So Sunday 19th of January was my first race of the year. The Inskip half marathon, a great chance to test out, if i have gotten faster over the longer distances and according to the folks of the runners world forum this was a fast course so PB potential was in the air and thoughts of getting my first ever sub 1:30 HM were creeping in.
I had decided the night before the race, after encouragement from some of my runners world forum friends, to go for my first sub 1:30 HM , this would mean taking my PB of 1:32:58 down by three minutes. And to achieve this, I made myself a brave pacing band, based on mile splits of 6:50 per mile.
In week leading up to the race, it pretty much rained every day and i took a break from my training plan to taper off running 6, 4, 6, 4 miles for this event. I might not of trained specifically for it, but its wise to taper if you want to do well. Then came race day and the weather report promised that it would be the best day of the week, with the rains clearing up by 9 a.m. However, it rained for pretty much the entire journey to the race HQ. So i was beginning to regret putting all my faith in the weather report and not taking any rain precautions.
Luckily by the time we arrived at the race, the rain had vanished and skies cleared up, although it was quite cold. Getting my number was easy enough , with little time spent queuing. Next came the queue for loo’s , a pre-race tradition for all runners and whilst 12 cabins sounded a lot in the event email, it turned out to be a bit of wait to get into one. Mostly caused by the fact you had spectators as well as runners queuing up to use the facilities.
Time for the race to begin and a little bit of chaos was thrown in the mix. We all lined up under a large banner reading ‘Start’ and as half ten (The race start time) approached suddenly and without warning (there was probably warning, but i didnt hear anything) those at the very front, i was perhaps 8 rows in. Started jogging down the road, we all followed, with several runners starting their watches and others, myself included. Asking around if the race had started. About 100 metres down the road, the pace suddenly picked up, it seemed that the race, had now really started.
So off i was, and off too fast i was too. Passing the first miler marker in 6 minutes, i slowed down a little but passed the second mile marker in 12:40, again too fast. 3 miles in 19:10 still too fast and so on. Eventually, I managed to get onto my pace plan at mile six, well i was 10 seconds behind, but that was better than being a minute ahead i decided. Although by mile eight i was back ahead of time by 40 seconds.
Then i reached the nine mile point and i thought to myself, well i was planning on going for it at 10 miles, in a marathon i would be pushing on till the end from the twenty mile point and i am feeling good……so heck, why not just go for it now and that’s just what i did.
I flew past numerous runners and found myself running by myself after the 11 mile point, were down the road i could see two more runners, spaced out from one another by about 100 metres. One suddenly, briefly walked for, perhaps just a few seconds. However, that was enough for me to know i could catch that guy and when i did, he probably wouldnt be able to stop me passing him and thats what happened.
The other runner, had remained still, a runner down the road, i had seemly had made no inroads in that gap. However, as i passed the 12 miler marker on 1:20, i thought to myself this is it, i’m going to get sub 1:30 and unless disaster strikes, if i push myself i might be able to catch that guy and perhaps kick on at the 13 miler maker to beat him over the finally point one of the course. So i pushed on hard and i started gaining on him and by the time i was maybe 10 seconds behind him, i could see the 13 mile marker appearing maybe 400 metres down the road. I thought to myself dont wait till the 13 miler maker, because he will go then too, go now and then try and hang on. So i pushed on, once more upping my pace and passing him by. As i turned into the final straight, moving into a sprint i glanced over my shoulder and saw………..no one, i had left him behind. A tough race was finished with a nice finish. No painful sprint for the line for me, which was a nice change.
My finish time……1 : 27 : 36 a fantastic PB!! i was really, really pleased. Although part of me was disappointed to see that the last mile and a bit was my slowest , i knew i had worked hard throughout the race, recording an average pace of 6:44 per mile , so i shouldnt be so hard on myself.
After the race we were all treated to hot pot and within the goodie bag, i found both a medal, a woollen hat and a large bar of chocolate. A great reward for a hard days work and i did enjoy getting to sit amongst other runners, eating my hot pot talking, about the race.
It was fast, it was competitive and its well worth turning out for. I might even line up in Inskip again next year.
Your find my race review for this event here
In other news Scott Overalls posted up some winter training tips, on the Athletics weekly website, which you will find here
And i cut my thumb open whislt slicing potatoes last night, which is a bit annoying!! And its still bleeding on and off!! Uff!! Oh well, i got a sub 1:30 HM so its all good.