Ran my second half-marathon at the weekend in Marton. It was a small field, but a good local run around the gentle hills of Rangitikei. The results are available here (though I timed myself at a minute slower than the official time, as did the runner who came in first).
My plan was to run 4:45 minute kilometres on the way out and aim for a negative split on the way back to come in under 1:40:00. I stuck fairly close to a guy from Palmerston North, chatting a bit on the way out and then managing to keep him in view on the way back in. The lack of km markers made pacing a bit tricky and the sun was pretty high in the sky so more water stops would have helped.
The heat wasn’t such a problem on the way out thanks to a northerly breeze (pretty stiff at times), but the wind meant a slightly slower first half than I’d planned. That said, it was slower by seconds rather than minutes and with the breeze behind me and a gentle incline back to town, I ran the second half around 2 minutes quicker.
Official time: 1:38:56 (my time: 1:39:53)
Click the map for more info
And here’s the elevation (click to enlarge):
So it’s been a while since I ran the half and am now wondering what next. For starters I’m probably joining a friend for another half in Marton at the end of August, part of his training for the full Berlin marathon in September. I best get back to some training for the next half, and less biscuits and lala-runs round the waterfront. That said I’ve been running fairly regularly with a good long run every weekend somewhere between 1:30 and 1:55, and some shorter faster runs during the week (an 8km in 36:30mins is my best pace to date).
But it begs the question of when I’ll be running that marathon, how I’ll prepare for it, and what I’m aiming for. The last question’s the easiest one: 3:30. It should be possiblem but I’ve got to take it seriously and allow enough time to get properly in shape – physically but probably more importantly mentally.
The Auckland one sounds a bit full on and in any case is sold out (and is too soon – November). I’ve heard there’s one in Wellington over the summer, and keeping local would be good, though I wonder if that’s enough time to prepare. For that Rotorua looks like a good option in May 2010, with plenty of time. So maybe that’ll be the one…
Meantime I’m reading Haruki Murakami’s What I Talk About When I Talk About Running and so far it’s really good take on what drives some people to spend hours alone running.