Monday, July 27, 2009
Last long run till Alice Springs!
On Sunday I did my last really long run before the Alice Springs Marathon in three weeks, this is an exciting time since it means that my weekend runs get shorter and shorter to ensure that I am rested up and ready to go for the marathon. I decided to run the Sri Chinmoy Princes Park 30km, since it was a good chance to test out my race pace for a longer distance. My marathon training schedule was for a 32km run so I decided to do a 2km warm up run before the 30km race. The course was a tree lined, fast and flat 5km loop utilising the running trail around Princes and Royal Parks, so for the 30km run this meant doing 6 laps!! Luckily for me I had lots of friends running to keep me company including the Gunn Runners.
My plan for the run was to keep it at about 5min 30sec per km but because of the excitement of the start of the race and the people running all around me I ended up running at about 5min/km for the first couple of kilometres. But I soon settled down into a nice running pace and managed to keep the CoolRunners 5min/km bus in sight for most of the race (some of them are in this photo - you know who you are!).
I got through the first 3 laps pretty comfortably and then had my first GU. It was the first time that I had taken GU while I was still running - it worked okay and the water helped to wash it down. The GU did its job and gave me the necessary energy to keep on running and in fact I found in the last two laps I was actually able to speed up the pace and I felt strong and in control. On the last lap in particular I think I was inspired to run faster because of my competitive nature.
Firstly there was a woman running in front of me who was very likely 30 years older than me. We changed positions a couple of times but ultimately I decided that I wanted to stay in front and I just kept on going. Secondly on the last two kilometer loop I spied not far up ahead a running partner who I have an ongoing running duel, his favorite comment is "you are only as good as your last race!!!". This time I was determined to catch him and I thought my best chance was to sneak up on him and then overtake him. My plan worked I caught him running up the last incline and with less than one kilometer to go I sped home and finished the run in 2h 37 min (about 15 seconds ahead of my running partner). This was a fantastic finish for me resulting in an average running pace of 5 min 15 sec per kilometer. I had to post the picture on the right - you can see that I am flying - both feet in the air :).