... is how far off I was from my target time of two hours at this morning's half marathon (this is according to the official chip time). I was disappointed for all of half or quarter of a second, and then decided that it was a pretty good effort given I'd never run a half before. I learnt a lot about how to prepare for a half as a result of today. In my lead up, the longest I had run was 18km - which I think would have been enough... if I had've had more hills in my long runs!
While I went out a lot faster than expect, I did hold that pace for the first 15km. Then the hills really started to get me - I could still run on the flat, but the hills! Aaargh!
Now I'm not sure if the elevation profile Nike+ has come up with is real - but I'm telling you the climb at 15km killed me, and the elevation profile reflects this. My pace dropped in the lead up to the hill as I was trying to get some energy for the climb. Massive fail! Ha!
I had organised to meet another 2-hour-targetting runner (from the Cool Running forum) before the race, and we ran together for most of the run. It was great to have someone who wanted to push the pace early to bank time on the downhills, and to see how far we could go with that pace. She then started mini pep talk to try and keep me going through that 15th km, which I just couldn't hold. I did catch her briefly after the climb, but she was clearly feeling better than me, so we parted ways. She was telling me pre-race that she'd had times of 2:04 and 2:02 in the past - but not under 2:00. She ended with 1:57, which I think was fantastic!
I did my first 10km in 54'26", and the second 10km in 59'28". I was actually only a few seconds behind where I needed to be at 20km to finish in 2 hours. I needed to average 5'41"/km over the race to get under 2 hours (as 1:59:55), which meant hitting 20km at 1:53:40. I was at 1:53:54, and most of the rest of the run was... uphill. Yup. Definitely a weakness of mine I'll need to work on!
So where to now with my running? I still haven't broken 25 minutes in the 5km, so that will be something I want to work towards next. Hopefully this will help me gain some pace, and maintaining long runs (but making sure they include hills) will help me with the next half marathon - whether it be September in Sydney, or October in Melbourne. I'm going to get some trail running in too before I leave Sydney (although the departure is yet to be determined!) and be a bit of a tourist!
Summary: 21.5*km @ 5'34"
Mileage for the week: 30.7km
*I will stick to using the GPS measurement for today.