I had been looking forward to this race for months. Although I had also done the 8k (5mile) and 16k (10mile) races in the previous two months in the same park, I wasn't used to those distances. The HM distance seems to be (currently) where it's at for my racing.
The previous weekend I had missed my LSR, due to being at a friend's wedding in Paris. A pretty good excuse if ever there was one! So from there it was straight into taper for the race.
The Tuesday track session went well. Most of the group were doing 800m repeats, but I did a Fartlek session instead. I did a 1,200m warmup, 6 x 50m sprints, then 6 x 1min at 80% with 30sec JR followed by 5 x 30sec at 80% with 30sec JR. After that I did another 1,200m cool down on a chilly night.
I was meant to be doing my final run on Wednesday, but my wife was working and by the time I had got the kids asleep that night I had fallen asleep too. So I did my final run of just 40mins on Thursday, but took it pretty easy. On Friday I did a bit of walking, but no gym and no running.
Saturday morning had me up at 7am to get breakfast in so it would settle in time. My usual porridge, two pieces of toast and tea were followed by a banana. In no time at all it was 8am and time to get ready. As our daughter (3) had a bit of a cold, we decided I would go on my own to the race. I was driving over and just got off the M50 when I saw a couple of women in running gear waiting by the side of the road, looking pensive. I would not normally stop, but as they were obviously runners I did and offered them a lift to the race. They both accepted and we chatted for a few mins on the way to the park. One of them was going for a 2:15 time and the other was injured and was going to cheer the other on. I let them go ahead as I prepared at the car and then jogged to the start line (just over 2k). I had a GU about 15mins before the start and made my way to the wave 2 pen. Wave 1 was for sub 90mins, too ambitious for me yet! My PB was 1:50:04 and I was hoping for 1:48 or so, but at the last minute, I decided to aim for 1:45!!
The elites took off, and a couple of mins later wave 1 went. Then we moved up and I was chatting to the 1:50 pacers and a couple of women from the club that I bumped into. In no time at all we were off and the 1:50 pacers were ahead of me! In the crowd (a total of over 8,000) it was tricky for the first couple of KM, but I caught up to my target pace pretty soon and pulled away from the 1:50 crowd. I decided to try and keep my pace pretty constant and it was feeling good. We were doing two loops of Pheonix Park and as we came up the hill to Chesterfield Ave around the 8k mark I started to run low on energy so I took a GU with water. In 10mins or so I was feeling ok again so I picked up the pace.
Most of the race went fine and I stuck to my pace but at about the 15k mark my right hamstring started to complain (an intermittent issue). It was so bad that I had to take a walk break for a bit and took in some water. Just then, the woman I had given a lift to was passing and told me to "get back running" - in a friendly way. Looked like she was going a lot faster than a 2:15 pace! I started running again and couldn't keep the pace I had been at, but ran as hard as I could. With the final hill I slowed a bit (as most of us did) and put on a spurt for the final 600m or so. Crossing the line I was limping, but very happy with my 1:45:30 time, woohoo!
I got my goodie bag, water and bananas and chatted to a couple of people before walking back to the car. I would normally have jogged, but I couldn't.
Getting back to the car I had a couple more bananas that I had brought with me, a protein drink and more water. When I got home a coach from the club rang (who I had chatted to in the wave 2 pen) and we decided to meet for lunch. So we got ready (during which time the kids had soaked each other with watering cans!) and had a very relaxed lunch. I had a scrambled egg and cheese bagel with water, just what I needed.
That night we went to a local restaurant and when we walked in I recognized four women from our club and chatted to them for a bit, three of them had run the race and were all exhausted but happy. I had stuffed baked mushrooms, barramundi fillet with garlic and cheese potatoes followed by cheesecake...oh and we shared a bottle of wine too! The day after I felt fine and apart from my hamstring (which I was icing) I could have gone out for a run...but didn't.
Looking forward to the DCM now!