So on Sunday I did my first ever half marathon. After putting in satisfying efforts with the Bay Run, City 2 Surf and the Sydney Bridge Run last year, I felt like more of a challenge. So I went for the popular SMH Half Marathon. For those of you who don’t know, a half marathon is 21.1kms (and full one being 42.2kms obviously). The course goes through the CBD, up across past the Art Gallery to Mrs Macquarie’s Chair and back again to Hickson Rd, then you do it all over again!
Back two and a half months ago, I started a half marathon training routine from Runners’ World Magazine. It consisted for 3 training runs a week. Intervals, tempo and distance runs. Admittedly I was getting pretty sick of all the training leading up to last week and I just wanted to get the race over and done with. By Saturday night I was pretty excited. Got to bed by about 12 and had really patchy sleep until I woke up at about 5am.
Rozie, being the wonderful wife that she is came down to Hickson Rd for the 7.30am start with me. We ended up catching a taxi down since the buses didn’t start until about 6.45am (that’s when I wanted to get there). On the way down, the taxi driver told her that I was a fantastic husband because I opened the door of the taxi and let her in first. Rozie just laughed and said she was fantastic for getting up so early for me. I guess we’re both fantastic (or something…)
Away, we managed to get down there at about 6.45am or so which gave me plenty of time to warm up, pee, and find a place for the start. Compared to the City 2 Surf and perhaps even the Sydney Running Festival, the crowd seemed a lot more serious. I got the impression that regardless of peoples’ abilities as runners, that they were mostly people who ran pretty regularly, as opposed to the fun runners who might only do it a before a race like this.
Anyway, I digress. The first 5 and 10kms of the race was fantastic for me. I managed to knock over the first 10kms in about 42mins(!). Looking back I probably went a bit hard since the second half (well 11.1kms to be exact) took me about 53 minutes to complete. The main reason for this though is that for about the last 5 to 6kms I had a really painful blister coming through, which really slowed me down. I think if I didn’t have that blister that I could’ve saved myself about 3 minutes in the second half of the race.
My final time ended up 95 mins 58 seconds and placed 771st out of a field of 4639 finishing runners. So I am really happy with the final result, since all my training was aiming for 95 minutes anyhow. Since I got pretty close to the time I was aiming for, even with a blister slowing me down, I reckon I can easily run a half in under 95 minutes and perhaps with some more endurance training get my time closer to 90 minutes.
I passed the line a couple of minutes earlier
I’ll probably aim for the Sydney Running Festival half marathon in September.
My running goals for the year are:
- SMH Half Marathon in approximately 95 minutes: done!
- Bay Run in under 30 mins: July 29th.
Time to beat: 30:39
- City 2 Surf in 60 mins or under: August 12th.
Time to beat: 65:07
- Sydney Running Festival Half Marathon in between 90 to 95 minutes: September 23rd.
Time to beat: 95:58
- A 10km race in as close to 40 minutes as possible. Perhaps one of the Sydney Striders 10km monthly races.