[d3v0 lifeblog]

A blog of the newly hedonistic d3vo.

Run Melbourne Half Marathon

I ran in the Melbourne half marathon today with 7,000 other runners, a very big field!  It was a well run event, but with about 26,000 runners in  all categories, was a big event.  Add in all the supporters and the it is kind of the size of a big music concert.

Today I set a new personal best of 1:47:11.  I am very happy with that.  Due to various over hydration issues I started towards the back of the field and had to dodge traffic for about 20 kms.  I also needed a 1 minute toilet stop at about the 15km stage.  These clearly aren't the impediments they might appear to be.

I was literally killing the field on the downhill sections of the course, probably due to my Wellington running experiences, passing about a person a second.  These Melbourne people just do not know about hills at all.  At about the 18km mark I felt super good and ran a couple of very fast kilometres there I suspect.

ms_little_sister bet me by a large, large margin, but more importantly didn't break herself doing the event and is happy to do more running, which pleases me a lot.  She can do some more running and use it as a hedge against her stressful job and industry.

My girlfriend also ran a great first event 10km, but wonders if she should have run harder on the day.

I feel for her because it is difficult not to want to shave off the seconds by micro optimising your performance somehow, or by telling yourself that you weren't in fact trying hard enough, beating yourself up by picking through degrees.

My counter to these feelings about not trying hard enough was when I passed a spritely runner from my running group at about the 18km mark.  I said "hey how are you doing" and "its not far now" to him on the way past, but he was stony faced and was literally running with out his usual spring.

This guy was new to the half marathon, but in training up to about 14km's he pretty much owned me by a few minutes, so it isn't like the guy isn't fit or fast, he is both.

The guy must have gone too fast at some point in the course, so fast that he had to slow down and recover*.  I happened to be near him at that point.  I suspect that he did recover a kilometre later and probably went on to finish with a really good time.

However that guy will be kicking himself for not having enough self control to go out at the right pace.  He really wasn't a happy camper at the point I passed him, his head was forward, his shoulders stooped, he was running without much spring, he wasn't lifting his heels, and he wasn't really open to my attempts at encouragement.  Poor guy, I'm sure that I'll be him one day.

It seems that if you didn't have a burn out you wonder if you should have gone harder, but that if you do have a burn out you know that you should have gone slower.

This kind of wondering is almost entirely missing the point of your success!  It is some hubris about your own potential that misses the wider picture by focussing on the details.

The wider picture is a rosy, glowing, effusive story about very positive personal behaviour and achievement.

Think how successful you were in training!  Did you have 20 training runs?  Was it more?  Did you cover hundreds of kilometres?  That is a really long way!

How good is your cardio fitness right now?  Has it been better at any time in the last six months?  I doubt it, you are probably at a hight point right now.  Good cardio fitness by the way helps your sex life, both in quality and quantity.

Did you shrink or grow this winter?  Even if you didn't shrink you are probably in much better shape, you'll have more lean muscle with all your training, I believe that is completely unavoidable.  Are your tight jeans not so tight?  Go trying them on.

Compare your fitness right now to the average fitness of people in your country.  You probably ran your event almost non-stop, perhaps a short walk at a drink stop.    Can the average person run 10km at any pace non-stop?  The answer is no, no they cannot. 

They cannot match your achievement today of running 10km (or further) because they are were not physically capable** of that large feat today, they did not choose to prepare their bodies in the preceding months, they did not get up early today, they did not line up at the start line in the dark and cold and the certainly were not trying as hard as you were running this morning when they were asleep or eating breakfast.

You chose to achieve things today that most people never choose to do and you did them well.  Put down the tyranny of the clock and be happy!

* I'm guessing here but this is the most likely cause.  He was super amped before the event and wanting to "kill it".  Possibly he did not drink enough water, which is actually quite important over a half marathon because you'll loose 2 litres at least.  He might have had the wrong breakfast with the wrong glycemic index and had his blood sugar bottom out.  He also might have sustained an injury that I couldn't see, it was a cold day and people were off the course stretching calves and quads unhappily.

** Australia and New Zealand are obesity countries, please help the average.

This Monash University page has a great quote, "In Australia more than 17 million Australians are overweight or obese."

Half Marathon Time Of Year

It is half marathon time of year again.  This year I'm participating in Run Melbourne with about 4,000 others in the my half marathon category, and about 20,000 others overall.

ms_little_sister is included in this list of participants, her first half marathon.  In the likely event that she finishes it will mean that I've run in half marathon's with both my sisters, which will be an achievement mostly lost on my non-running parents.

I'm 10 days out and pondering the minutes per kilometre maths again, like all half marathoners do.  How has my training gone?  What time might I run?  Might I run a good time?

You start wondering about if you could shave a 5 seconds per kilometre off your time.  Sounds easy right?  Just five little seconds? Couldn't I move from the 5:15 k pace to the 5:10 k pace?  Isn't a few seconds just about wanting it enough?

Pace per Km Race Time

04:45 1 40 14
04:50 1 42 59
04:55 1 44 45
05:00 1 46 30
05:05 1 47 16
05:10 1 49 01
05:15 1 51 47
05:20 1 53 32
05:25 1 54 18
05:30 1 56 03

To be honest I've never run as fast as 5:10, but will run somewhere between there and 5:25 most likely.  Faster in the dry, with less wind and depending on how much the crowd gets in the way.

Really the goal is to get fitter and a little bit leaner once a year with the self imposed improvement tyranny as a kind self distracting side game.