Sunday, September 27, 2009

Adidas Half Marathon, Phoenix park

I arrived to Dublin under less than ideal circumstances. I had my first ever visit to a physio on Monday. Tuesday was a hard session of 400's and a 40 min spin session. Wednesday was an easy run but I did absolutely nothing on Thursday or Friday because of soreness in my right leg.

Is that enough pre-race excuses - no, wait. I have more - I ran a couple of miles warm up with Sean, although the pace was slow I kept feeling that I needed to accelerate to keep with Sean and I could feel my right knee, not sore but knew I had a knee, if you know what I mean.

I had set my Garmin for 7 seconds per mile faster than McMillans calculations. I find it gives me something of a psychological comfort zone and the mental calculations during the run can pass some time.

The first mile was faster than target but that seems to be normal for me. The next few miles were comfortable and just a few seconds faster than target time. In the 3rd mile I could feel the soreness moving along the outside of my right thigh.
In the 5th mile I managed to swallow a gel and some drink.

The 7th mile included the first hill, I checked my watch at the Magazine and noted 30 seconds in the bank. I lost 20 of those on the climb, this was better than I expected. I continued to slowly drop seconds after the hill, up to the sharp turn at the football pitches, along the narrow path and back on to the tarmac.

The soreness in my right leg had moved along to my hip and groin and at this point I felt that I was slightly dragging my leg.

Heading towards the 10 mile marker I was down to 2 seconds ahead of schedule. I knew it was only a matter of yards before I went into minus figures. That happened at the water station where I noticeably slowed to try get some water into me.

Heading into the Glen is was at minus 20. Because of the cushion of 7 seconds per mile I had given myself I knew that barring a total collapse I should hit the McMillan target. I glanced at my watch a few hundred yards later and nearly freaked when it read minus 46 seconds. How the fuck had I lost so much time so quickly. I kept checking the watch and noticed the time was dropping rapidly, I guess the overhanging tree had caused the problem, thank Jaysus for that.

I put my head down and tried to keep to a good rhythm climbing the hill out of the glen. I was at minus 30 seconds when I came out of the glen.

I was delighted to see the 12 mile marker. I was somewhere between minus 20 - 25 seconds here.

Right that's it Chris, stretch out your little hairy legs and get moving, only 1.1 miles to go.

I was steadily chipping away at the time and with about 400m to go I switched over to the clock setting on my watch so I could check my actual time. I had actually passed some people in the last mile, something of a new thing for me.

I feel that I crossed the line in better shape than the 10 miler. I remember gasping for air after the finish of the 10 but although I think I finished the half marathon much faster I felt so much more relaxed. The only downside was that as soon as I started to walk I found myself limping quite heavily.
I noted afterwards that I had managed to make up the lost 1 second !!

I'm sure if I look after myself properly over the next 4 weeks I will be ready for the Dublin City Marathon.

I have to mention the efforts of my friend Sean, who cracked out a personal best to keep him on target for DCM with the sort of time that I will never even get close to.... Well done Sean

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1 comment:

Sean said...

Well run race Chris, and a good day for all I think.
Roll on 26th Oct...