We all love it when a good plan pays off, so after struggling around the Canberra Half course in April with clearly a lack of long run fitness, then posting roughly 2mins quicker in Sydney in May, I wanted another 2mins at last Sunday’s Gold Coast half marathon. The race started in the dark at 6am as yet again the GC put on amazing conditions and a quick course.
Training partner and super competitive John Bartlett was all fired up for a win (over me that is), but started a little more cautiously than me as usual. I’m keen to get some time in the bank usually and trust that I can hang on to finish in a decent time. I went through 10km in 33mins feeling in control and at the 10.5km turn, had 40secs on John. He decided to stir the pot by calling out “I’m coming for you”. I put my head down and kept focused as I knew he had a very fast last 1km finish so I needed to maintain my lead.
And as he slowly started to catch me, a few others came by for me to try and sit on. There was one wally who decided to start weaving left and right across the road all because I wanted to trail behind him for a few hundred metres. I stuck to the road’s tangent and he still drifted ahead. So a left turn up over a bridge and 1.2km to go, I took a sneaky look to my left and sure enough, John was coming for me. I almost thought I could see a sly smile on his face.
Off I went, then again, then once more and with the final turn into the finish straight I knew I had him and with that came a decent 71:08 finish time. John sprinted over 11secs adrift to score himself a PB. (Be happy with that Barts). With over 4mins improvement in 3mths, and most importantly a pair of toes that are not giving me grief, I’m stoked. I am no longer taking anti inflams. The tightness in my arches around the toe joints that were operated on do still flair up occasionally but nothing a bit of massage doesn’t fix.
We have a bonus race this Sunday coming – the Syd Harbour 10km. Whether my legs will be fine by then remains to be seen but Barts and I once again line up against one another. I emphasise our friendly rivalry as this has been something over the years that has consistently been present and has spurred me along with many NSW running mates. I’m known for my ability to box on when most think I’m gone as I really do enjoy the test and the competition against mates. At present in Tom Highnam’s absence (up a hill somewhere in Switzerland), Barts and I are fighting it out with the big one on August 10th to come when Tom returns (hopefully with a beer gut).
Well done to everyone out there last week. A few of the guys I coach ran excellent PBs or close to them. Congrats to Jac, Paul, Elle, Renaud, Jeet and Barts (who will hate me for listing him here). Herewith my last two weeks:
Mon 23/6: 16km easy
Tue 24/6: 15km split over two runs
Wed 25/6: AM: 40km ride PM: 5000m TT 15:35 – total 13km
Thur 26/6: 20km split over two runs
Fri 27/6: 7km easy jog
Sat 28/6: 5 x Cent Park lakes (Busby’s pond – 1500m) 4:32/36/35/35/34. Total 15km
Sun 29/6: 24km – slightly shorter long run
Mon 30/6: 16km split over two runs
Tue 1/7: 6x600m efforts off a minute. Total 13km
Wed 2/7: 50km ride PM: 10km easy
Thur: 3/7: 10km easy
Fri 4/7: 8km with strides – Broadbeach
Sat 5/7: 8km jog – Broadbeach
Sun 6/7: Gold Coast half marathon – 71:08 / 25th place. Total 26km
Until next time, keep stretching!
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