Sunday, 12 August 2012

Perth Half Marathon 2012

The Olympics is coming to a close, with so many heroes to draw inspiration from - Alistair Brownlee, Usain Bolt, Mo Farah... just to name a few. Somewhere closer to home, 19 year old Sarawakian, Pandelela Rinong clinched the bronze medal in the women's 10m diving event and became the first female Malaysian to win an Olympic medal and also the first medal in a sport other than badminton. This young lass is one to look out for on the diving boards in the future.

This morning was the Perth Half Marathon, an event I've done a few times now. With only 5 weeks into the training program, I had no intentions of beating last year's time, which is also my half marathon PB. But I was keen to at least run under 90 minutes. I had an easy week of training but my legs were feeling a bit tight, so I booked in a massage yesterday with Central Tafe and I felt a bit sore for the rest of the day. Luckily I recovered enough the next day.

On race morning, what seemed like a summer's day for the past couple of days turned into a very wet one. It didn't really shower heavily but it drizzled consistently. So much so I was tempted just to do my warm up run under the shade around the clubroom but there were just too many people to avoid. On Bill's advice, I downed a gel before the start. I normally either have a Powerbar or nothing at all other than my toast for breakfast before a race, and keep gels to the race itself. But as I ran out of Powerbars, thought I'll give the gel a try.

I started the run pretty well, as I started almost near the front I didn't have to do a lot of overtaking - in fact, I was being overtaken! The rain made the roads wet and slippery, which was a challenge in itself. Got into a comfortable pace, holding about 4:10 per km. The two guys pacing just behind me were having long conversations between themselves, it was entertaining to say the very least! After we made the first turnaround, we ran into some headwinds from the east, which made it a bit challenging from 9km onwards, where my pace started falling to just under 4:20.

My greatest gripe was there were no km markers from 12km onwards. This is where I wished I had a GPS enabled watch. But no matter, I played a chasing game and tried running down the guys ahead of me. I downed another gel just before the 1 hour mark, and that gave me a boost. I had no indication of whether I was going to make it under 90 minutes. But as we headed towards the Causeway, I knew we were getting close and I thought to myself to I might just make it.

Final stretch of about 1km to go, my watch was showing about 1:25, I knew I had to dig deep. I quickened my pace, gritted my teeth and winced my way through to the finish line - 1:29:52 was the time I clocked and I was the last runner to finish under 90 minutes. Just happy to have put in a hard effort! ...and it's back to hard training again next week.

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