Blue (30km run report)

15 07 2011

Blue sky today for the first time in what seems like a couple of weeks. There’s nothing for it but to finally get that 30km run under my belt.

Will let you all know how it goes.

Run Report

It’s done. 30.16km in a shade over 3 hours. Again I managed (just) to come in at the 10kph mark which I’m trying to maintain as my minimum average speed for all runs.

A couple of things were different for this run. First of all, I ran an all new course, covering some roads I’ve never run before. Essentially it was one big anti-clockwise loop of Wagga. Full details here

I particularly liked this route because it was mostly flat. The only real climb was at the end where the average 5% gradient of Red Hill Road pinches to a shade over 10%. Added to that, the last 10km or so was a path I have run several times previously so not only did I know I could do it, but I had a fair idea of what constituted a good pace. If I made it from the roundabout to the bottom of the hill in 30mins, I was on track. From the bottom of the hill to home should be about another 30 mins. Being able to visualise what was left in front of me really helped get me through to the end.

The run started well. I maintained a fairly consistent pace, averaging around 11kph for the first hour. At the 12kph mark I had a quick refuel and contemplated the half marathon. If I could maintain my pace for the next hour, I’d pass the half marathon mark in under 2 hours. I contemplated the wisdom in this and wondered if it wouldn’t be a better idea to ease off a bit and save something for the predominately uphill last third. Fresh in my memory was advice from Andy, which was essentially to take it easy for the first 2/3 and ramp it up a little for the last 1/3. It’s good advice, and I probably should have taken it. But I didn’t. I tried to maintain a sub 5m30/km pace (about 10.9kph), and complete the HM in sub 2 hours. It wasn’t the best idea, but I set myself to it and deep down, I knew that on a relatively flat course, I’d have been disappointed if I hadn’t tried.

As I crossed back to the correct side of the highway, I was watching the clock very closely. Every time I felt myself slowing, I checked my speed and adjusted. In the end, I hit the 21.1km mark in 1hr 59m 14s. I could not believe I’d done it.  For a big guy who hovers around the 90kg mark, it is a big thing. I was totally ecstatic and celebrated by slowing to a walk while I refuelled for the last 10km.

Big mistake. I walked while I downed some gel and water, and from then on, every step was harder. I struggled to maintain a pace better than 6min/km and in fact, only two of the 1km splits out of the last ten were faster than 6m30s/km. Had I not known the course I would have struggled mentally as much as I was physically. But I managed to keep going, only slowing to a walk twice to allow cars right of way at intersections.

Once I was over the hill, I knew I’d finish the 30, and I knew I was very close to passing the 30km mark in a sub 3 hour time, another goal for this run. But something else was happening. I was, for the first time ever on a run, busting for a pee. In a moment of sheer insanity, I stopped for a pee at the 29.5km mark. The seconds it took were enough to cost me my goal. I didn’t need to stop, but I chose too. With half a k left to my goal, and 2km to home, I gave in to nature and it beat me. Not only did I not reach my 3 hour goal, but I compounded the error I made at the end of the HM. I never got going again, and at 30.17km, less than 2kms from home, I packed it in. I was aching, and I’d succeeded in my main goal and so I slowed to a walk. I regret it now, because I would have liked to finish, but at the same time, I had a chance to step back and cool down, and didn’t walk in the door too sweaty.

But in the end, I did it. I made it through my first ever 30km run. It may have been five days later than planned, but it’s done. I’ve got another fortnight now before I’m scheduled to attempt any thing longer. It should be in 8 days (according to the schedule) but I’ll push it a couple of days.

The other thing that was new on this run was that I ran with a camelbak. I wanted to have more water with me than I could carry in one bottle. It worked fine, and I didn’t have any major issues except that today my shoulders are aching. Not as bad as they were last night, but I’m regretting not getting used to the camelbak on shorter runs first.

Today, a very gentle 10km run on the treadmill. I’m going to go easy on myself and jog at zero incline. Like I said, nice and easy.

Final stats: 30.17km in 3hr 1m 35s (10kph).

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