Sunday, October 14, 2007

Phedippidations World Wide Half race report

Today I ran the Phedippidations World Wide Half along with people all over the world!

My programme had a 13 mile PMP run on schedule for this weekend, so it was perfect timing! I have done a few PMP tests now, so was interested in pushing a teeny bit harder, and trying to come in under 1:55.

I planned to do a coastal half marathon loop, which I've done 3 times as a race (1:50, 1:49 and 2:07 pacing C) and dozens of times in training (sometimes 13.1, sometimes longer). It's flat, picturesque, and you're bound to run into a few other runners and cyclists out there. The only problem with picturesque coastal routes? You guessed it- the wild wet Wellington wind (reference to a poem I remember from primary school, fortunately I mostly missed out on the "wet" bit today). Ahh wind. My mortal enemy. I really should start tagging wind posts and counting the times I bitch about it (or applaud myself for rocking on through it!)

Not long after I started, I decided to change my route a bit, and to do an out and back to the half way point. That's the good thing about a race with a field of one. If you feel like an out and back insetad of a loop, then out and back it is! My rationale was a bit flawed, in hindsight, but those damn headwinds were so strong I decided I was entitled to some respite on the way back! I didn't really have any idea of splits, but I thought I was roughly on track (a little ahead of pace, actually) at Scorching Bay (about 5 miles in), and I reached half way right on time, at 57:31. I was pretty tired, and more than a little wind worn, and I was starting to see the error of my ways.

See, the route was very windy, as well as being very exposed and thus very windy (*pause* while you reread that sentence). So, on the "way out" you have a mixture of things- strong headwinds, strong tail winds, and oddly quiet bits where there's a bit of shelter for a few hundred metres. Which means that on the "way back" there's actually still a fair bit of headwind. So much for cruising back! The worst thing? It was the first mile or so of the way back and the last mile or so that were the worst. I struggled along. Mostly OK, but a bit tired, and my right calf was a little bit tight (will be giving that guy the stick!!).

The last mile was pretty hard, and I was a bit worried that I wouldn't break 1:55, but I pushed on, one landmark at a time, and got to the finish at 1:54.19, just a few seconds faster than my first half, back in 2004!

I was/am feeling a bit concerned by this. Yes, I made pace (and, if mapmyrun is to be trusted at all, I think the halfway point may have actually been a little off- I may have done 13.5, which is rather different, and would mean my pace was 8:28, not 8:43!), but it was quite tough. Not race pace tough. But not "I could do this twice" either! So send some reassurance this way!! Anyone who's ever said "marathon pace is easy on race day, even if it feels hard in a solo training run in the wind two weeks out", now is the time to say it again!!!

(Other runs this week- I've been slack:
13ish mile hill run with Ed on Tuesday evening (sloow, 2:25)
5 mile tempo treadmill run on Saturday (39:19, and man I hate that evil mill


The Scott Family said...

marathon pace is easy on race day, even if it feels hard in a solo training run in the wind two weeks out ... there you go!

The time seems good to me - not going to be as windy in Auckland! I remember how windy/bleak? Scorching Bay was (but that was in winter) ... not exactly aptly named :)

I didn't do the half marathon Phedip run - changed it to a 5K and going to do it midweek with Jo and the kids - don't trust my calf just yet!

Thanks for the kind words re Rugby - don't think many Kiwis were shouting for England. Good day for British sport. England won in the football as well and an English girl won Kona :) Great to watch on internet!

Pip said...

Ok, it was really windy out there today! 1.54 and change was a good effort! I'm guessing from your description that you didn't run by Ti Rakau point and the Right Whale that was sunning itself there. I was going to go and take a look, but I got caught up in gardening instead.

By the way, don't you love the words 'catastrophic failure' when used in association with the Auckland Harbour Bridge, a couple of weeks out from the marathon? Do you think the weight of a few thousand runners can be compared to the weight of a traffic jam of trucks? Perhaps it's best not to think about it!

Wes said...

I wanted to participate in this too, but my stupid schedule wouldn't let me :-( Nicely done!!!

Phil said...

Nice solo race! I've never tried to run that far that fast by myself, but I'm sure I couldn't get under 2 hours. Congratulations.

Even though it was a bit windy, you've still got that beautiful country-side to run through.

Lana said...

That's a great time, girl - especially to be running solo and in the wind. I think you've got a sub4 in the bag.

Love2Run said...

Nice work and yes MP is way easy on marathon day, guaranteed. I did the Phedip thing too and submitted my 2nd 1/2 of my marathon. Another tip, if you start slow it gets even easier ;-)

Michele said...

Solo and in the wind?!?!?
Awesome pace. No worries for marathon day

Steve Stenzel said...

NICE JOB!!!!!!! Way to pull out that PR!