Monday, September 21, 2009

The Sydney Half and Lloydy

I raced in the Blackmores Sydney Half Marathon yesterday. I was wide-eyed in wonderment at running over a traffic-free Harbour Bridge amongst a crowd of 7,000, and some time later, past the tourists of Circular Quay to finish near the steps of the Sydney Opera House. I had a great time! It was a perfect shining Sydney day.

I kept an eye on the heart-rate monitor in the early stages, just as Canute had done in the Robin Hood Half. I eased the throttle when the heart-rate went over 145. This method seemed to work pretty well, as the first 10k felt comfortable enough. After the turn I picked up the effort, but as I checked each kilometre split, realised that I wasn't producing any extra speed. Maybe it was just a bad hair day? Who knows? Anyway, my chip time was 1:46:10, so a little slower than for the Vets' Half, but on a warmer morning. My result doesn't fill me with confidence that I can run 1:40 in Melbourne in three weeks' time.

At the race expo on Saturday I bumped into Andrew Lloyd. For those who may not know, "Lloydy" ran in one of the most exciting 5000m races ever, when he came from behind to beat John Ngugi in the 1990 Commonwealth Games. I remember watching the race on live television, urging Lloydy on over the last thrilling lap. Steve Moneghetti in commentary was almost as animated as I was — it was a moment I'll never forget.

5k splits (Av HR): 24:43 (143), 24:42 (146), 25:26 (148), 25:41 (145), 5:38 (150)

With Andrew Lloyd between the Harbour Bridge and the Opera HouseWith Andrew Lloyd at the Expo on Saturday


OpenID canute1 said...

Sorry to hear that abandoning the Pre start did not leave you with more in the tank in the final 5K in Sydney. Despite burning the toast a couple of months ago, I think you have enough training volume under your belt. I would be inclined to focus on tempo runs at a pace a little faster than you target half marathon pace in the next few weeks, - but then my thoughts should be taken with a very large pinch of salt.

6:35 pm  
Blogger plu said...

Yeh I remember that race well. Glad you ahd a good day and a great time - well done Plu

6:51 pm  
Blogger Bruce said...

Your man had some speed that day alright.

As i predicted your girls were just too cool while we cracked in the last minute again. Good to see ABs back in form though!

8:17 pm  
Blogger Thomas said...

Running over Sydney Harbour Bridge and finishing by the Sydney Opera House. I think I know where the appeal comes from!

9:25 pm  
Blogger jojo said...

bad haor day...hmmm i fell like im an expert at the moment. I reckon you can still do 1.40-had you tapered for this? also my suggestion is dont look at teh heart rate and stuff on the day, maybe you slowed yourself as a result?just my two cents!My heart rate is always way higher than they would predict for me, but i can maintain it.remember the heart rate gudes are an evergae, some will be higher some will be lower

10:30 pm  
Blogger Girl In Motion said...

I agree with the above, if you give yourself a proper taper (plus a couple good speed workouts between now and then) 1:40 could be yours. Even more so if the weather calms down for you.

Also agree that monitoring HR during a race can be a double-edged sword, potentially capping your speed a tad too low.

10:38 pm  
Blogger Grellan said...

Looking at your 5k splits I would have expected your heart rate to rise throughout the race instead of dipping during the 4th 5k - I thought that would be when you would begin to push a little harder or a least record a higher HR to show that you were coming under increasing stress and coundn't push any more.

All the best for the last few weeks training before Melbourne.

11:15 pm  
Blogger Ali said...

That has to be one of the most scenic half marys. I'll add it to my list.

Congrats on the run, even if you are not totally happy with the time, I am very impressed.

3:49 am  
Blogger trailblazer777 said...

Well done on another solid Half...
Maybe tone down the Pre-ishness, but I dont think its wise to ditch Pre altogether...I think it will be tough to break 1.40 if you don't start a bit Pre-ish...and remember the Lloydy/Bekele finishing kick...
here is Lloyd winning in 1990;

Sounds like a great day...
Melbourne is hopefully the breakthrough day...

4:41 am  
Blogger Love2Run said...

Great video and finish. Your splits and hr are very constant, maybe running too easily? Next race, forget HR and run by perceived effort? Good luck!

11:30 am  
Blogger jen said...

Congrats on another strong finish! How neat to run over that bridge. I think you'll be able to push a lot harder and put up a faster time in a few weeks on a cooler day. Keep it up!! :)

11:49 am  
Blogger Superflake said...

Good run Ewen. Was a tad warm for the marathon too. Melbourne is downhill you should run faster in the half.

1:23 pm  
Blogger Sling Runner said...

Well done. Your first couple 5k splits were machine like! Agree with canute on tempo runs for the next couple of weeks.

6:23 pm  
Blogger strewth said...

Well done - sounds like you had a great day. I love the photo - that was a bonus!

8:50 pm  
Blogger rinus said...

A good time and Running over Sydney Harbour Bridge, WOW..
Thats nice to do and you have fun this time!.

3:07 am  
Blogger bill carter said...

It sounds like you had a really nice race on what was a beautiful day. You are quite a lot like me Ewen in that we are both all to aware of that stopwatch the begins the second we cross the start line. I know that I need to remember that not every race can be a PR, but every single one of them is a new experience and completely different from every other.

Great picture! You may just surprise yourself in a couple weeks.

5:25 am  
Blogger Scott Brown said...

Lordy oh lordy that sounded like a good race.

Melbourne is looking good for you Ewen.

12:00 pm  
Blogger Rob said...

That's a pretty good time for a training run for Melbourne. You have 1:40 in the bag Ewen.

5:47 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Canute, thanks. I've done one such run already. I'll take the pinch of salt too and perhaps avoid a Thomas-like disaster.

Jo, Flo and Mike - I hadn't tapered properly - it was a training race - Melbourne is the main goal. I'll be running by perceived effort rather than HR in Melbourne.

Grellan, I think the lower HR after 15k was a symptom of being tired more than anything.

Jonathon, I'm not ditching Pre-style. I intend to practise in short races, not Melbourne though!

Thanks all for your best wishes and comments - they're much appreciated!

4:46 pm  

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