Sunday, October 5, 2008

Great North Run - Mixed Emotions

The official record of todays Great North Run (Newcastle to South Shields) event will show that I completed the Half Marathon course in 1:27:03. A respectable enough time and one which at the start of the year I would have been very happy with. Last year I ran the same event in 1:34:51 and came 1288th. Today's time placed me 387th out of an estimated 52,000+ i.e. within the top 1% of finishers. This is a meaningless statistic however as the vast majority of competitors would be classed as fun runners!!
I titled this post as "mixed emotions" as, right now, that is exactly how I feel. Since the Cork Half marathon on September 14 I re-evaluated my target for this years event and I decided that my goal would be to run sub-1:25 today. Obviously I totally failed in reaching that target!! :( It may just have been a bridge too far given my current physical condition?? Today I was 16 seconds slower today that Cork so on that level I am dissappointed with today's run.
On another level today was a successful run. I went out as planned and ran a true run race from the gun totally focused on my sub-1:25 target. This resulted in at least three personal bests of the current millennium i.e. 5miles (31:27), 10K (39:10) and 10miles (64:36). All PB's were achieved relatively easily so on that level I am happy with today's run. But I can't help feeling that I left a PB for the Half Marathon on the road today. If only I had been a bit more conservative during those early miles!!
As you can probably gather up to 10+miles I was going fine. I was on target and I even felt good(ish). The course gets a bit hilly over the last 3 miles and as we approached the seaside finish at South Shields a headwind picked up. But as much as I'd like to I can't blame the course or the elements, weather conditions were perfect (dry, mainly light winds, cool and sunny). It's simple really - I was just not in the right condition to run sub-1:25 today. I totally fell apart over the last 2.25 miles - it wasn't pretty (more anon). In time I'll evaluate my training over the past few months and see what needs to change but for now I have to be satisfied with my new PB's and the fact that the initial goal for 2008 of running a half marathon in sub-1:30 has been achieved (not once but twice!!). Roll on 2009 and some new goals.....
I'll post again with the blow by blow race report and some more detailed analysis but now it's time to look at the race highlights on the BBC....
Thursday (02/10/08)
0 miles
Friday (03/10/08)
5.65miles - 45:30 - 8:00min/mile
Saturday (04/10/08)
0 miles
Sunday (05/10/08)
14.66miles - incl 13.1mile race - 1:27:03 - avg 179bpm
Week Total (29/09/08 - 05/10/08) - 4 sessions
33.55miles - 3:51:17 - <8:00min/mile>


Thomas said...

When I did the Bantry run half a year ago, I missed my half-marathon PR by something like 7 seconds. I had rather mixed emotions myself that day.

I blew that PR out of the water in Blarney 3 weeks ago, and I'm pretty sure you'll do the same with yours in 2009.

As far as training for that distance goes, a few long runs wouldn't go amiss, I guess (it would build you up nicely for a marathon as well, of course).

All in all, not a bad race. Congratulations, happy or not.

Grellan said...

Brendan, that 10 mile time is fantastic and certainly should have set you up for a sub-1:25 half. It's faster than the first 10 miles of my 1:24;30 half 3 weeks ago. Well done.

Thomas is right - a little bit more endurance and you'll be wiping the road with the rest of us.

Mike said...

Brendan, don't sweat it. It's only what 3-weeks after the last half? Probably not enough time to get appreciably better.

I agree w/ the Thomas and Grellan 100% - you've got good speed and the endurance will come w/ more training. You're going to be setting some great times down the line. I'm expecting you to go sub 1:20 within 18-24 months!