Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Day 109: Sydney Half Marathon

Sydney Half Marathon: Time [1:21:39], Age-Group [30th], Overall [131st]

Going into the race, I wanted to have one foot firmly planted in reality, and the other foot dangling in optimism. As I said in my earlier post, I've done lots of mileage but very little speed work. The gun went off and I told myself just to start running and let my body dictate the pace. About 2 km in, I glanced around me to check out my company-a woman who appeared to be in her early 50's, and three guys who were talking about how much they drank last night. Time to pick up the pace. I went through the 10 km mark in 38:15 and I felt steady and in control. At the halfway mark, I heard the announcer say that I was on 1:20 pace- cool, as I really felt comfortable and in control. I was running with a group, and I remember thinking to myself, boy, all of these guys are breathing really hard. They are running at such a hard effort, now why can't I do that? Oh yeah, I just did an ironman, all I have is medium and steady. With 4 km left to go, my lack of speed work caught up to me, I felt that twitch in my calf. Uh-oh, time to take some deep breaths and change the stride up a bit. My calf was cramping on and off for the next two kilometers, and looking at my split, I am amazed that my second 10 km split is almost the same as my first. Just before the 20 km mark, I glanced at my watch and saw 1:16 something. Though my calf and quad were cramping, I thought if I could just push it, I could still finish just over 1:20. But the coach in me said why? Why risk a calf/quad strain for a tune-up race for Hawaii 70.3? Having recently turned 39 years-old, I can say It is true that we get wiser with age. I pulled the plug and jogged the last 1 km to the finish. Later that afternoon, I went and swam 4.5 km, finishing up what I call the Mini-Mikelson (Ian ran a marathon and swam 6 km on the same day). This race confirms that I have the aerobic fitness but not the speed. The days following the race confirms this as I'm walking rather stiffly, and I only get sore when I'm not in race shape. But, both the miles and the race effort are banked and both will serve me well in two weeks when I race the Hawaii 70.3. Now if only I can get back into biking shape. I had hoped to ride Sunday post race but my inability to bend my legs prevented that from happening. And it has been raining the past three days and I don't ride in the rain. Nothing is ever easy is it?


Libby said...

wow! congrats! for shutting it down thats still a pretty sick time. and super close to your ironman still. you'll be there in time for honu, the fitness is in there, the recovery just has to happen!
about new zealand.... it still sounds amazing :) my someday move :) when are you headed back to the states? enjoy the rest of your trip and keep the posts coming, I'm drooling over all your travels!

Charisa said...

Mini-Mikelson - AWESOME!

IAN said...

Damn, they got some fast folks down there. 1:21 put you 30th in your AG?!?!