On mostly successful half marathon training and highly unsuccessful blogging

So I am back after weeks of blogging silence. Two crazy months at the office, useless ADSL that only works when it feels like it (thanks for nothing, Telkom) and, I suppose, life happened and got in the way of my best intentions to blog.

I’m going to do my best to catch up, Internet availability allowing…

The half marathon

My training buddy and I had some obstacles to overcome, in the form of me having to be at the office at insane hours of the day, thwarting any chance of a pre-work run, and my friend’s nagging pain in the bum… No, she wasn’t a pain in the bum – she actually had a glute that refused to cooperate.

The last seven weeks of our training was probably at about 50% of what our training program intended. To summarise:
Week 6: 3 runs; total distance 20.5km in 2 hours and 17 minutes.
Week 7: 2 runs; total distance 11.28km in 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Week 8: 3 runs; total distance 23.48km in 2 hours and 47 minutes.
Week 9: 2 runs; total distance 10.77km in 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Week 10: 2 runs; total distance 27.57km in 3 hours and 26 minutes.
Week 11: 5 runs; total distance 40.94km in 4 hours and 42 minutes.
Week 12: 2 runs; total distance 10km in 1 hour and 11 minutes.

In between we did a few more trail runs. Some posts on that to follow, including some pics.

So, you may ask, what happened with the actual goal of all this running training madness, the Old Eds half marathon?

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WE DID IT!!

We successfully completed our first half marathon! I finished in 2:10:32, four and a half minutes less than my goal time.

The 12th of August was a cold and windy day (temperature at the start of the race was around 4 degrees Celsius) but we braved the weather, armed with no more than coffee and happy thoughts of the run ahead. We also again realised that we really need to work on our winter running and cycling wardrobes (having narrowly avoided frostbite and hypothermia during a mountain bike race in July).

We planned the run and “ran the plan” (to steal a scuba saying), trying to stick as far as possible to just below our 6:24 race pace (my average pace ended up being 6:15). That paid off and we more or less managed to keep our pace steady for most of the race.

A lot of people will ask you, “Why do you do such crazy things as getting up before dawn and running 21km on a cold winter morning?”. What can I say? It makes me feel good. It makes me smile. Even when the going gets tough (and that last 9km was tough), that feeling of achievement when you take part in such a physical challenge is just incredible. I never thought I would be able to run 5km or 10km, never mind a half marathon. So, successfully completing my first half marathon in less than my goal time (something that I haven’t been able to do in my other races so far) was absolutely awesome!

I would like to run some more local half marathons soon and keep up the longer distance running in general. If all goes well it’ll be Two Oceans and Knysna half marathons for me next year.

In the meanwhile, though, it is back to the swimming pool and spinning class… Triathlon season here we come!