Another weekend down, another event ticked off... This time it was the around lake Taupo cycle challenge. For this one, I did the 2nd 80km out of 160 as part of a relay team with my mate Kris. I went into the weekend quite worried about things, I felt that I hadn't spent nearly enough time on the bike, due to a combination of university and training for last weekends half marathon. So once again, went in with only the goal of finishing. If I had to pick a time to aim at, 4 hours (20km/hr average) would have been what I was aiming at.
The race itself was brilliant, but challenging. Conditions were hot, but sunny with a medium headwind for part of the ride. I found I was right about a lack of time on the bike, aerobicly, I felt pretty good the whole way around, but my legs shut up shop and just didn't want to do what I wanted pretty early in the piece. I felt good pushing a small gear at relatively high cadence, but struggled with the strength to push a bigger gear. I also learnt a bit about riding in groups, a few times I got myself in the middle of a good group and made great progress, but to often I found myself at the front for too long, ended up getting tired, and unable to stick with the group when I got off the front... This is something I'll learn with practice I think.
The end result had me home in 3hr, 40min, 17 seconds. Which I'm pleased with. If I had been offered that tiem before the race I would have gladly taken it, and it was about 2 hours faster than my previous 80k ride, during the northern crossing in May.
Well it's come and gone, and for the first time this year after a half marathon, I can honestly say that I have exceeded my expectations. I set myself a plan (pretty simple really) start slower than I think I can do it, and progressively speed up throughout the run as I feel I can. And for the first time this year, I followed my plan. Using approximate numbers my first 10k (63min) were run at 6:18/km pace, 10-16km at 6:12/km pace and 16km-finish at 6:00/km pace. End result was 2:10:35. A personal Best by 10 min 7 sec, and a years best by 17minutes! So very, very happy with myself.
As for my goals I gave myself after the Waitakere Half;
1. Weigh under 100kg. I weighed in at 100.6 on race day. So close, but not quite... I'll get there tho.
2. Run every step. Done
3. Enjoy the run. Done, well and truly the most enjoyable one I've done.
4. 2 training runs longer than 15km. Only managed one, but also had 3 10k ones, so close...
Well, another week has passed, and more progress has been made. This week I got through 4 good runs, totalling 41km, including a 15km run this morning. That is the longest training run I've ever done, so something to be pleased with I think. I also ran it relatively comfortably, whilst 6:25/km pace is not setting the world on fire by any stretch of the imagination its still a faster pace than I've done on a run longer than 10km before. But the main thing was the whole way through I felt nice and comfortable.
This time next week I will have done the Kerikeri Half Marathon, and to be honest I'm feeling more prepared for this one than any other I've done. But I stand by my previous statement that I'm gong for completion, not a goal time. I'm aiming for 3 more training runs next week before the race, hopefully with another 10km. Feeling good about things.
Something I have been talking about getting for months, finally happened today. A pair of Asics GT-2150's, in lime green even. Hopefully they'll make a difference and I'll fell a bit better than in my old worn things.
Well, last week, the first week of November was exam week for me. So was a bit of a stressful one to be honest. The good news tho is that its all finished, and I can relax for a bit. In terms of my training, I got through all the runs I wanted to, 4 x 8km, but only managed one of the rides. So good, without being prefect.
I'm now 2 weeks away from the Kerikeri half Marathon, and 3 weeks away from the round Taupo cycle race. So I should be starting to peak in my training. I think that I'm going OK so far for the running side of things, definitely have more miles behind me than I have had at any other stage this year, so I should be able to complete the run in reasonable shape. However I'm starting to get a bit worried about the cycle. My longest ride has been 19km... less than 25% what I need to be doing. I know that I can finish it, but I have a feeling its going to be a long, and painful ride...