On Sunday I completed race #3 in my 10 races in 10 months to raise $10,000 for the Challenged Athletes Foundation, my first Half Marathon in San Diego, that’s 13.1 miles. The was part of the Rock-n-Roll series of races with bands playing along the course every few miles that sure made for a fun race.
I felt more nervous about this race than I have since my very first triathlon nearly 2 years ago. Over the last 3 weeks I’ve been having persistent leg and knee problems whilst running, that and the fact that running is my least favorite part of doing triathlons.
Up until now I’ve only had to train to run 10km (just over 6 miles). But, as they say, if you don’t like doing something best to just get out there and do it, well that’s what I say anyway. So I thought challenging myself to a half marathon would force me to improve my running.
And so there I was on Sunday along with 30,000 or so of my closest friends…yep, there were over 34,000 competitors, another first since I’ve never raced with that many people before…it took over 30 minutes just to get to the start line! You can see the start line there in the distance on the photo.
My plan, as per my coach’s instructions, was to run/walk the race, run for 6 mins and walk for 1 min to reduce the impact on my body. Of course all that went out of the window once I crossed the start line and started weaving my way between all the runners in front, I just couldn’t walk and let people pass me, that just didn’t feel right. So I ran for the entire 13.1 miles including the up hill and freeway stretches, it was the camber and the down hills that put added pressure on my left knee…but, physically I felt good and maintained a 9 min 15 sec per mile pace completing the first half of the race in an hour, as you may have seen from my tweets. Then the race was on, could I break the 2 hour barrier? (Not bad since I’d originally wanted to complete the race in anything under 2 hrs and 30 mins).
The second half of the race turned into a balance of trying to preserve my knee but maintain a 9 min / mile pace. At the 11 mile mark I needed to maintain a 8 min 30 sec pace, so pushed harder…at the 12 mile mark with 1.1 miles to go I needed to be closer to an 8 min / mile pace, and pushed a little harder…as I got to the 2 hr mark I was just short of the 13 mile marker and started to sprint (as best as you can after 13 miles) to the finish and that’s when my knee finally gave out, barely 100 yards from the finish. At that point I hobbled to the finish at close to a walking pace, but still managed to complete the race in 2 hrs 1 min 45 secs!
So all in all I was really happy with my race and time and my knee continues to recover, Monday I was limited to a 30 min walk to get blood flowing again but Tuesday I was back to my training regime with an hour swim in the morning and 75 min bike in the evening. No rest for the wicked.
My next race is Vineman on July 17th, my first 70.3 mile Half Ironman, this will be a real test for how my training is progressing ready for my full 140.6 mile Ironman this November in Cozumel.
You can see more pictures of my race on Facebook or watch me cross the finish line below (look to the top right of the video).
On the fundraising front I’ve reached $3,569 so far, big thank you to my top donors in last month, Sathya, Jay, Christina, Robert, Mum & Dad, Eric, Richard, thank you so much. Help me reach the $5,000 mark by my Vineman race in July, it’s real easy to donate online.
By making a donation you will directly help a challenged athlete in need.
Help me raise $10,000 for the Challenged Athletes Foundation