Thursday, September 14, 2006

Just One More Note

That’s the last entry about Sunday’s race, I promise. I’ve been thinking about the run, and how it had been my best race so far. Still, I couldn’t help but wonder where I could have improved. I don’t mean things like more specific training during the preceding weeks, or tapering for the race. I’m unlikely ever to focus on a half-marathon, therefore my preparation for this distance will always be compromised. I just happen to think that I could have improved a few small things during the race itself.

I started the race with a 7:20 mile. At the time I thought that was too fast and slowed down just a little bit. It’s difficult to say now if it was too fast or not. My average pace for the entire distance was actually faster than that opening mile, but the course had been climbing over the first mile. I think I pretty much went out at the correct pace, and slowing down might not have been necessary.

The one thing I definitely did wrong was at mile 7. I felt pretty good at that point, but decided against accelerating because I was worried about running out of steam somewhere on the next 6 miles. That was basically a lack of self-belief from my side. In hindsight I would have easily been able to withstand the higher pace from that point onwards.

The other thing that I could have done better is that I should have started my finishing kick a lot earlier than I did. I didn’t kick until I saw the 13-mile sign ahead of me. To be honest, I kind of forgot to kick earlier on. I had intended to kick with half a mile left, and when I saw the 13-mile mark I was like “Oops, forgot to sprint”.

I don’t want to sound overly critical. I am more than happy with my race. If I had done the above things better I might have finished in 1:34:xx. No big deal. I take all the positives, and will learn from those mistakes.

That’s it. I won’t bother you any more with this.

I did another 11 miler on Wednesday. It was supposed to be another easy run, and I duly covered the first half at about 8:20 pace. On the return leg I kind of zenned out once more and ran with my head in Lala-land, while the legs did their own thing. When I came back home, the time read 1:28, 8:00 pace overall. Oops.

I definitely took it easier today, but included 8x100 strides into my run. I ran the 7 mile-loop that I had avoided since my encounter with that herd of cows about two months ago. I figured they would have gone by now and the run should be safe enough. I was correct, and I suppose I can safely add this loop to my usual staple of routes again.

13 Sep: 11 miles, 1:28, 8:00 pace
14 Sep: 7 miles, 1:02, 8:51 pace, with 8x100 strides


  1. I always reflect back over my runs and races and question how I could have done better. Remember, this is your blog and you can crow and 'soapbox' all you want about the race. Re-running the race in your mind is part of training for the next event Thomas. Take care.

  2. Thomas, I missed saying congrats and well done on your race! What an amazing time! I agree with Robb--it's your blog, so blog away:) We all learn from each other's analysis, anyway....

  3. I think your self-reflection is great - and we are lucky you did it "out loud" on your blog. Now you've got me thinking about that lack of faith in myself. Thanks!

  4. Thomas,

    Just been catching up on your blog. Can't believe your son got sting so many times. Glad he is ok.

    Good job on the race. I do that too, there are a few ppl that is on my mind. When those prey are gone...the motivation to go fast slow down.

    As for the 13 miles forgot to push..ha...been there done that ;). Some race either i just go all out or barely pushing it at all.

  5. I believe that you did a good thing by "thinking" during your race. I would say that it takes discipline to keep the reins in when your plan seems to conservative at the beginning. It seems to me that changing your plan near the beginning of a race is a recipie for disaster! Near the middle or end perhaps a planned assessment and then an significant adjustment may be planned. I still think bravo for you, and your PR, Way to go!

    Now off to make the kids breakfast in my own PR (Personal Responsibility!)

  6. Hey Thomas, you seem to have a fairly planned training schedule. Can you tell me what you are using?

  7. It's the reflection along with the preparation on what we could have done better that makes us better at racing. I have not figured out pacing at all and as you know I use the trial and error method more than most.

    I noticed on a comment you left on someone elses blog that you said you did not want to get to cocky for this marathon. I think that is the right attitude to take. Be confident in your abilities and your training and you are definitely on the right track.