Sunday 11 September 2011

Grunty Fen anniversary run

A year ago I ran my first half marathon. Last year was 1:51, this year's track says 1:44:11 which you'll notice is faster (official results say 1:44:25, but I trust my watch), so that is good. But slower than St Albans 1:40. Ah well; I felt really good then, and merely OK today, and didn't like the headwind at all.

Last year was an adventure, my first big run. This time I was far more casual. Discarding tapering, I did 12k in the scull yesterday. I did take the gels, though, at 10 and 15 km (though actually at 10 k I was running well and feeling good; my just-sub-48-min time isn't less than 2 mins off my PB for 10 k; so it wasn't until 11 k that I remembered to take the gel, which promptly threw me off my stride a bit). I came 174 out of 498 finishers, 25th MV45, and 62% age-grading.

Overall, I think I have the endurance down better, but have slightly forgotten how to run fast; or have forgotten the small increment in pain required. I wanted to run sub-5-min/km, and did (avg 4:55 says the trace and the time) but it was more of a struggle than it should have been: I kept drifting over and having to pull myself down. The wind was a part of that: it made it hard to concentrate, and harder to keep a steady pace.

On the start line I met Sipper, who I now see got 1:41 in 2009 but lost him in the confusion; I suspect he came in ahead of me (waay ahead: 1:36:55). I beat James Edgoose by a minute, which is vaguely good - I spent the second half of the race expecting him to come past me (though JE's time last year was 1:42). And afterwards Tom Wilkie came over - his girlfriend was running, not him (he does not look in running shape at the moment). He is doing well, and expanding into America apparently.