My First Official Half Marathon Recap

Darwin Runners Club Half Marathon

half marathon, recap, race, darwin, running, marathon training, jeff galloway, run walk run

I mentioned in last week’s post about my 27km training run that I found it hard to use the run walk run (RWR) method in a race environment. Well since this was a much longer distance I was determined to leave my ego behind and use a 2:1 ratio (run 2 minutes, walk 1 minute).

I have run quite a few ‘unofficial’ half marathons on my own now and my times pre implementing the RWR method have ranged from 2:16 – 2:24. However, this was when my Garmin was set to pause when I stopped to cross a busy road, have a drink or eat an energy chew so these times are not entirely accurate.

On last week’s long run my HM time 2:37 and I took this into account when considering a time goal for yesterday’s 21.1kms. I thought since I had not been concentrating on speedwork (just started to incorporate it back into my training last week) and that my main focus has been endurance without injuries, a time goal of 2:30 should be achievable.

Regular speedwork usually equates to an injury for me.

How did I go?

HB and I woke up at 5am and quietly managed to get dressed in silence, he gets so nervous before a race also. Our babysitter arrived at 6.15am and we headed down to East Point where the race was due to start at 7am. It was hilarious to see an overnight rave dance party still happening next to the lake. They looked incredibly happy and I wondered if they had some spare chemical endurance to share because I was still half asleep.

In the other car park was a group of about 30 US Marines all decked out in their Darwin runners Club shirts and lining up to use the loo. For the first time in my life, the men’s line was longer than the ladies line.

It was a beautiful cool morning (20C) in Darwin and I knew that would quickly change once the sun decided to rise. But there was no time to worry about the weather because the race was underway before I knew it. I ran the first two kms around 5.30min/km and I was on fire and for a moment I was tempted not to use RWR and just try and wing it. Sensibility soon took over and I pulled over to the side and started my interval timer. This was my last race before the Sydney Marathon in September and I wanted to use it partly as a training run.

The course was 4 loops around East Point which I know now like the back of my hand, it’s my favourite running path, incredibly scenic and more importantly, flat!

There were about 300 runners on the course and at least 200 passed me when I started my 2:1 RWR which was a little disheartening, but I put my faith in my training and ran my own race. My plan was to run the first 10kms at an easy pace and then pick it up a little. I was enjoying every single minute, but HB has had an injury for the last 2 weeks and I was worried about him and how he was faring.

At the 8km point I was on a walk break and a race marshall told me off for walking, ‘Come on sweety, keep going‘, he said. I replied smiling ‘No it’s fine, I’m OK’. Then he said ‘No, you need to keep running honey, you have to keep those legs moving and watch out for lactic acid‘. I wanted to sucker punch him in the face.

I knew I was at the back of the pack and at the 15km point I started passing a few runners. On my last lap with 4.5kms to go the official clock said 1:42 and I was happy with this. I couldn’t see HB at the finish line and I knew he would be done by now but went on to run the final few kilometres.

My official finishing time was 2:13:34.  Yes it’s a new HM PR for me, but it was an easy run and races are meant to be run at a higher effort. I definitely could have knocked another 5 minutes off that time.

HB absolutely smashed it and is on par for a sub 3 hour marathon in September, but I will let him write his own update.

In the meantime I have fallen in love with the half marathon and next year I will aim to crack that sub 2 hour goal.

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