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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Race Report: Peterborough 1/2 Marathon

The Race

This is my 4th year doing this race so I've already yacked about it quite a bit... it's a pretty flat 1/2 in Febuary, course isn't all that special, can be windy.

What I would like to add - KUDOS to the new race director, he did a fantastic job! The association with Pepsi was clear and awesome (great loot!), the shirts are wicked, and the organization was flawless.

My Race

This was really a trial run before my true 1/2 marathon goal, the Whitby 1/2 in May. I wanted a sub-1:45 finish, but it was kind of a long-shot goal. Really I just wanted to have a solid race and do my best.

I was pretty calm at the start, my friend John was with me and I just tried to keep focused on staying above 5:00/km but below 5:10/km. Tough to keep such a specific range, I would look down and see 4:50/km then 5:15/km. I felt like my pace was reasonably steady, though.

My plan was to stay above 5:00/km for the first 7km, then pick it up to 5:00/km even to the half, then try find something for the back half.

This worked really well for me... I was comfortable for the entire first half, pace was bang on for the negative split. 53:28 at the half, on place for a 1:47 finish... but I wanted more!

I kicked it up a notch, the goal now being to see 4:XX/km for the rest of the race. And for the most part, that's exactly what I did. There was a brutal headwind at times on the way back, which in the past might have messed with my mind a bit, but mentally I just put it aside and focused on my pace. I drafted behind people when their pace allowed for it, just to get a break from the unrelenting wind.

The last few kilometers were grueling... I could feel the pace slipping away, and it started to feel very very difficult. The fatigue washed over me, it was a fight to keep under 5:00/km, but I fought and fought. My finishing kick was a lot weaker than I'd have liked, it was so hard just to keep going. My stomach was cramping and I felt drained.

Final result: 1:45:26.2 (152/513, 12/27 M30-34)

Garmin data

Can I get a Wh00t?

I'm delighted... a personal best by over 2 minutes!

Sure, I was 26 seconds off my ultimate goal, but I have another race in a couple months to get there. I feel I got as much out of myself as was there on this day, my race strategy was spot-on. There wasn't 26s more in me today, that has to come with training and hard work! I'll get there.

And what's not to love about this progression a this race?

2007- 2:07:06
2008- 1:53:55
2009- 1:49:17
2010 - 1:45:26

Wh00t!!! If this trend continues... Boston someday??? :)

Oh, and you'll note that my Garmin says 21.17km... I'm 99% sure the course was LONG. All their markers were bang-on my Garmin until the halfway point, then they were off. So I would have had it!!! Ah well.

Next up: Paris to Ancaster. Back on the bike and ready to rock!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Gatorade - Dude, where's my Scoop!?

I've been a loyal Gatorade customer for years. It's yummy, has lots of carbs, and enough salt/potassium to get the job done for all but the hottest days.

At Ironman, I drank liters and liters of the stuff... it was my main source of calories on race day. It burned my mouth by the end, but I never strayed, gulping down two cups of their wonderful sugar water at each aid station right to the end...

Yay, Gatorade!

So imagine my dismay when I opened their new, improved, can of Gatorade powder.

I went to mix it. One scoop Gatorade, 500mL water. Easy!

But wait... where's the scoop?

There must be some mistake, Gatorade powder comes with a scoop! I search, no scoop.

Confused, I look at the can. "2 ROUNDED TEASPOONS"!??? What is THAT!? How "rounded" is rounded? Big pile, little pile? And where's my damn scoop?

I rush to the garage and rifle through my blue bin. Hurray, an "original" Gatorade container, and there it is - my scoop! I wash it, stroke it gently, and measure. Oh, the sweet accuracy of the scoop, how I almost missed thee!

I feel sorry for new Gatorade customers, trying to guess their way through life... but I am whole again.

Preview: Peterborough 1/2 Marathon 2010

The Race

Out and back, country roads, flat, windy... sometimes wintery. Great pre and post race facilities at the YMCA and generally well run, but the course is nothing to write home about.

Me and Peterborough

I first did this race in 2007... it was my first-ever 1/2 marathon, and I was absolutely fried by the end of it! I remember thinking "how does anyone run twice this distance!?" and writing off ever doing a full marathon...

Returning now in 2010, with an Ironman and full marathon under my belt, my confidence is quite a bit higher!

2007- 2:07:06
2008- 1:53:55
2009- 1:49:17
2010 - ???

My Plan

My last 1/2 marathon, I aimed for 1:45 (5:00/km) and came up short... 1:47:43.

I'm about 10 pounds lighter now, though, which if you believe my previous blog post should be worth more than 4 minutes. But the weather won't be as favourable, and the last course I ran was net downhill...

Bottom line: 1:45 is possible, but not probable.

So I'll pace to a slower finish and pick it up throughout the race if I feel it's there.

First 1/3 - 5:05/km pace
Second 1/3 - 5:00/km pace
Third 1/3 - 4:55/km pace???

If I'm not feeling it, I'll back off, enjoy the scenery, and try it all again at the Whitby 1/2 marathon in May.