Endurance Skating

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Ankle Deep In Mud… The Wimbledon Common Half Marathon – 26.Jul.2015

Before the rain

Before the rain

I took part in the Wimbledon Common Half-marathon this past weekend, to kick off a training cycle that I hope will take me towards a full and possible ultra marathon later this year. It also served as a focal point to flush the post big-race blues away after Le Mans.

This was not a goal race, and so I was not planning to run it too hard. However, I find there is just some mental switch that is activated when I am toeing any start line, and it’s impossible for me to just run conservatively when I have a race number pinned on, so I reverted to my modus operandi and ended up running it pretty hard.

There was no real taper or any special prep going into this. In fact I think I woke up and went into the race slightly hungover, following a friend’s birthday BBQ the previous day.

The course consisted of 2 laps of Wimbledon Common – a mix of trails and gravel, and with some decent elevation. The Weather Gods were cruel, and sent heavy rainclouds our way just before the start. A field of about 600 runners navigated the 13.1 miles of leg-sucking mud, and anyone who finished without spectacularly face-planting down a slippery ravine is to be congratulated for their self-preservation instincts.

wimbledon_half_20150726_womble

This was certainly not course or a day for PRs – overall, there was not really much in common with the Old Deer Park half-marathon which I ran earlier this year (roads, flat, nice day) and which remains my half-marathon PR (1:39:40). I managed to finish this one in 1:46:47.

According to my GPS data I managed to negative split by a couple of minutes – although this probably had something to do with the narrow trails and having to weave through a few runners at the start, it was pleasing none the less.  HRavg was 171bpm compared to the 178bpm HRavg at the Old Deer Park half, given the surface conditions and the elevation in this race (it’s impossible to hold LT when bombing down a slippery downhill), I would say that the effort was almost comparable. I would probably rate it a 8.5/10 in terms of all-out effort, but on this particular day, that is as hard as I was prepared to go. Jogging 5km to the start line and walking about 6km home served as a good pre- and post-race bookended the whole event nicely. The rest of the day was spent relaxing and watching the Hungarian Grand Prix (what a mental race!).

wimbledon_half_20150726_van1

Mind the puddles

wimbledon_half_20150726_van2

wimbledon_half_20150726_finishshirt

The finishers’ T-shirt & medal… nice for a £20 race fee

Overall, I’m pretty happy with the run. I felt good running through the finish line – the 2nd lap felt better than the first, and I still had the energy to do another lap at a similar intensity. At this stage of the season, now that I’m back to running regularly, it’s a good reaffirmation that my running base is in good shape and I could do marathon distance at any time, so I’m now more inclined to add some speedwork and intensity to my programme, and this certainly counts towards that.


Breakfast:   Veggie stir fry, with bacon & 1 egg, Coffee
Prerace: Beetroot shots x2, Coconut water
During race: a few swigs of aid-station water
HR: avg 171bpm
Finish time: 1h:46:47

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This entry was posted on July 29, 2015 by in Half Marathon, Race Report, Running and tagged , , , , , .

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