I enjoyed warming up and actually feeling a little cold. There was some light drizzle around for the start and very foggy but the temperature was perfect. Houston has been really hot and very humid lately which makes training harder. It was a nice break from these conditions. Just before the race started I asked around to find out if any one was wanting to run sub 1:11. I met one guy who was aiming for 1:12 and one guy who wanted to run around 1:10. I decided to go out with the man wanting to run 1:10 and see how I was feeling. For the first 4 miles I ran with him and was feeling good however I felt the pace was getting too much and then after this I ran by myself the whole way which always makes it harder to keep focused and hit the right splits. My goal was to run sub 1:11. I fell short of this by 07 seconds. I was a little disappointed when I crossed the finish not to go under 1:11 and regretted not sticking with the lead man for longer. I also felt I had not given everything I had when I finished and felt I lost a little focus in the middle of the race. However overall I was happy with the effort and excited to have a new half marathon personal best. I learnt a lot during the race and am excited to improve on what I was disappointed with during the marathon in Moscow!! The course was good. Rolling hills and flat. Just the finish was not great as there were a lot of sharp turns which really slowed me down when I wanted to be pushing hard. I was pleased when I crossed the finish line to hear that my time was faster than the women who won the USA half champs.
There are only 7 weeks left until World Champs and I am very excited. My tickets are booked which makes everything seem more real. I will go to Berlin first as the New Zealand team is having a training camp there. I leave Houston on the 28th of July (one day after Lucas 2nd birthday) and stay in Berlin until the 6th before heading to Moscow!!! After the marathon we are traveling in Moscow and St Petersburg for 2 weeks which will be great!!
The next 5 weeks I have to really push hard and be focused. Then I will start to taper. I have to keep paying attention to all of the details: Getting active release done, eating properly, stretching and strength exercises, and foam rolling. A key area during this build-up in the Houston summer is to keep well hydrated. I have been making an extra effort to drink more fluids and have started drinking more eload (a Canadian brand recovery drink) after long runs and workouts. Also I have had to switch my weekly tempos and a few 2 hour runs to the treadmill to give my body a break from the heat and allow me to go at a quicker pace. Not the most ideal situation but as long as I am doing most of my running on land Ian and I are confident it will work out well. At least by training in these extreme conditions my body will get used to the heat as the marathon in Moscow will start at 2pm and could potentially be quite warm.
I will keep you updated over the next few weeks as to how the last phase of training is going. The next blog will be about water running!! A part of my training that is key to keeping me healthy and to get in extra mileage without the pounding.
Excited to cross the finish line with a new personal best!!!