Thursday, 10 September 2015

Confidence and doubt

Harvesting Energy
With the Harvest Half Marathon on the horizon, including package pick-up a week early, I'm getting a mixture of signals.
It's always a little hard for me to read them and answer the same question: what shape am I in? 
Even harder to answer: When will my bum not hurt when I get off the exercise bike? Good cross-training even so.  
Warm conditions here and there for a few runs: I have to remind myself that it's why  this or that run was a little tougher. 
Then there are other days that turn cold and help towards a good workout. Yet, a few jitters creep in - what's that random ache?
Last Long One
I fuelled up well before the key long run, 3 weeks prior to race day. 
25k at 4:25 pace was scheduled, I added in 2 hills for extra bite. 
I kept exactly on pace, except on the gradient. All year, I've attempted to improve my posture. Elbows in, to stop cross-body arm swing; squat down an extra couple of centimetres to get greater power output for the effort put in. 

Hell Fire
Another, slightly bizarre hiccup came from a fire drill at work. 30 floors down and constant right turns seemed to tweak my inner-left thigh. How to avoid this in the future? Either close your office door and hide under your desk, or don't be first out the door and embrace the traffic jam on the stairs. 

Unpredictable Performances
When I set a 5k PB at the Stampede Road Race in July, it was the first time I had felt pretty confident at the startline of getting one. 
However, I have little idea how the Harvest Half is going to turn out. Last year, my legs felt lifeless from the very beginning. At 2013's race, I had nothing left after Sikome Hill at 17.5k. 
And yet in 2012, I wonder what went right when I beat my previous PB by over a minute, finishing with a powerful 10k-pace final kilometre. 7th place in 1:26:48. 

Famous Last Prediction 
I'll force myself to make a prediction: I should finish in 1:27-28. The hardest thing of all to predict is what I'll have left in the final 3.5km after that hill. If there's a surprise in store, I'd love to engage Ludicrous Speed and get a PB. Even better would be to get the AG placing I've long wanted, but it all depends on the right surprises at the right time. 
But, in amongst the swirl of questions and doubts, it's still a beautiful running world. 


  1. All the best for this. I will start training for the Marlow 1/2 M soon.

    1. I see an age group podium in your future :)

  2. Good luck in Harvest! I vote for ludicrous speed :)

    1. After that last hill, I know I'll end up saying it too,