After running a Coventry Way Challenge last Sunday I knew that I shouldn’t race at least for a couple of weeks and rather have some rest and light training. But as I had some time off work I decided to visit my friend who moved from London to Swansea. And as it is quite a journey from Coventry I wanted to make it as much worth as possible and I found this race. Of course I opted for a half-marathon option rather than the full and it was still quite silly of me as I knew that I was far from being recovered from last Sunday’s run which took me 6 hours and 23 minutes.
Due to the fact that my legs were tired even when I walked I decided to treat it as a very good training tempo run rather than a real race and I didn’t watch the number of ales in Swansea’s pubs with my friend the night before the run and I probably had one extra pint that I shouldn’t have had ;-).
It was a nice and sunny morning on the race day in Llanelli, a bit chilly before the start but I knew that the temperature could rise very quickly and I used the sun-cream and wore the sunglasses – very good decision. Straight after the start there was a quick group of about 20-30 runners ahead of me but most of them just started too quick and after about half of the mile I overtook most of them and the group of about 6-8 runners stayed ahead of me lead by a lady runner until the first mile. Then she started slowing down and I went past her just after 2 miles marker and noticed that she had a full marathon number and I guess she must have felt this faster start at the closing stages of her marathon.
I felt quite ok for the first three miles, running approx. 6:20 pace but than it started. I had to slow down about 20-30 seconds per mile although I never went out of breath and my lungs could manage faster pace, my legs started to protest and they were getting heavier and heavier. I held the same pace for another 5 miles and I was occasionally overtaken by some faster runners (mostly full marathoners aiming for sub 3 hours marathon) and also I caught some runners who started too fast and now they began to slow down.
Between mile 8 and 9 my legs started aching more and more and I knew what was coming. When I reached mile 9 I felt the same tiredness in my legs like last Sunday after 30 miles of running and the real misery started and I had to slow down. Last four miles I couldn’t find any energy in my legs and it was just a big struggle all the way to the finish line with a little speeding up 200 yards before finish for the spectators :-).
The course of the run is very good and fast, with only several slight undulations and there is no real hill. Part of the run is on the paths by the sea and the part on the roads is traffic-free. Definitely, there is a PB potential here. I believe that I could have run under 1:25 if I didn’t run 40 miles just one week before. There could be a problem if it is really windy as it is very open from the sea but we were lucky on Sunday and there was only a very nice cooling breeze – perfect conditions. Full marathon is 2 laps of the same route as the half.
I didn’t expect that I could be able to do sub 90 minutes half only one week after running the ultra distance and I was ready to give up the faster running pace somewhere after 5-6 miles and jog the second half in an easy pace. Therefore I am very pleased that I managed to fight the full 9 miles and I believe that the result is not bad under the circumstances.
8th position Peter Paprcka Massey Ferguson RC 1:28:42
Report by Peter Paprcka.
And here is the link for the results: