Monday, May 18, 2009

Gothenburg half

I finished my first half marathon in 2:21:27.

More info later.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Counting down

Only a few days left before the Gothenburg half marathon this Saturday.
When I received the race information a few weeks ago, I got really nervous. It struck me that this is for real. Now I feel comfortable about it. I have never done anything like this before so I don't know what to expect but I figure that if I only can be at the right place when it's time for me to start, I'll be ok. Then I just have to follow the crowd I guess. I'm sure it will be crowded, over 50 000 entrants. And even if there will be some that doesn't show up, there will still be a lot! of people there.

The race starts at 2 pm but I'm in startgroup 16 (out of 19) and we are scheduled to start at 3:46 pm.
Based on my 10k race last week and also on things that I've heard and red during last week, I have now formed a race plan for myself. My plan is this: Enjoy the event!
I'm not going to focus on time. I am going to check my splits to see what happens but I'm not going to let the split times matter that much. The main goal for me now is to reach the finnishline and to have fun on the way there. If I could do that in 6min/km I would be so pleased but if I'm going slower, that's fine too.

I haven't decided if I'm going to try to record some audio during the race. It would be fun to be able to share that with you in my next podcast episode but I guess I'm a bit scared of what people around me are thinking. On the other hand I will probably be rather anonymous in the crowd so it might be safe. It also depends on the weather. The forecast said warmer temperatures this week, and that could mean anything above 10C /50F.

My bib number is 56 640, if anyone want to check my result or something. It might be a challenge though, since the website is mainly in Swedish.
I'll let you know how it goes, here on my blog and I intend to tell you all about it in my next episode of the podcast.

21.2 kms is a bit longer than I have run before and it will surely be demanding at the last part of the race. I'll be fine for the first 10 - 15 kms, - 18 maybe, but then... we'll see.
I'm sure it will be fun though and I'm really looking forward to this Saturday.

Gohenburg half marathon

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Race report

Today I ran a 10k race in our town. The race is held in the evening, starts at 6:30 pm, it's a really nice event organised by a running club. I don't really know how many runners that took part. My guess is around 100. The race goes for two laps on parkways and roads in town. It's well organised with many people that helps around the track with stopping traffic when the track crosses roads and also people who directs you into the right path when there sometimes are many options. Many runners, including myself, use this race as a dress rehearsal for the Gothenburg half marathon.

I ran this race last year in 1:02:18 and my plan this year was to go faster than that. My 10k PR was 57:57, and I was aiming for 55 minutes this evening. I had thought a lot about a plan or strategy for this race. I think I do much better if I have a plan to follow. So my plan was to run the first 5 kms at a little under 6 minutes each km and then have strength left to speed up a bit for the second half.

This is what happened:
Just before the start I met an old friend and we chatted a little about everything and nothing, and suddenly I heard "GO" and we took off. I started my stoppwatch (I thought). I was running with my new watch because it has a memory for laptimes and I thought that if I push the lap time button every km I don't have to do so much calculation in my head. Later in a race I find that to be difficult, probably due to lack of oxygen in my brain. After about half a minute I looked at my watch and it hadn't started. I must have pushed the wrong button. OK I estimated that we were about 30 sec in the race so I pushed the right button and thought that I'll just add 30 sec to my total time and the first km lap. the other laptimes each km should be ok. No big deal.

As always, I got carried away and started out too fast.
1 km - 4:29 and add 30 sec thats 5 minutes. Still enough oxygen to figure that out. Way too fast. Have to slow down.
2 km - 5:30 Still a bit faster than I had planned. Slow down a bit.
3 km - 5:36 Better but could slow down just a little bit more to be strong enough at the end.
4 km - 5:30 Faster? but I'm slowing down, am I not? At this point I gave up my plan and formed a new one: I'm feeling great, why not go on and try to hit the 5:30 for a couple of kms more, and we'll see what I can do at the end.
5 km - 5:32 Perfect! according to my new plan. My wife and daughter applauded and cheered me on at the halfway point. That is always a source of energy. Now I really started to enjoy the evening. The weather was nice, around 15C (60 F) and the sun was shining. The wind was a bit cold but it wasn't too bad. Many parts of the track were quite nice. Soft walkingpaths - that I like.
6 km - 5:44 I walked for a little bit at the waterstop. Maybe I walked for 15 sec. Perfect again! Really enjoying this race now. Feeling strong. I think that only one runner passed me for the last couple of kms.
7 km - 5:32 I am really good at this! I even overtook a few runners at this point. I am great! I can do anything!
8 km - 5:38 not too bad. Only two kms to go, lets see if I can speed up a little.
9 km - 5:13 yes! I could go faster! ok this is it, only 1 km to go, give everything you have now Krister. I wonder if I can overtake the guy dressed in black and white a little bit ahead of me. Yes I can! go go go.
A few hundred metres before the finnish line I passed him and I felt great. My wife and daughter cheered and I finnished the race in 54:04 a new PR. I ran the last km in 4:54.
I was really tired but happy with myself and what I had accomplished.

I had a great race even if I was a bit angry with myself for not starting my watch at the right point. My watch showed 53:40at the finnish, 24 seconds off from the official time so my mistake at the beginning wasn't really a problem. I was also a bit confused when my first plan didn't work. My second plan was better. Maybe I don't have experience enough to form a race plan. This was my fourth race, so far. But there will be more. Racing is a lot of fun.