Arrived at 7.15am and located my race number - 4 then proceeded to warm up (something new to me!!).
I get chatting with a guy called Mick (an 82 minute half marathoner!) and the next 9 km's seem to tick by all too easily. My heart rate is a high 170bpm and I'm in unknown territory. I have done no interval training or tempo training so i have no idea if i can maintain this. Certainly my legs still feel good but i never run with this much effort.
I hit the 10km mark in just over 44mins and at this point a guy in a backpack surges ahead. We hit a hill and I make the decision that I'm going to go all out - if i blow up trying then so be it, but today I'm just going to see what my body is capable of.
I feel strong on the hill and i soon overtake backpack guy and I'm now running on my own in 2nd place. Wow, never in a million years did i think this would be the case. I'm aware of the pedigree behind me so i cant relax. I can still hear breathing and footsteps so i must keep pushing forward.
The next 7 kms is uphill and i remain on my own then there is a lovely steep section of track from 17km through to 21km - a chance to lower my heart rate to 165 bpm! I still cant believe it is that high but I'm determined not to let up. I go through the half marathon mark in 1hr 33 mins - a PB by 1 minute! This amazes me since i remember being so exhausted after my half marathon in January but here i was still feeling ok. I did some rough calculations and figured I wouldn't be able to maintain my current pace but might be able to hold on and come in around 3hrs 20mins. This current section was an out and back and this is where i saw the lead runner who looked strong and offered some words of encouragement as he charged off. I figured he was about 7 minutes in front. On my return i saw the guys who were chasing me - another adrenaline rush! Running in a pack of 3 these hounds were looking strong and i knew i would be caught if i let up off the gas. Fortunately i was still clocking 4.30min/kms and i figured if i could keep that up then i should be ok - i just had no idea if i could keep it up or not.
From 21km through to 30km the running was mostly flat trail. I managed to get into a comfortable rhythm and was feeling good apart from a minor tumble at 25km.
30km's in and I'm really starting to feel the effects of the race now. I've been running on my own for the last 20kms and I'm really having to dig deep to maintain my pace. I hit a long stretch of road and cant see anyone behind me so i take a 10sec walk break. The relief is instant and I'm on my way again. The fear factor of being caught is the only thing keeping me going.
30km through to the finish is all gradual uphill and I'm playing mind games with myself to get me to the finish. 'Only another 2 km until i hit the 35km mark then its only 5 km till the 40km mark then once I'm at 40km I'm pretty much finished..'
I have another couple of 10 second walking breaks to compose myself from 30km - 40km then i knock the last couple of kms off in around 4.18min/km.
|Good to be finished!|
|Feeling human again|