"I'd rather be seen on my bicycle than on a park run" - Quote from the dark side

Monday, 4 February 2013

Alberton Half Marathon Report

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.

Looking back.

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!


Big Daddy Diesel said...

Congrats on another great race!!

Liz said...

Half marathon number 388?! Did you know that or did you have to count them up? I think if I ever got near that number I might lose count! Well done on meeting your goals. Great that you're feeling confident and your training is going so well.

KovasP said...

Nice symmetry it being your last and now first road race bracketing the trail runs!

Unknown said...

Good job and great photos (as always). :-)

misszippy said...

Sounds like you ran it perfectly--great job! wow, that's a LOT of racing you have done over the years. Amazing!

As to your question on the comments on the commercials at the Super Bowl--every year the commercials are a highlight during the game. Companies debut their funniest/most inspirational commercials here. For many people, this is just as entertaining as the game!

Black Knight said...

388 half marathons! What a runner you are. Congrats for all the goal achieved.
Beautiful photos.

One Crazy Penguin said...

This is fantastic! You hit all your goals :) So excited to keep reading about your comrades training!

Robin said...

Congrats, what a great result!

Mike said...

A great way to start the year. Good run Johann.

Tina @GottaRunNow said...

How great to finish feeling like you could have run farther. Congrats on earning your first 2013 race medal!

Char said...

That was a really good race Johann. And the most impressive part was that you didn't speed up towards the end even though you were feeling good and kept to your race plan. I know I wouldn't be that disciplined.

Kate Geisen said...

What a great feeling to finish still feeling so strong! Way to stay disciplined too and stick with your plan. It definitely looks like a beautiful day to race. And #388?? You amaze me!

Amy said...

That's awesome! It's great that you were able to stick to your plan. Your legs will thank you in the weeks ahead!

ajh said...

Do you mean you have done 388 half marathons? Yowzer!

Jim ... 50after40 said...

Nice job on the race! 388 halves ... what are you, like 163 years old?

coach dion said...

388 half, that is even more than me, but I only live in Cape Town... I like the way you run with a camera and take so maybe pictures. I want to say you must be running to slow if you have time to take all the pictures! So my question is: Are you going to just that camera down and ran a hard half before Comrades? or is it all just training?

Karien P. said...

Congratulations on your first race for 2013 and meeting all your goals! I'd love to know how running on tar after so many trail races treated your body? Could you feel a difference?

Staci said...

Good running Johann. Nice to have positive feedback to reassure you all is well with your training. Keep up the good work.

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ultra collie said...

whats that blue sky thing please???

Anette said...

You did well! I waited 4 u at finish line and cheered u on!