I don't know!!! and its killing me! Stupid, stupid me arrived at my carpark at work (okay its a client carpark, but its "my" carpark when I work my evening shifts, so I decided there'd be no harm in parking conveniently and easily almost across the road from the start line!). Anyway, arrived, parked starting getting all my gear together and found I'd forgotten my Nike+ attachment for my ipod, oh no! absolutely gutted! My game plan was to run a 5:50/km pace for the first 15km and then decide from there whether to speed up, stay the same or struggle at whatever pace to finish. So here I was, no ipod attachment, no watch, absolutely nothing to give me any idea on how fast I'm running ... duh, duh, duh!
I remembered just before we started that I DID have my playlist from Wanganui's half marathon, so if I used that at least I'd have a vague idea if I was on track or not if I could remember the songs I'd placed at 5k and 10k, and would definitely know if I was doing really badly if the playlist finished before I did ;)
So off we went, I was with Deirdre (running partner on a Sunday) and Sue (another mother from gymnastics who was doing her first half) ... we were all running about the same pace to start with but then the two of them edged away from me - which was fine by me, I hate that feeling of trying to keep up, or like I should be talking or whatever, I just wanted to concentrate on my running.
I started and kept up a pretty steady pace, at about 3km I passed Sue and it was getting pretty hot. At 5km it was still feeling like hard work but I felt like I was running at a pretty good pace, confirmed by the first "girl" artist singer song at 5km, which is exactly where it should have been. At about 7-8km the rhythm and in the "zone" suddenly kicked in and I was feeling great ... I love that what I call "machine" feeling :) ... there was a drink station at 9km, I pulled my gel out of my pocket ready to take and then thought, no I'm feeling fantastic, I'll save it until the next drink station and only use one (I'd been umming and ahhing for a while about whether I really need two gels for a half marathon).
We hit the wind about this stage - Wellington is well known for its wind and it was good hard gusts for a while, which going by the way a lot of people were dropping back and I was still going and feeling well, I handled quite well!
I could see Deirdre just ahead of me all the way ... all that running together, we must have pretty much aligned our pace!
So on we ran, 11km I had my drink and gel ... hit the turn around area at 14km (the finish wasn't at the start) and was still feeling strong, at about 15km I sped it up a bit ... feeling strong and the wind now on my back! I passed Deirdre at about 17km, and at this point was looking hard for the 18km where I was hoping to put in a last burst. By the time I got to 18km I was still going at a good pace so I kept with it (and was passing a few people, so I must have paced myself well as they seemed to be flagging). Then hit about 19km and all of sudden my body said "enough!", the last 2k's were a struggle, but not a really bad struggle, just tired and it was hard work.
Then finally, the finish! They had said to us at the beginning that when we came in and looked at our times to make sure we added 50min as the clock was set for the 7km runners/walkers who left after us (but were all coming in as we came in - wow, chaotic!). So I desperately looked for the clock but didn't see it anywhere! I knew I'd definitely run faster than the 2:06 I wanted because my last song hadn't played on my playlist, but otherwise had no idea of my time. Deirdre came in not long after me and her watch said 2:02 for her time ... but I'm not sure how accurate it is ... so until tomorrow when the official results come out, I'm thinking I ran about 2:02, maybe 2:01 something ... which I am absolutely thrilled about! My goal was to definitely run about 2:06, but hopefully push it to a 2:04 :)
Of course, I will wonder for ever whether actually not being able to check my pace and time was actually a good thing for me, I had to go completely by feel (these last few weeks of working on marathon pace, and tempo runs and "normal" runs definitely has helped me "feel" my pace better), or whether I would have done just the same if I was checking my time ... and well, if I knew I was that close to two hours would I have had the mental focus to push just a bit faster to break it? (not that that was ever even in my head to do - I'd long decided that one of my first goals after London will be to work on a sub-2hr half marathon, I had no dreams or intentions of pushing for that yet!).
Anyway - it was a good run, good in that I did exactly what I wanted, paced myself in the beginning well enough that I'd have enough juice left to push it a bit faster at the end, didn't quite do it exactly right as I definitely felt it in the last 2km, but 15-19km I was able to push it a bit faster.
Very very happy :) (and even happier when I actually see the official time!).