Yesterday’s Alberton Half Marathon was my first road race in nearly a year. The last road race I ran was this same race in 2012. Since then all my races were off-road.
There was quite a big field of runners that lined up for the 6AM start. We were there early as the venue is not even 10km from home. The weather was perfect and it was a beautiful morning.
Waiting for the start.
I was feeling good and quietly confident that I would have a good run. I’m putting in the work with 6 runs a week and also doing upper body and core exercises 4 times per week. This will be my routine for the next few months while I prepare for Comrades.
Everyone was in a good mood and there were many happy faces and lots of happy chatting when the race started. I saw quite a few old friends and was in a good space myself.
On our way!
Lovely morning for a race.
The route was a double lapper through the suburbs of Alberton. It was a new route and I was looking forward to see how it would be. Running in the suburbs was nice as there was hardly any traffic on the road for the duration of the race.
Quite roads through the suburbs.
I felt good but as usual I really got going after 7km. The route was quite easy with only a few minor hills to negotiate. If you are in good shape you can certainly run a very good time here.
The hills were all very manageable.
I ran well within myself as my goal was to run very relaxed and feel as if I could carry on for another 10km at the finish. I wanted to accomplish this by running a time of about 02:28. Being ready for the hard training over the next 4 weeks was more important than a good time at the finish.
The first lap went really quick and before I knew it we were at 9.5km and the 10km runners were splitting off.
10 and 21,1km split.
Most runners where I was running went on for the half marathon. I think most 10km runners were done already.
As we started the second lap and passed the 10km mark, I realized I was feeling very good. I was not tired at all and feeling strong. I kept it easy and knew I would make the 02:28 goal very easily and probably run under 02:25. Everything felt perfect!
On the second lap now…
As we progressed I became happier and happier. I didn’t tire at all and my legs were feeling very good. As I passed the 16km mark I smiled and felt as if I’ve just started. Training is paying off! I knew I could easily keep this up. I had a very positive run indeed.
18km done and feeling great!
I remained disciplined and didn’t speed up towards the end. I knew I had my goal in the bag and the training ahead is more important than running a few minutes faster. I wanted to feel as if I could carry on for 10 more kilometers at the finish and I was doing just that.
This time I could turn in as well.
To the finish with all goals achieved!
As I ran towards the finish I felt really good about myself. I kept it slow and relaxed even though I could have pushed a lot harder. I could easily have run 10 or more minutes faster, but being fresh and ready for the next week’s training was more important.
I finished in 02 :22:56 and met my goal of sub 02:30 with ease. And yes, I had more than enough left in me to do another 10km…my other goal also achieved.
Done and happy!
Half marathon number 388 in the bag with all goals achieved. My legs don’t feel as if I’ve run at all and that is exactly where I want to be right now.
First 2013 medal.
I now go into 4 weeks of build up for my Comrades qualifying marathon. I am feeling very confident indeed.
Thanks for reading! Have a super week!