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Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Tregaron Half Marathon

A full 48 hours after finishing this race and I'm still aching. No it's not the usual DOMS muscular pain, as the recent training stint had prepared me for the distance & effort, its more a dull ache that shouts of joint pain, creaking kneecaps and flu like aches without the actual fever!

I've put it down to a pretty busy program of training recently which meant arriving at the start line already a tad fatigued, but in a healthy, training related way. Unfortunately the unforgiving Tregaron course really doesn't take any prisoners with its gradual hill start, followed by some real stingers both up and downhill, followed by the longest straight this side of Utah which cracks any lingering mental strength any of the competitors had remaining.

I woke up on Monday really feeling it yet still managed a recovery 'run' which really brought home how incapacitated i felt. So with this run not really helping matters, I took to the internet to help me gain some faster recovery techniques - Yoga!

A quick search for 'Yoga for Tregaron victims' brought up some helpful videos which required 15 minutes of copying a very flexible lady who seemed to be in a far sunnier place than I was. Anyhow, the workout actually had an effect and after the session, I was able to twist and turn, then walk with a far less achy body.

I'll try another session tonight to keep the recovery ball rolling.

As for the race, well I was around 20 seconds slower than last year (see previous blog post). The first non-progressive race run I've had in a fair while although considering the build up, conditions and physical state before hand, I'll take that as an ok run.

As per usual, I went off too fast at 6 min miling pace, pulled back after mile one to 6.30's and then tried to hold this for what would have been a tidy sub 1.25 run.

Warning signs sparked up at mile 3 as a 6.45 turned into another 6.45 which I initially put down to the hilly first few miles and the headwind. Surely things would improve on the homeward run-in?

The hips and back were feeling heavy by mile 7 and although i was still just about on target, it felt a real struggle and i was losing form. Ian Evans then came up from behind and took my scalp as he flew past. I initially held on to his coat tails but upon hitting the 'bog', he sped away. I later learned that this was an attack and looking back, that makes me feel a little better. I thought I had hit a wall at the time!

As Ian bridged to the guys in 6th & 7th place up ahead, my new target was to keep at 6.30's to try and maintain a PB pace and at the same time, keep some nifty chasers at bay.

As I lost the will to live after 3 miles of straight line old railway track, I was gaining a tad on a lad up front, but then I thought saw Ian Evans running back towards me...I soon realised that I was hallucinating. I'm sure they used Cors Caron in the 1960's Spaghetti Westerns?

With two miles to go, the course takes you back onto the road and I've never been so glad to see some tarmac. The hips were rioting at this point, not a sensation I've had to deal with previously, hence the Yoga, but I somehow held on to hold pace and sneak in under 1.27. Not ideal but two months of sleepless nights with the baby and some  weeks of heavy(ish) training miles might well be the reason for that so I'm not too worried about the  lack of progress just yet. Then again it could just be plain old age??