The 2010 Balloch to Clydebank half marathon was my first half marathon event. I tried my best but lack of experience and not knowing the route meant I kept a steady pace for about 8 miles, then almost died and felt crappy. I got a good time (1:42) but I didn’t feel great over the last 4 miles or so.
This year, 2011 I wasn’t going to put pressure on myself to beat my time (a PB), but I was going to aim to pace myself instead.
The plan was:
Miles 1-6: 8:15 min miles
Miles 7-10: 8:06 min miles
Miles 11-13.1: 8:00 min miles or faster
My Garmin has given me the opportunity to assess my runs and compare them against similar ones. And this is what I’ll do now.
The pacing plan went a little bit out of the window when I realised I was doing a faster pace than last year (5 secs a mile faster this year @ 7:40 min miles). But with my experience of running longer for marathon training, I had a feeling I could hold that steady pace and finish strong.
It also helped pacing with Kirsty for the first 6 – 7 miles at a comfortable pace (7:40 min miles / 7.8mph). Running is great where you can chat to and relate to absolute strangers. At 7 miles I let Kirsty know it was my time to push ahead and I tried harder to increase my pace.
And it worked. I ran the second half of the run faster than the first half and finished strongly. I averaged 8.0 mph (7:29 min miles) compared to 7.6 mph (7:55 min miles) last year.
I didn’t have any ‘beat my last years time’ goals… so no annoying pressure to beat my last time. And when I did beat my last years time, without really thinking about it… I felt brilliant!!
A good measure of my fitness is my heart rate. My heart rate was lower this year. Not by much, just 2% or 5 beats per minute, but it was a definate positive considering I ran faster this year!
Of course this year I knew the route more than I did last year, but it looks like the marathon training and long runs has really paid off in terms of my fitness!
Over the last year I’ve learned lots. I’ve read books on running, run with more different people and taken on board lots of things. I’ve asked questions of myself and of others and have gained knowledge of myself and of running.
I’ve run in the snow, wind, rain, sun and sleet. I’ve run easy runs, hard runs, speed workouts, long runs, horrible runs. Runs in the dark at night and in the dark in the morning as the sun came up. I’ve learned what I can do and what I can push myself to do and achieve.
I know I can do just about anything I set my mind to complete. And I know that I will be able to do the marathon in 4 weeks time, comfortably. 🙂