Just reading this article about how some elites deal with race day difficulties and it’s really worth sharing – http://www.chrissiewellington.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Psychology-of-Stamina.pdf
It also makes reference to Central Governor Theory which is something every endurance athlete who’s remotely serious about achieving their goals needs to have a clue about.
Was going to write an update last week about how the Hokas handled in the M7 Marathon pairs relay but didn’t get around to it because of inflammation frustration. Dealing with one of those typical longer term runner things – weakness in structural muscles around the hip leading to some muscles having to take over duties they’re not intended for leading to irritation elsewhere, namely an inflamed knee. Must be the spongey shoes, right? No. Been getting physio on different versions of the same thing for about 8 months, neglected my yoga practice for about 3 weeks, went into the race carrying a definite niggle, ran 21km in my Brooks the next day, 12km hard on no food the morning after that, 8km barefoot in sand that night, etc.
Hmmm, so running 80km mostly at effort on hard surfaces through a misalignment with no recovery or correction worked out badly? Yep. Pretty much. Still some soreness and dysfunction to resolve, on reduced mileage while it continues to improve, and only out of the woods because an awesome physio utterly turned things around (thanks Chris!!).
So, as far as the M7 went, I had the 13th fastest overall half-marathon time out of 53 people doing the distance on the day, 7th fastest over the first half, and The Timing Guys put me at 92:03, although Garmin called it 91:57…. yeah, I know…’tevs’. Great bonus to see my brother and sister-in-law on the day too, with her team winning the womens’ pairs.
Shoes felt really good. Strange sensation that I wasn’t going as fast as I could, but on the other hand I took 3 minutes off my previous 21.1km p.b. from just over a month ago, I closed gaps on every downhill, and ran the last 200m as fast as I run 200m doing intervals in lightweight shoes on track. Hey, it’s all relative. Mainly, I think there’s a nexus of sorts. Most people are going to get a benefit from racing on road or pavement in Hokas somewhere between 10 and 30km. I still question whether they are my ideal 21km racing shoe, but am pretty sure they’ll be gold for my road marathon and any trail distance past 50km.
Main takeaway from the day – team up with someone faster than you : ) We won in 2:47:54 which would have been good enough for 3rd place last year, but the whole thing was slow. Brent (http://www.negative-split.com) ran the 2nd leg in 1:15:50 and the next fastest run of the day was Shane Thompson, 6:09 behind in the team that took 3rd. As an individual performance, we’d have placed 3rd in the marathon and that shouldn’t be the case for 2 pairs of legs versus 1.
The marathon was also won by Alexander Matthews in a slow time of 2:32:34. No disrespect – I would LOVE to run a marathon at that pace but realistically it’s never going to happen. Pragmatically though, a relatively forgiving course in a major city marathon with $6000 prize for the winner should have had at least a low 2:20 result for the win. 7:30 gap to 2nd place as well.
Blacktown, Liverpool, and Fairfield Councils, Mizuno, and the M7 put on a great day, with perfect weather, a handy course, great volunteers, great support, and great prizes. But their website isn’t up-to-scratch and the event needs better promotion. There’s plenty of goodwill and plenty of word-of-mouth for the event, but there was also less awareness of the event and a smaller, shallower field than there should have/ could have been.
There’s enough interest in running now that the event should have been twice as well attended and the absence of African runners on the day shouldn’t have meant the absence of a sharper harder-fought pointy end. Hopefully someone recognizes that and does something about it for next year because it’s actually a great event for Sydney and we all really enjoyed being part of it.