Run Melbourne Half Marathon Recap
Ever since the horrible experience of the Nail Can Hill fun run, I knew that I needed to put in the hard yards training wise to get a decent result for this half marathon. My training went for 12 weeks, and for the majority of it I was working off a training plan my friend (an experience runner) gave me. It wasn’t till late June, that HB (Move Fuel Love’s hubby) noticed on one of my instagram posts that my heart rate was a little high. So for the last 4ish weeks I’ve been aiming to run to reduce my heart rate – adding in tempo runs, interval runs and long runs keeping my heart rate under 175.
I knew that I needed to do this type of training, there was no good my training with a high heart rate – which was causing me to crash and burn and not be able to run longer distances. This was my second ever half marathon – the first I ran in Darwin with a time of 1:57 back in 2012!
Based on my recent runs, I knew my time would be quicker than training (I’d been running at 6:40min/km), due to it being a race, but had no idea of how I would feel on the day, the weather etc.
The week leading up:
I had a Crossfit WOD on Tuesday which consisted of back-squats, deficit dead-lifts @60kg and handstand push-ups. A massage (calves and hammies) happened on Wednesday, and I did 10km of laps around the oval on Thursday to ‘feel’ (however my bloody Garmin carked it before I could save it). The day before (Saturday), I ran 3.2km up the river to relax and had yummy lasagna and then shared a nutella pizza for dessert in the city!
I woke early at 5.30am, popped the kettle on for a coffee and got changed with the heater going! :) My pre-run fuel was a piece of toast, a coffee and a handful of cashews. I was lucky enough to have Brad drop me off to met Jess, Bianca and Jayne in the city. We all went to the toilet a million times, triple checked we had everything and then walked down to the start line.
It wasn’t long before we found ourselves in our wave (B), and then about 10 minutes after the gun went off, we were off! The girls, who I knew would be quicker than me, kicked off at 5.30min pace (way to quick for me). I kept up for a bit, and then backed off as I knew I would burn out if I tried to keep up with them!
The first lap of the course went well, I found my groove around 6.05 – 6.20 min/km pace and with my earphones in, listened to my spotify run playlist. The weather was cool (around 9 degrees), and a bit windy in areas, but it was good. The atmosphere was fantastic and I was feeling comfortable, trying to focus on keeping my heart rate below 180.
The second lap I knew I was slowing down, but I was doing it purposefully to keep my heart rate down. I wanted to have a comfortable and enjoyable run, and not max myself out. Looking over my heart rate over pace from my Garmin – I can see that my heart rate slowly rose as the run went on, and went up significantly around the hour mark and stayed up there:
Around the 15km mark, running down the Anderson St hill I ended up ringing my parents (who had me on speaker phone) for a pep up. It was fun, and took my mind off the run for it a bit – and they got a kick out of it too! Between then and the 18km mark, my hips started hurting a little, and then at the 19.5 – 20km mark, my back started really hurting, like seizing up – and it was around the area where I’ve had an inflamed disc in the past. I was worried, but not in enough pain to stop and walk. I pushed through and then sprinted for the finish line! The best thing was hearing my friend Jayne yell out “Go Ali” as I came up!
My official finishing time was 2:12:20 (with a split 10km – 10:01:31) – my pace dropped from 6:09min/km in the first 10km, to 6:41min/km (which had been my training pace) – so I was pretty happy with that.
- Overall place: 4055 / 5193 (78%)
- 18-29 age place: 471 714 (65.9%)
- Females: 1537 / 2325 (66.1%)
Those above stats really don’t bother me, I ran a good run, I was happy and felt comfortable. I was in control of my breathing, and despite my back hurting at the last bit (still don’t know the cause for sure – as all my training runs have been fine with no pain), I felt like I had more gas in the tank during the run – I know I could’ve pushed it more if I wanted to.
You can view my full run stats on my Garmin connect account here
Out of interest sake, I then decided to compare my first half marathon back in 2012 to this one – and clearly I ran quicker, but my heart rate was a lot higher. I want to improve that, lower my heart rate and improve my pace!
So what’s next?
I’ve registered for the Sydney Running Festival Half Marathon in eight weeks time on September 20th! I’ve employed a running coach who goes by @hippy_brad_runs on instagram. He’s the hubby of a fitness blogger and runner I know from Darwin, follows a LCHF diet and is a super quick runner. I like his approach to running – to run healthy and happy. And that is my aim at the moment.
My goal for Sydney would be to run in the 2:05 vicinity, but to keep my heart rate lower. I’ve already been sent my training plan, and was meant to start today – however after a trip to the physio last night, I’ve been instructed not to exercise till Friday at least.
So once I’ve been given the all clear it’s time to get moving again. I just hope its sooner rather than later!
Did you Run Melbourne? How did you go?