Monday, 17 March 2008

Celebration and Memory Lapses - The Edinburgh Half 2008

Yesterday was the Edinburgh Half Marathon.

My garmin time. (I'll update with official chip time when it comes in.)
7 min off my last half!!!!!!

Average 9.38 - 37 seconds a mile faster than last time (I think you get the level of excitement about this.)

1852 calories - all replaced with burger and cheesecake!

9.40 - it was a good flat start, the 9.40 was a sensible move as it slowed me down to a pace I could really maintain. This was also where the small rise was.
9.39 - I see these 3 miles as FREAKISHLY consistent. I couldn't do this if I was trying!
9.50 - it took hideous amounts of determination to make this mile a sub 10min mile. I knew that my average would be sub-10 but I really wanted every mile to really be sub-10. Luckily the racecourse finish was visible for the last 3/4 of a mile so it was a boost to keep pushing!

4 sub 30min 5ks back to back
2 sub 60min 10ks back to back (obviously!!!)
An amazing run I didn't know I could do it. It was a constant surprise that the miles kept passing at the speed they did.

Staying with RF the night before really helped. V relaxing, great (and HUGE) spag bol. Good, organised morning, TheO dropped us off at the start (bless, it being dawn) and was there for us at the end too! Ate properly, took mile sleeping pills to knock me out. Had got up early to be tired enough for bed. All the preparation had really clicked into place. The small details seem anal when you're planning them, but when the results come in all the dithering over which socks, and gel seem worthwhile.

My initial reaction was/is that there were some good and bad points about the race. The lack of support was weird; spectators had been actively discouraged. But the course was brilliant, wonderfully flat with some gentle rises to challenge your pace. The wind wasn't great, and really did rip into you occasionally, but overall it was more sheltered than I had feared.

TheO and RF (who'd finished in her hoped for sub 1.50 [1.48]) were there to see me at the end. It makes me so chuffed that TheO saw me finish. I don't even know why - there's just something about that simple level of support that makes me v appreciative. (Particularly when you know they've been outside in a cold stand for 3 mind-and-body numbing hours.)

Despite all my concerns about not having improved significantly since last year I can't believe the difference in how I felt, particularly at the end. Knackered obviously, but not sore (apart from the fecking hip ... more later) - no leg aches, heart and lungs working effectively. Also: remembering the last 3 miles last year they were so hard it was horrible, this year they were just part of the race (a little slower than the ones before - but not hideously so).

My plan was to do better than last time. But my emergency plan was to make the last 3 miles better than the last 3 miles last time. Those 3 miles alone were 4.5min faster than they were last time. A real result for looking at long term, and high milage stamina growth.

Although - I've just looked at last year's race report and the first 7 miles are surprisingly similar. Oooooh ... I'm delighted I've got my report from last year. It makes v interestng reading:
I bitch about the lack of support then too -oops I thought it was just this year. Also the "hill" I desciribed at mile 8/9 was at mile 3ish this year. And yes, I now know - it is not in any way a 'hill' - it is a small rise, a very small rise. Thankgod for speed training and hill training - well, thank god they actually make a difference and all the effort is worth while.

Still scared about the marathon though. And this damn hip hurts like buggery, it started aching during the run, at about mile 7/8 and then was damn sore when I finished. It's still sore now, and having looked it up online I'm pretty sure it's hip bursitis - DAMN. I've got an appointment with the doc tomorrow so hopefully some anti-inflamatories will be coming my way.

Pah! Where are the official results? They're meant to be available 24h after the end of the race.
Ill do an update on official results and placing when they come through.

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