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Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Race Recap: North Shore Half Marathon 2012

This was my first half marathon for the year and second race overall. I have been training with with FRST program for about 10 weeks now and so far my running has improved, I feel better and it doesn't hurt as much as it used to but I am just not getting much faster. My main event this year is the Adidas Auckland Half Marathon in October and this race would be good to let me know what my weaknesses are. So many that I really hope to have enough perseverance to improve before the next race.
 My race day outfit : Lululemon shorts and my favourite Under Armour shirt. The bib is printed with my name, how grand it that?

I had more sleep than I thought I would get the night before and not as nervous as I thought I'd be. The race starts only at 8.20am and it was easy to find free parking around the corner. If only all races are like this one.  Perfect weather condition with no headwind and great sunshine. The entire route was stunning although I was busy being focussed running with as much ease as I possibly can.


During the countdown, I try starting my Runmeter. It crashed. I restarted my iphone and retry. It crashed again and this is the latest version of Runmeter. I am going to order my Garmin this week and not let this happen again. Luckily, I borrowed an old Polar from S and used it to track for time.

We took off on the beach and ran the 1st km on Takapuna beach. This is much better than last year's route where the last 1 km is a dash on the beach.
My game plan was to take it easy for the first 10km and run at a rather comfortable pace. I ran with a friend who was a stronger runner but I was able to keep up the pace. There was lady who ran in front of us and we used her as our pacesetter because she was very well paced and at a level where we felt comfortable with. Got a quick sip of water at 4.5km. Next time I shall bring my own water because it's more convenient. We didn't chat much on the course as we'd normally do as we were just focused on keeping our tanks full as long as we can.


This is the tough bit, going up North Head starting with a small dash on the beach and then 1km of mostly hill. Coming down and out of North Head was the best bit. The view was stunning but I was too focused on not stopping at all. A little bit of run down the hill which was really nice as my hammies were starting to sting. Had a bit of drink at 9.1km and then slowed down to pull out my iphone for some music. This was such a bad move. I dropped back from my friend and then I can never catch up to her. Sucks. I should have just focus on running with her.


It started to go downhill from here. I was aiming to run the whole course but I couldn't manage it and had a few quick 20sec stops to walk.I was so thirsty and there were mileage markers are all over the place. There are a few signages and the rest are just sprayed on the ground. Since I do not have my Runmeter going I can't tell how far I've gone. I became more dehydrated and hammies are stinging more by now. Finally at 14.1 km there is a water station and I took only 1 small cup of water and keep running. My mind was blank I can't think of anything to keep me focused. My mind is all over the place. The familiar runners who started with me are nowhere to be seen. This is bad for anyone in a race. You always want to stay with the pack. At least that gives you a point of focus.


By now I was walking a lot more often than I did before. Feet was starting to burn as it was so hot and it didn't help that I have sand inside my socks. I start to lose focus because I don't know how much more to go after I saw the 17km mark. I was so thirsty and my throat is really dry. I keep telling myself that I only have 1km to go. I try to picture Jillian Michaels screaming "You can't stop now!!" next to my face to keep me going. My right starts to buckle in the last 500m. Awesome.
When I reach to finish line I was so happy that it's over. The clock says I did 2:25, not great but I am always happy that I finish. I wanted to do 2:15 so bad but I had to accept that I didn't. I've learnt that I need to be more focused in my next race. I have to stop being distracted by gadgets that didn't work when you need them to. I learnt that I should stop letting Runmeter ruin my run again and buy a Garmin asap. Lastly, I've learnt that I need to train harder and stop letting pain get into my head.

Overall it was a very good event, lots of support from the crowd and the run marshals, the weather was perfect and a little boy hi-five me on my first km which brought a huge smile to my face. I still have about 8 weeks to the more important race which is the Adidas Half Marathon and I hope that I will learn from all my mistakes and run a better race in 8 weeks.

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SeeAlliRun said...

I rarely race with a device (My device of choice is a Garmin 405), for the exact reason that happened to you. I don't want to have to fiddle with something at the beginning and throw off my race, or be psyched up to use it, and then it doesn't work. Good job on the HM though :)

Her Worldly Pleasures said...

I agree with you Alli and I hope to be disciplined enough to not fumble with any gadgets in my next HM in October.