Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Wellington Half Marathon

Sneaking in again - I really do want to try and be a regular blogger, and always have good intentions ... but you know, good intentions don't always = actually doing!

It was supposed to be a busy morning this morning with physio appointments for Charlotte and I and then rushing home to take Cameron to his specialist appointment (follow up on a nose operation - fixing it so he can actually breathe through it) - turns out Charlotte's physio was sick, and the specialist was called away to a family emergency which means I got my physio appointment (yay for me! ha ha), but nothing else was done.

Anyway - a quick Wellington Half Marathon report -

I've been training pretty hard for this, I came home from London with the body slowly fixing itself, with help from the physio's "magic" hands (might hurt, but he really seems to know how to hit the spot to loosen those pesky muscles causing the problems), a bit of rest and strengthening exercises.  So the past couple of months I've been pushing the training, trying to go harder and faster.  Last year I got a PB at this race (1:57:27) and was hoping to beat that time on Sunday.

I ended up with a Stampin' Workshop to be at in Palmerston the night before (just over an hour away from home), and really didn't do well at all with the pre-fuelling - a vege/kumara/potato "greasy cake" was the best carbs I could find at the service station, along with a chocolate peanut slab ... not the best at all ;)  Plus yummy pavlova and cream for supper after the workshop (and I wonder why I don't lose weight?).  Then home about 11pm, and asleep about midnight with the alarm set for 6.00am - definitely not the best lead up to a hopeful best race!

Got up with the alarm, had a couple of pieces of toast for breakfast - got the two girls up and going, Nic, a running friend, was getting a lift with us - we got away right on time at 7.00am.  Picked up biggest son who was running the 10k from his flat in Wellington, parked at work, made good use of the no queue, clean, toilets at work and then walked to the Stadium ready to start.

It was raining all the drive in, kind of stopped as we got into Wellington, but was wet and cold waiting at the start line.  The poor girls were a bit overwhelmed by the crowds of people all trying to huddle in the dry, but I assured them that once everyone left to run they would find a friend we knew would be there, and hoped that was the case as I left! (they did, Jamie and Rhiannon are friends from school - Jamie's mother started running a few years ago, and she is speedy! She ran a 1:32 half marathon on Sunday - anyway they hung around with her and her Dad while their Mums were running).

So off we ran!  What can I say, wet, wet, wet, windy, windy, windy - pretty typical horrible Wellington day (nothing beats Wellington on a nice day, but when it is wet and windy it is yucky).  Didn't really notice the wind on the way out, I swear it wasn't pushing us! It was more sideways and a couple of times it would be a head wind, but all in all wasn't bad at all.  I was aiming for 5:35/km - and was sitting at about 5:30 pretty much all of the first half.  Checked my time at halfway and was on track for a very nice 1:56 half marathon time ... and then we turned around to head back - at first the wind was actually quite good, it had been against us for a couple of k's leading up to the turn around.  But after that it was straight into it.  I'd figured even if I kept at 5:40/km I would be right where I wanted to be - but there were a couple of ks where the wind was so strong I slowed right to nearly 6:00/km.  I was checking with my watch at every so many k's to go and quickly calculating what I had to keep to, at first for a PB, and then pretty quickly to make sure I was going to beat two hours.  I'm VERY pleased with myself, in that I kept pushing hard the whole way - the heartrate monitor pretty much stayed the same the whole race - so when I went slower it was purely fighting the wind, not less push from me.

By the time I finished it was starting to rain hard, so no nice children cheering for me at the finish line - they'd all gone inside to escape the wet! I finished with 1:58:22 and am actually very happy with that.  Everyone I've spoken to said they were slower and that it was a hard race.  Also - according to my Garmin, last year I ran 20.8km, this year, 21.25km - not saying the course was different or wrong at all, but what it meant is that although officially (and I definitely take the official time) I took longer, unofficially my pace/km was actually faster.

Just a couple of months ago I ran a little 5km a couple of days before I ran London and was happy that I managed to push (and it was a push) for 1km and manage a 5:30min km - all the hard work must have paid off to be able to run a half marathon at 5:35/km!! (and yeah, I love my numbers!).

Where to from here?  I've entered the Auckland Marathon which is 30th of October.  Next week I'll start my 18 week training programme for that.  I also have a quiet little goal of doing the bike around Taupo (160km) this year which is four weeks after the marathon.  So my main goal will be training for Auckland, but I'm also planning on fitting in some biking (especially one long bike ride a week) and doing Taupo as well - I figure the marathon training will take care of the endurance, and hopefully the spin classes and a once a week long bike ride will be enough to complete Taupo as well - and it will be only "complete" I don't have any sky high goals of doing it really fast or anything ;)  Also, have a wee obstacle in that I don't actually have a road bike - but hopefully I'll take care of that in the next couple of months, meanwhile my old decrepid delivering bike will do to start off with!

This week I'm taking complete rest - no running, no spin.  Now my knee is better than it has been in months (almost ready to say all better, but not quite), my glute has been sore - I just can't seem to win, as soon as one injury goes away another takes it place.  The physio looked at it today and as I suspected it is linked to the hamstring, he did some work on it and we'll keep an eye on it - hopefully a week off, plus maybe a week of "easy" running will be enough.  Strangely enough (and yeah, the physio said it was very strange too) it was less sore after Sunday than it was before ... very weird!

So, I'm warily excited about starting a new training programme and hoping that it all goes well this time!

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