SMH Half Marathon: Week 2
Running is a mental as much as a physical pursuit, and specifically mental arithmetic. There’s plenty of time during a seven and a half circuit plod around the track in a 3km “benchmark” session to wonder why athletics tracks are 400m long and calculate and re-calculate the time you need to do the next circuit in to achieve the desired “negative split” where the second half is faster than the first half. On Saturday’s run I spent the time trying to work out how many raffle tickets you’d have to sell and at what price to cover the cost of the prize as one of the other CanTooers is talking about running a raffle for a car to help with everyone’s fundraising.
The language has changed since last time – the “benchmark” was formerly known as the “time trial” – but the aim was the same, to sort us into speeds, and to give us something to compare to at the end of the program to calculate our race pace. Surprisingly I was almost a minute faster per km than I was at the last one of these before the half marathon in September. Perhaps the almost weekly plods over the bridge and back in pursuit of a bacon sandwich on Saturday mornings have been helpful. Hopefully I haven’t peaked too soon and will be able to improve further over the next 12 weeks. Despite my increased speed, I’m still not fast, so will almost certainly be in the elite back of the pack group, though perhaps slightly further towards the front of it.
Saturday was overcast and humid. Not a good sign when the coaches are decked out in wet weather gear, but thankfully the rain held off. Warm, humid, and hills – not a great combination. I think our group has the nicest scenery of all the Can Too groups – no running around Centennial Park for us, we went on the John Howard route along the Luna Park boardwalk, up the enormous hill past the dodgy Indian restaurant and into McMahons Point and past a succession of houses I should have bought but didn’t. I achieved the negative split again – back a couple of minutes faster than the way out, even including a slight detour as I was on autopilot and went the way I normally go. Week 2 and 6km done!
PS: 260 days until the New York Marathon…