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My first Half Marathon: Run Melbourne 2017

2 weeks ago, I completed my first ever Half Marathon! (21.1km). Overall it was a fabulous experience and the culmination of 5 months hard work after my knee surgery.

The morning started well with my lifts in getting us there in good time and with great parking only a few minutes walk from Fed Square. There was a fair bit of hanging around and chatting while we warmed up and waited for the 7am start.

I started out with my nephew Zach and our friend Sue, but our longer legs left Sue behind at the first hill. We looped around the front of Etihad, along the docs and back past the Polly Woodside. At that point Zach looked at his watch and mentioned we were doing 5-6min/km, which was a fair bit too fast for me, I’d been planning on closer to 7min/km.

I lost Zach when I stopped for a loo stop at 8km and powered on past the 10km mark, realising I was a) Half Way and b) beyond where I’d ever run continuously before. I kept up a solid pace right through to the 14km mark, where I started to walk/run. About this time I spotted both Sue and TP (a friend of Bernie’s from School) while we were on a 2-way section of the course, but I never saw them again, despite the fact that TP must have passed me at some stage, as she finished a few minutes ahead of me. (She also did a lot more longer training than I did.)

As I ran past the front of Vodafone Arena, I was starting to get some cramps in the top of my calves, but there was a lady in front of me on the bridge across to the MCG that was doing jumping high-knees, and I asked if that helped… She said it was great to stretch the legs differently, so I changed up my stride a bit, was able to relax the calves and keep going. I was about that time that a woman in a Wonder-Woman costume passed me, and I made it my goal to beat her, if I possibly could. My pace picked up to 6, 5 and even nearly 4min/km as I powered home, beating Wonder Woman by a few seconds.

Final time was 2:21:32.1 well inside my goal of 2.5 hours.

Overall, it was a great morning out, topped off by brunch with the guys at Huxtaburger in Rungwood. Lots of fun, I’ll be back next year.

My Strava Page has a great interactive view of the run.

Some gratitudes to finish: Huge Thank you to Ross Kinsella for all his efforts and rehab exercises to get to and through my knee surgery in Feb. Leigh Stamation for being my Rehab encourager and trainer!
Everyone from Lillydale Lake Parkrun and Up ‘n Active – Further * Stronger * Faster for putting crazy ideas like a Half
Marathon in my head, especially those there on the day: SueGeoffMak, Eron, Dodge and my chauffeurs on the day Zach & Kylie
Huge thanks to my sweetheart Bernie for love, encouragement and post race massage!
Thank you everyone!
#RunMelbourne2017

 

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50th Parkrun & Sub 25 minutes

Parkrun 50

Yesterday was a big morning for me at Parkrun.

It was my 50th Parkrun (earning me the shirt to the right), and at the same time I’d set myself a goal of running the 5km in less than 25 minutes, despite the fact that my PB of 25:22 had stood for over 12 months. In fact that 12 months was beginning to feel like a lifetime ago, before my failed snorkeling experience off Mystery Island in July 2016 and before tearing my knee in December and having surgery on it in February. That said, I knew I’d done a lot of work, and as recently as last week, surprised myself by getting to within 7 seconds of that PB. The thing is, I’d set a goal to break 25 minutes a number of times, and never made it.

I was buoyed by the offer from Tony to pace me through the distance, a ready eye on his watch the whole time. I was not helped at all by the fact the I had a shoelace come undone about 200m in and the other at about the 1.5km mark. I deliberately decided not fix the second shoelace at the first stop, as it would mean I would end up further back in the pack, there was a chance the lace might last, and my fingers were too cold and numb to tie properly. 😃

In the end all was well, though in giving my all to get across the finish, I didn’t manage to grab my finish token and had to go back for it a minute or two later once I’d caught my breath. Position #41, definitely my best position number, but I had to wait a couple of hours to get the official time:

Lillydale Lake parkrun results for event #168. Your time was 00:24:40.

24:40! I’d sliced a whopping 42 seconds off my PB, made it under 25 minutes and survived!

Thanks Tony, and all the people who cheered me on on the day.

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Parkrun goals.

