This year was all about getting new PBs for my HM and Marathon. Not only PBs but in fact breaking through "the wall" of 1:50 and 4:00 respectively.
This has been a goal for a couple of years but until this season I had never managed. So I set my goal to finally get my 1st sub 1:50 HM and 1st sub 4:00 Marathon. I did not plan to run any ultras as I knew I did not have the time to train enough and previously failed in getting PBs "alongside". So I focussed on my training plans for the desired times and mainly trained with the girls from the club who do their long runs very early at the weekend. So early that when I come back Thomas is still asleep!
I ran the Balloch to Clydebank HM at the beginning of the season and managed a PB of 1:51:18, still not under 1:50 though it was just the start of the season and not my "target" race. My first target was the Edinburgh Marathon and on the way I did the Women's 10K and got a new PB (by 15sec) of 48:40. Since last year I have had a few 10K races under 50min so that is well within my ability now and previously was a big goal. When the Edinburgh Marathon came the conditions on the last miles were really difficult against the wind but I somehow managed to finally get under 4:00 and clocked a time of 3:55:33. I am still very proud of this everytime I look at my medal where I of course had my time put on!
Then came a lazy time before picking up the training again for my next target race, the HM at the Great Scottish Run.
I was getting a bit worried that I had picked this one as my target race as the route has a few inclines but at the time of entering as an "early bird" together with the Women's 10K it seemed like a good idea.
The day was perfect for running if not a bit on the warm side. The hoses were very welcome at the later stages. I started off with Andreas, a friend from Kenilworth runners who previously ran a sub 1:50. We went off fast up the hill and in fact I lost sight of him early on as he is strong on inclines. My target was to run sub 5:10min/Km which would get me to 1:49. But as it turned out the first few km were all under 5:00 min, some even under 4:45 up the incline. By KM 4 I had stitches on both sides. I managed to catch up with Andreas coming off the Kingston Bridge but I felt I had gone off too fast. In fact I thought I had blown it because of this. But I kept running alongside Andreas and we were still around 5min/km. When we reached Bellahouston Park he announced he was now dropping back to 6min/km and good luck! No time to be annoyed though and I thought at least I had "time to spare" for the next inclines to come in Pollok park. And there were quite a few I must have erased from my memory before the race.
I set my target at keeping my steady pace in the knowledge that even if I was slower up the inclines (which I was a couple of times) I would still get my sub 1:50. As long as I could keep my pace. It was getting tough as it was getting warmer. I was overtaken by a much faster clubmate who cheered me on and when I realized there were only 3K to go I knew my sub 1:50 was well possible. That kept my momentum going. I had visualized crossing the line with a 1:48 on the official time clock and as I approached the finish I saw exactly that (as I had started later). Only my own chip time would record 1:47:20! I could not believe it and was very happy! I guess if I had not pushed it at the beginning I might have missed my goal. So thank you Andreas!
So what next? I should be on my inline skates as I type to try and break my Inline Marathon PB in Berlin next week. My target was sub 1:40 on my new racing skates! But the trip got cancelled as Thomas will have a knee operation instead on his torn left cartiledge. So my running and skating season has come to an end early and I can relax and be lazy for a while. Not for too long though as the preparation for 2012 will start. But that will be another post!
I am very happy with this season and have reached important milestones for me. I don't feel I have to "hunt" these target times any longer and can relax in the knowledge that I managed to achieve my goals this year.