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Howdy all, thought I'd take the time to write a bit of a race report, though hopefully not so long as to send y'all to sleep.

  • Having just completed writing the post, I thought I'd add this note in to say I'm sorry but it's gone on a lot longer than I'd planned - just skip to the end if you don't want all the waffle ;)
Today was my first half marathon of 2008, and in fact my first half marathon for precisely one year - my last being the same event in 2007; The Shakespeare Rotary Half Marathon.

I'd been waiting for this race to come around for some time, and kinda viewed this as my main race of the season. I was itching to get to the start line, and everything in the build up had been going pretty well - barr watching the football yesterday, which meant that instead of resting all day I was standing up for around 4 hours - man I hate standing! :rolleyes:

I'd been quite nervous and couldn't wait for morning to come round so I could wake up and get going. Breakfast was porridge with currants, apricot and papaya with soya - a pint of water, then a lucozade sport. Looking out the window, it was clear once again that the muppets at the met office really haven't got a clue - as the forecasted rain all night and heavy rain all day was in fact NO rain all night, and no sign of it raining anytime soon! I picked up my mate who was also running (and who has beaten me for the past two years on this course) and headed for Stratford, and onto the start.

It was a bit of a struggle to get anywhere near the front and again after the hooter sounded, I found myself getting stuck behind fun runners who quite simply shouldn't have been anywhere near the front - man that REALLY hacks me off :mad: Anyway, in my anger, I leapt around them at the first chance I had, I think the occasion started to get the better of me and fuelled on adrenaline I pushed on without realising - something which I'm sitting here now thinking is probably the stupidest thing I could've done.

A lap around the town centre and we passed the 1mile marker - looked down at the stopwatch (which I'd started probably around 10-20secs after the start having forgotten to set it when I crossed the start line) - 5:22 (so around 5:32 for the mile). Ah. Not good. Too fast. :asleep:

I was aiming for a finish time of 1:25:00, though if I'm honest part of me had hoped I would exceed expectations and manage a time of 1:22:14 - which according to race time predictors I should be able to manage based on my 10k time (though admittedly my endurance wasn't quite where I wanted it to be). Basically I needed to be on a pace of around 6:15-6:30 per mile (the former would bring around 1:22:00, latter 1:25:00)...

I settled back into pace, and whilst I didn't feel perfectly comfortable, I was able to reach mile 7 with an average mile split of 6:24 (excluding the 1st mile). I knew mile 7-8 would be slow due to a big hill, but I was already starting to feel tired and wondering how much longer I could keep the pace up. I climbed the hill, and descended well, putting a gap between myself and the first female runner who I'd been running with for the past few miles. Then at the bottom of the hill, all was flat - and I just seemed to stop.

No matter how hard I tried I couldn't match the pace I had in the first half, mile splits were getting worse and worse as my hamstrings tightened up and at mile 11-12 they sunk to their lowest, a split of 7:11 on a completely flat section of the course - around 45secs per mile off minimum goal pace. Mile 12-13 I managed to claw back to the 6:54(ish) pace that had been the norm since mile 8. For the first time in a long time I really did question what an earth I was doing putting myself through this kind of pain - from the 10mile marker I wanted to stop and walk, but managed to drag myself through the last few miles (knowing that if I stopped, i'd never manage to get going again!). I hung in there and even managed to raise the pace a little coming down the home straight. I'd finished. Thank fork.

Anyway - I think I've made enough excuses now :rolleyes: I crossed the line with a chip time of 1:26:58, and a gun time a few seconds behind @ 1:27:04.

Now this has been bugging me all day - part of me is saying I'm not allowed to moan, I managed a very respectable time, achieved a PB and knocked 9:26 off last years time. But on the other hand I know I should've done better. Most annoying is that now, if I want to reach my 2008 target of a sub 1:25:00 half marathon, I've got to enter another!!!

I'm coming away knowing that I [email protected] up my pacing and had can manage a better performance next time round - on the downside though I've found out I'm going under the knife for nasal surgery in just over a week which requires 2 weeks total rest, absolutely gutted - but that's another story!
 

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That is a fantastic result regardeless of what you were aiming for, so please celebrate a little. And the best thing is, you know exactly what you need to do next time to get a sub 1.25. It seems that first mile had a lasting impact. When I timed myself over a half marathon, I too went out too fast. I did the first half mile in 2.29, but thankfully I slowed it down right away. that was a very fast mile you put in, so you had to pay for it somewhere down the line. Just think, you have the pleasure of entering a new race later in the year. Or you could just do what I do, and go for it on your own personal timed run. That way you can do it every week until you crack it. But if you are of the sort who thinks only an offical race time counts, then I'm afrad you are going to have to just book your place in another race :p
 

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My immediate thought is that you (as is your nature) were over analyzing the race whilst you were still doing it. Psyching yourself out by concentrating on spit times and stuff. I've done it myself on more than one occasion, but my best times were achieved without paying any attention to the watch, and concentrating on exactly how I was feeling.
Your improvement since last year is surely something to celebrate though? :d
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Thanks for the replies guys...

The improvement is definately something to cheer about - especially as my improvement from 2006-2007 was only 3:30.

I was skeptical about wearing my watch for fear of allowing split times to affect my race pace too much - but I didn't feel like I was really analysing them too much at all - very much running to how I felt, from mile 8 or 9 onwards I was pretty much in survival mode. by which time I was just pressing the 'lap' button without looking at the splits.
 

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pedestrian said:
....... Psyching yourself out by concentrating on spit times and stuff. .......
I thought we fininished the spitting thread, are you judged by distance too, as well as times? ;)

Congrats Richard, go and get yourself a beer!
 

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That was a really great read and if I could get anywhere even near that time I'd be on top of the world!! Come on, man, 1:26?? You did fantastic and if you know you can do it quicker, well, all in good time. Well done:)
 

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Hey Richard,

Another day, another PB! Nice one on a very very good time. I understand you feel a bit disappointed, but I wouldn't worry too much. I find that a bad race once in a while is often a prelude and motivation to bigger performances later on. Going off too fast in anything over 10k is always very dangerous, but hey there's a lot of people out there that would love to be able to run a 5:32 mile in the first place!!

Good luck with the Op.
 

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WTF?! That's freakin' awesome?! WELL DONE!!! :d Pacing is really hard I've discovered!! I had to tell myself to cool it the whole way round mine, but yeah that's a fantastic time and at least you can learn from your "mistakes" heh... onwards and upwards :d I hope ONE day I might be able to manage that kind of time! And you improved by more than 9 minutes from last year? You should feel sooooooooooooooooo proud! *feels proud for you*.
 

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Just give yourself a massive pat on the back Richard.

It`s brilliant that you are setting yourself such high standards,but the fact that you didn`t quite make it this time isn`t a reason to beat yourself up.

Well done.

I`d be glad if I could be 15 minutes behind you.................................:d
 

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Thanks guys - having had a night to think about it, and reading all your posts has made me feel a lot better about it - I was only a couple of minutes behind my target, and I know why! Think I'll target one of two local halfs in October to aim for sub 1:25:00.

My OH said I honestly looked like I was going to collapse as I passed the 13mile marker - lol! She wasn't even sure if I'd seen her because I ran past in such a daze :rolleyes:
 

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Good one Richard........and I can hardly comment on the length of the read now can I !!

Sure you'll beat that time next time round with your dedication.
 

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I always do that Rich forget to start my watch :rolleyes:

Well done you !!!!

You should have a grin from ear to ear :)
 
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