Sunday, 17 April 2016

My fastest 5km!

As part of the running course I am doing, we took part in a 5km time trial at the athletics track.

We had less than a week's notice, and it was going to be 2 days after I had run the Great Forest half marathon, so I went into it not really expecting too much.  

My PB over 5km was from last year, 26:13. The fastest I had recorded a 5km this year was 27:30 (as part of an interval run, not a straight out time trial). I thought I was capable of somewhere between these two times. 

You can imagine my surprise and excitement to see under 26 minutes! 25:32 to be precise! (Note the app recorded 5.18km, so the average pace looks far more complimentary sub 5:00min/km! 

Our group was split into two - with one person running and the other person recording the number of laps run (12.5). I wanted to record it on my phone so I could look at my splits later, so I went ahead and tracked it in runtastic. (Lucky I did! My partner tried to tell me I still had two laps when I was finished!!)

I lined up with about ten others, and we all took off. There's a few really speedy runners so I watched them speed ahead.  I checked my phone after the first lap and saw I'd run a 4:40 lap - tried to slow it down a bit so I'd have something left at the end!

Half way through I wondered if I was going to make it - boredom was beginning to set in, but I knew i would be annoyed with myself if I gave up, so I just kept pushing. 

As you can see from the splits, I positive split like a champ 😂 but not too drastically. Not sure about that pace of the last 0.2km, suspect that was a GPS thing as the last section of every run I do always over reads :-)

It's quite nice running on the track. It's a great surface with a lot of grip. And it's all level, so no worries about tripping on anything (apart from the inside rail!) or watching for cars. Plus, it makes for a super cute ring map:

I lapped a few people once or twice. I got lapped by a couple of people, once or twice. Everyone gave it their all out there, which was awesome. Such a varied group of individuals, with different abilities, but everyone was so supportive and encouraging of each other. Loved it.  

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Half Marathon #2

Well, another day, another half marathon done.  Below is my race recap for yesterday's Great Forest Events half marathon, April 9 2016.


I caught a ride down with Sonia and her husband.  I hadn't been there before and I liked the idea of having someone to drive me home after a tiring run.  We arrived with 90 minutes to spare, so it was a nice relaxing time at registration, wandering around, and a few toilet breaks.

Just before 9am we were walked out to the start area.  Time for a quick selfie before it all began!  Then I headed back about 20-30 metres in the pack: a) because I didn't want to get caught up with the faster runners and b) I didn't want to get stressed out trying to keep up with Sonia (as it happened, I didn't see her the whole race!).


I started off with a grin, and quickly settled into the work. The first 10km felt great, and I was running well.  I knew it was probably a bit too fast, but my legs felt so good that I kind of went with it.

I ran without my camelbak, but I'd studied the course map and knew that the water stations were approximately 3km apart.  So I had a bliss ball around the 8km mark then grabbed a quick drink at the next aid station to wash it down.

At the 10km marker I checked my phone and I'd passed it in about 58:30.  I was feeling quite good at this point. On track for a PB!

Sadly, somewhere around the 11-12km mark, my mood started to decline and I started focusing too much on how far there was to go.  I really wanted to give up and walk, but I knew that I would be annoyed at myself if I did. So I kept plodding along.  

However in kilometre 17 of the race I gave in and had a walk break.  We'd run in some exposed areas and the sun was getting to me.  It was around this point that the conditions under foot changed back to gravel - a little slippery and a few larger rocks to avoid. Not long - about 20 seconds. Long enough to get on top of my breathing, then start running again.  I had three more of these between 17-20km, the last one was the longest at about a minute of walking. Then I knew I had to run the last kilometre and a bit to the finish.  I raced up the last rise and down towards the finishing chute - I could see Sonia waving and hear her cheering (thanks Sonia! It was awesome!) and finally I was done.  

Crossing the finish line.  Bit blurry, but the joy on my face is pretty clear.

Hubby and my youngest son travelled down to see me finish.  They were there in time but sadly he missed me! He was looking for a bright pink top (because that's what I often wear on training).  Still, when I finally tracked him down (tricky with no cell reception on site!) I gave him a big hug.

Official finishing time was 2:10:10.  So, between my A and B goals of 2:05 and 2:15 respectively (the C goal was to finish).  So I have to be happy with that, though I can't help but feel I could have done better on the day!  Still, I will chalk that up to experience - I now have 2 half marathons under my belt.

I've copied and pasted my kilometre splits below.  It's quite clear that the first 10km were much faster than the second 'half'.  Average of 5:48 for 10km which is not too far off my PB (from last year) for that distance.  So, definitely faster than I should have been going!

The major lesson I will take from this race is to really try to ease into the first half, and not get caught up in prospective finishing times too early in the race.

For the next half marathon I'm also going to 
a) run with my camelbak. I think frequent small sips is less taxing than grabbing a water cup and trying to drink it in a hurry (and feeling compelled to drink half a cup when I wouldn't normally.. just because it's there!
b) just run with my music.  I got really grossed out by hearing other people breathing behind me, LOL.  Also there were some bags with annoying knocking or jingling sounds.  (Clearly I was not in a great mood yesterday!)

Still, with all that, I ran a half marathon yesterday.  I am extremely proud of myself and the best thing is, I want to do it again!

Sonia and I showing off our race bling
Smiling and happy after a coffee, some bacon, and a chocolate milk..

Tuesday, 5 April 2016


A bit run-nerd, but here's my flat runner photo.. What I'll be wearing for the half this weekend. 

Forecast is for 19-20 deg (though it won't be this warm when we start running at 9am). Conditions should be perfect. 

My new Running bare tank (from trademe), marmot run skirt, spibelt for my bliss balls, and a cap to keep hair under control (and also because I feel naked without it!). 

Still undecided about the camelbak, I've trained with it so I am used to it, and it will save me having to pull off to water stations, but I do love the idea of getting to run without it! I'll likely decide on the day. 

As it's an off road half marathon, my new shoes will probably get all mucky but I think this will be better than the lesser grip and cushi-ness of my old shoes.. I'll take both with me in the car in case I change my mind though.