Parkrun

I shared in the Five months post surgery knee update that I’ve been whittling my parkrun times down over the last month, (though not nearly in the same way as my nephew who has recorded 13 PBs in a row, go Zach!). Tomorrow will mark my 50th Parkrun, which is an exciting milestone, 2 years and 4 months after my first run on 21/3/2015. That first run was 36:47, and I’m hoping to celebrate my 50th with a new PB under 25 minutes. My current PB is 25:22 and best for the year is 25:29 so I think I can do it. Tony, a running coach and fellow member of Up ‘n Active Lilydale Lake Running Group has offered to pace me at 25 minutes, so we are going to give it a red hot go.

Wish me luck.

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Knee – Five months post

Parkrun June 24

The knee is now basically as good as it’s going to get, which is pretty good but still a little painful when I run. It’s amazing how much difference there is between running on concrete, running on asphalt and running on gravel. There is noticeably less impact on the gravel especially. My time has been taken up by other priorities on and off over the last couple of months but I’m trying to get two to three runs in every week. I did my first Parkrun for the year in late April with a time of 35 minutes and and have progressed through 32, 28, 28, 26 and last week finished in 25:29, just 7 seconds outside my PB!

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Knee surgery booked

This picture is from the MRI of my knee, showing the actual tear.

Because there is no blood flow to the meniscus (but lots of nerves!) it won’t heal (but lots of hurt), so they slice away the rough bits and leave it nice and smooth. I’ll have a bit less shock absorption on that side but otherwise it will be fine. It’s done via keyhole and I’ll walk in and walk out the day of surgery with no crutches required. Rest over the weekend and back to work on Monday.

Surgery in 2 weeks on the 3rd of February at Epworth Hospital in Richmond. I’ll take advice from the surgeon when I see him on the 20th of February and work with Ross from Freedom Sports Medicine for rehab. Likely 6-8 weeks off running, probably lots of bike and swimming.

 

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Sandy Point 10Km

2015-08-23 08.29.36After completing the Run Melbourne 10Km in July, I set some new goals, including running the Sandy Point 10Km in under 1 hour.

Last Sunday I achieved that goal, with a finish time of 59:30.5!

Sandy Point 2015 - 3205 certificateIt’s amazing what a healthy body can do, especially as I only took up running 3 short months ago.

I’m so loving the new me I’m creating.

I was told by one of my trainers the other day that some work on my running technique we can shave another 5 minutes off that time, and I believe it. At the moment I’m just putting one foot in front of the other, so it’s time to develop some technique to get things moving better and at the same time reduce the already short recovery time as well as the chance for injury.

My next goal is to get my Parkrun time down under 25 minutes for 5Km. My PB at the moment is 27:12, and that nearly killed me (the headache took 3 days to go away completely).

 

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LSED: 70.3

Reading Multisport Magazine (Vic) I kept seeing a reference to 70.3 in relation to triathlons, but couldn’t work out what it stood for.

Google helped me with a Wikipedia link to Ironman 70.3

The “70.3” refers to the total distance in miles (113.0 km) covered in the race, consisting of a 1.2-mile (1.9 km) swim, a 56-mile (90 km) bike ride, and a 13.1-mile (21.1 km) run. Each distance of the swim, bike, and run segments is half the distance of that segment in an Ironman triathlon.
It’s half an Ironman.

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Run Melbourne

Run MelbourneToday I ran my first ever 10Km run! I finished in 1:08:11.1.

I had 3 goals going in, the settle for goal was 70 mins, the push goal was 65 minutes and the BHAG was 60 minutes.

Everything went mostly to plan, except that I used up almost all of my phone battery on the train on the way in clearing out my massively overweight inboxes. I was in the process of taking the pre-race selfie when the phone turned off. So I ran with no music/podcasts, no idea of my time/speed and only the flags on the side of the road to tell me how far I’d come.

In other words, I had nothing but my thoughts to run with and no idea of how fast I was going. I paced myself pretty well though, only slowing to a walk twice for a drink. I managed to find a couple of people (one of whom was about 7′ tall) that was running at a good pace for me, so I kept him as my guide most of the way (I think I passed him about 7Km in)

Run Melbourne Certificate2About 1.5Km in my left Achilles started to niggle but it never did any more than niggle all the way. After about 8Km the knees were starting to get a bit tight, but I pushed through that okay too.

Overall, really happy, and cant wait for the next one. Maybe a half marathon….

oh and if you haven’t donated, there is still time: https://runmelbourne2015.everydayhero.com/au/marksnell

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