…is my (stopwatch) time for the Birmingham Black Country Half Marathon this morning. It was a tough course and while mostly flat along the canal from Wolverhampton to Birmingham, the path conditions were poor with large puddles dotted everywhere, ready to take the spring out of your step. And the canal bridges really took their toll, with their steep, sharp climbs that completely mess up your pacing rhythm.
But overall, I’m happy with my time - I was aiming for anything under 1h25m, so that is certainly goal achieved. Apparently, I came fifth but I’ll have to check that against the results when they are published later. ( UPDATE: I came fifth among the Elites, but there were two main race entrants that got better times than me, so I’m counting it as a seventh place finish.)
Garmin details can be found at: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/196513157
As you can see, I started out a little too quickly and hovered around 6:10 per mile pace for the first four miles.
I still managed to pick off other runners through to the finish, and take a small amount of pride in the fact that I didn’t get overtaken, so my pacing was hardly a disaster! If I was to do this run again, though, I would run those first four miles a touch slower and hopefully more than make up for it in the last few.
Running through the Coseley tunnel - 360 yards long - slowed me down to a mere trot at the beginning of Mile 5, as you couldn’t see where you were planting your feet. Here you can see that the tunnel doesn’t exactly lend itself to quick running:
(Lifted from the internet.)
I felt the first real signs of fatigue at Mile 7, although this may have just been due to the headwind picking up at this point. From then on, I was pretty much hitting 6:20 miles through to the finish. Having neglected the long runs in the last few months, the last four miles or so really tested my stamina - felt like I was running through treacle. Hopefully, this will improve over the next few months as I introduce more long runs into my training.
I’m not sure how my time would translate in true road conditions, but my guess is you could knock off 1-2 minutes for a road race on account of decent tarmac underfoot, rather than the mud and puddles of today.
Anyway, thanks to the organisers and marshalls for putting on a great event! Really enjoyed it and look forward to taking part again next year.
7 July 2012.