Sunday, October 7, 2012

Alicante Half Marathon

 This was the third Alicante HM and had a much improved route this year, going through the centre of town and out past my house, returning to town via the cost and then doing a zig-zagging route through the centre. I didn´t think it was that hilly when I studied the route but I had my mind changed for me by the end. I found this one tougher than Alcoy which, for those that don´t know, is built on the side of a mountain and has considerably more metres of elevation.

I won´t go into my prep, suffice to say that after almost arriving at the start line I realised I´d forgotten my chip. One frantic taxi ride later, followed by an inadequate warm-up and we were off. I´d decided I wasn´t going to look at my Garmin during this race and try to run on feel. Consequently I set off stupidly fast, regularly clocking kilometres around the 4-4:20 mark. I felt bloody good though so thought I´d be ok. Then we hit the first hill. I didn´t push too much on the hill and let those I´d stormed past earlier take me over, thinking that I´d recuperate and come back later. However, it didn´t happen and I realised my legs were drained. From that moment on, I was getting overtaken regularly. I´d also decided not take gels but I did put together a honey and lemon drink to sip from on the route. This meant I was more or less running on my own reserves  but this was what I´d planned all along. So...from kilometre 8 to kilometre 21 my legs felt heavy and every stride was laborous, but my mind was strong and I was really pleased with my attitude. On some of the later hills I passed plenty of walkers and started to hold my own a bit more to stop people over-taking.

Finally, after a 3 kilometre climb to the finish I arrived in 1:46:46. I think if the course had been flat I would have hit 1:40 with no problem but you can´t be displeased with a PB. All in all, this was a tough old bird.

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