Monday 24 February 2014

First race of the year - Headcorn Half Marathon

First race of the year has now been and gone.

This was the first running of the Headcorn Half Marathon, and advertised as a dead flat race route.

Given the fact that I've got little running under the belt so far this year, (3 runs of varying distances in total!), this was to be more experimental than anything.

I wanted to see how the Calf healed up, concentrate on a slight change in technique I've been planning, and concentrate on trying to pace myself a bit better. I was aiming for a 1:45.

Well, 'flat' my arse! Although you couldn't call it hilly exactly, it most certainly was not pan-flat. This and the seemingly constant head winds made it a slightly firmer challenge than expected.

The calf is holding up really well. There is now zero pain, but it gets tight down the outside edge quite quickly, so I'll still continue to 'work' on it. There is also a small point of inflammation on the right hand shin that developed, so I'll also be treating this. Hypochondria setting it?

Pacing also went completely out of the window! Although I really tried not to go too fast too soon (I didn't even try and chase a team mate as he shot off at the start), I still found that I was in the mid to high 7 minute mile pace for the first 5 of 6 miles. This typically results in my complete drop off in pace at about the 10 mile marker. I'll have to work on this.

I'm not in to religiously training by the watch (you can get some fantastic GPS based training watches nowadays), I really should religiously CHARGE THE BLOODY THING UP!! I was going to use this to at least monitor my progress through the race to learn by, but it ran out of juicy at mile 4! Burk.

The concentration faded with the miles too, so the focus on Technique went, and I could only think about the tightness across my shoulders / neck and upper back. I'm not generally prone to this, so guess it was something to do with the wind and maybe a need to loosen up a bit more (spent too much time chatting before the race I think!).

It’s been just over a day since the race and the leg ache has already gone (after a nice gentle bike ride in shorts and tee shirt in the sun for the first time this year (starting to cultivate the Tan Lines already) so real pleased about the recovery.

Experiment or not, the race time was 1:44:34 in the end, so I'm pretty pleased with that. Next stop - Paddock Wood Half Marathon in 4 weeks. Bring it on!



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