Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Gold Coast Half Marathon

Two weeks worth of blog today. I was still battling the effects of my sickness last week and as such didn't really train the house down. These periods of lighter workload waiting to race can drag on. As runners we often feel more comfortable with the training phase than the taper/racing phase so it's a good idea to continually assess and reassess this with each race so to determine the best possible balance of tapering well whilst maintaining that fit feeling in that last week. The general rule of thumb with tapering is drop off the volume and keep some degree of intensity. So instead of 80-100km for the week with 3 fast speed sessions, you'd drop this down to 60-80km a week out and do 2 fast sessions, then the week of, dropping that again to 30-50km with an 80% pace shorter speed workout early in the week and some simple light jogs thereafter.

 For me with the Gold Coast Half marathon approaching, I was in the position of recovering from sickness so the mileage was low anyway. The sessions weren't fantastic but I had run the central coast half reasonably ok considering so I just needed to maintain a little momentum and see what panned out.

So I lined up on Sunday in the Gold Coast half marathon with a bunch of Rejoov Runners and HuRTs guys and girls and the conditions were perfect. I was toying with the idea of not wearing a watch (as per Tom's strategy) and when sitting on the plane I realised that the Garmin was still on charge at home, the decision was an easy one. And it worked! I've never done it before especially in a road race. I felt naked without the watch but quickly adapted as we bolted off. I was running freely and actually a tad too fast but didn't care. I was there to race, and race I did.

My pace was too quick early on and unfortunately I slowed a bit after 4-5km. I dropped off Barts at 4km and Neil joined me at 6km. I was feeling a bit sick in the stomach and was in a brief bad patch so Neil made the successful jump across to a group  a little ahead that I also needed to be in. But without the watch, I just kept the head up and punched on concentrating hard on maintaining that intense feeling of racing. I went through the 10km mark at 33:12 (they had a clock) so straight away I new I was bang on where I wanted (well 12secs too slow but all good). Neil was just under 33mins and Barts further under than that. The turnaround happens soon after just before 11km and it's from there that the race really begins. Groups from behind start mounting their attack, those in front try to forge further ahead with me in the middle chasing and defending all at once. And I managed to defend better than usual. A few guys came past here and there but I responded and went with them. A couple just had way too much energy in the tank and ran on but I enjoyed the small battles quickly forming with those around me. This included Cassie Fien who surged and gapped me by approx. 20metres. An old training mate Anthony Craig was also right on me and I on him. We tussled back and forth before I managed a winning surge. And also 50-80m back was ole mate from the Canberra Half (see Canberra Times post) who in that race, confidently commentated to a spectator his passing of me into 2nd place that day. Still chasing Cassie, I rounded the last corner where it's a 1400m stretch for home. The 20km mark clock showed 67:43 which was under my goal of 68mins but a bit slower than I was hoping given the way I thought I was running. At least it would be a sub 72mins for sure which hadn't happened for a while. I just kept pushing and surging. I had been closing in on Neil a bit but ran out of road to reel both him or Cassie in finishing a few seconds behind her to record 71:25 and coming 34th overall. Ole mate finished 30secs or so back which kind of made my day that little bit sweeter (not usually that petty but he started it!!)
I'm glad I didn't wear a watch. It was good to simply race the course and the people and not my Garmin that usually shows me that my average pace is slowing and thus throws me off mentally. I intend to do this again at the City to Surf in my bid to break 46mins again.
Every one of my online guys and girls ran a PB in the half. Ruth, Sonya, Elle, Himanshu, Nick and Bruce all edged or smashed their previous bests. Couldn't ask for any more than that. In the marathon JC (John Clothier) ran a great race but fell 2mins shy of his sub 2:50 goal. Still a fantastic run which included a toilet stop.
 JC on track at the 26km mark
My two training mates Barts and Neil both ran out of their skin to record some great times. Barts ran a massive 50sec PB to record 69:25 and Neil 70:52. I have a reasonably good chance of bridging the gap to Neil but 2mins to Barts - wow that's going to be tough. Wish he and Tom would take 3mths off and make it fair for me. (Tom smashed through the 32min barrier on Sat at the GC running 31:35 and knocking my road PB from Nth Head off by 1sec). Those two are getting way too close to my overall PBs for my liking.
All the Rejoov runners up there also ran so well inspiring the rest of the squad to plan this race as a must on their 2017 calendar. Special mention to Juny who twisted her ankle in an aero boxing class in Phuket but via a very careful and diligent recovery process, still lined up and ran 3:38 in the marathon. Amazing after seeing her hobbling around 4 weeks ago.
In my personal opinion when it comes to running a PB, the 3 main distance objectives usually are the 10km, the half and the full. I would do your 10km race at either the Sydney 10km (May) or Launceston (June), your half at the Gold Coast (July) and your full at Melbourne (Oct).  Or head overseas and spend a few months travelling around and racing.
Yeah right......... back to reality for me!
My diary isn't great reading really but here it is:
Mon 20th June: 15km - 4:45 pace. Legs sore from Central Coast half
Tue 21st: 16km total with 8 x 5min at 3/4 pace. Legs even more sore
Wed 22nd: 5km. Crashed. Parked at CP and ran a white fence and a lake feeling dreadful. Sickness has returned.
Thur 23rd: 11km in Canberra around the lake. Very cold and windy but I ran my 8x400m with 200m float with the wind and scored a 15:52 as a result. Ok not too bad.
Fri 24th: AM: easy 7km in Canberra (2deg)  PM: 5km Coogee coast slow
Sat 25th: Long run 20km with a 10km tempo with Laura James in 40mins. Felt pretty good.
Sun 26th: 9km steady (4:20 pace) Coogee coast
Total 88km for the week.
Mon 27th: 10km easy CP
Tue 28th: 10km with 5 x 600m reps in 1:51/2's. Ran these along the white fence on grass and it felt a little sluggish. Not pumped for Sunday at this stage.
Wed 29th: 10km very easy 4:50 pace
Thur 30th: 8km again around 4:45 pace
Fri 1st July: 6km with 4 x 1min on, 1min off - these felt ok. Starting to get my head around the half marathon this Sunday but still coughing a lot.
Sat 2nd: 20min jog along the beachfront at Surfers bumping into my brother Pete then Elle, Jac, LJ and Aidan. Probably 4km max (no watch)
Sun 3rd: Gold Coast Half. Total 23km. Not much of a warm up for a change. Barts' influence.
Total 71km for the week.
It wouldn't be a Gold Coast weekend without the Sunday afternoon session at the Broadbeach surfclub followed by cheap beers at an Irish pub. Fun weekend all round. Great to see Rejoover Lisa Sherman along for a drink with us as well after her marathon that morning.
ICG (Internal Consulting Group) - you may have seen the new logo on our new NB singlets.
The Running Company Bondi Beach - Todd  has your next running shoe ready for you at a special Rejoov Runners rate.
New Balance as always. Long time supporters of Greta and I.

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