew I was comfortable with. And because of that my race results did not match my expectations or my ability. 

But now, now I am hungry. Now I want it. Now I know I am ready. And next time I won’t play it safe. My next half marathon is 8 weeks away. And I plan to spend the next 8 weeks working, training, sweating, fighting, and pushing. Next time I won’t hesitate. Next time is mine.

Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail,

PS the Hubby killed the course today with a Personal Best of 1:40:48. So dang speedy!

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How did your week go?