Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Run Melbourne



The short 21.1km | 2:04:34 | 5:54m/km

The long
I'd picked up my race packet on the Friday. I quite liked the addition of the race day checklist. I totally forgot to pick up safety pins and dug out a race belt last minute. Also I would have totally forgot to attach my timing chip because it was in a different envelope. Have I ever raced before??

Given my running over the last month I was quietly hopeful that I'd run a PB. But I had to keep a lid on it. I'm not one of those people who gets white line fever on race day. I assess how I'm feeling on the day and go from there.

I parked trusty scoot and made it to the start line with 8 minutes to official start time. It was dark and St Kilda Road looked a treat with all the fairy lights in the trees. Seeded myself with the 1:55+ group, I saw the 2 hour pacer, but when our wave was good to go, I couldn't get near them. Given the sheer number of people this run is always congested. Three kms flew by just trying to work out what pace I should be doing. I didn't really have a race plan...

As usual my Garmin was out a little. According to the Garmin I was running 5:30/km, but according to the markers, my pace was closer to the 6:00m/km mark. False hope was not something I needed, but I knew if I could keep it under 6:00m/km I'd get a PB. This is a really good reminder for Berlin and training that I'm not running as fast as I think I'm running! Or that I need to stop weaving.

The entertainment on course was fun, the African drummers, bands and DJs added plenty of atmosphere.
There was plenty of water and electrolyte available, though as expected the stations were crowded. Next time I race I'll have something more substantial than a bowl of rice bubbles. Not ideal race food, I was hungry at about the 7-8km mark and relished my gel at 10km. As soon as I felt tired or sluggish I'd remind myself to "zip up my core" - one from my yoga instructor and run tall. It makes a difference.

I was pretty stoked to see 5km in just under 30 mins, 10km in under an hour and 20km in under two hours! I knew that barring some sort of disaster I would get a PB and edge closer to the elusive (for me) sub 2hr half. I crossed the line and almost burst into tears, the relief, after so many attempts of improving my half marathon time by almost 5 minutes!

The swag at the end was water, an apple and the medal, however there was more on offer as you walked past the tents lining the river up to St Kilda Rd. Coconut water and a muesli bar? Yes please. Everyone likes free stuff!

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