6 September 2013

Dubbo Stampede & The Edgell Jog 2013

Dubbo Stampede 2013

I went over to Dubbo for the Stampede Half Marathon on Father's Day weekend.  We travelled up on the Saturday morning and visited the zoo that afternoon.  I had a good time with Kel and the boys and my parents arrived in the evening in time for us to venture out to dinner.

The Sunday morning dawned and it was time to head over to the zoo for the start.  I was hoping of running well but the signs had been there all week that it was going to be a battle.  I was still recovering from Mudgee the week before, I felt sick and was unable to train well in the week leading up to Dubbo.  I was hoping for a 77min time but really was hoping for sub 80min, this I felt was achievable.

In what was a fast field I settled into the front of the start and waited for the gun.  Off we went and out the gate of the zoo, I sat in about 7th or so and felt comfortable at a quickish pace.  I was aware there was an issue after 3km or so, I couldn't maintain a steady pace and was all over the place mentally, it was going to be a stretch to finish strongly.

I think at 37min I had run 10km and was really struggling, it was as though I couldn't get out of third gear and had to back off every time I went a little faster.  This feeling stayed with me until the end, every little incline, and I highlight the little, felt terrible and when ever I attempted to push on I had to recover shortly after.

I entered back into the zoo and was really struggling, being passed easily and generally feeling quite dejected.  I was in pain and for the first part of the last 5km loop of the zoo I just ran aimlessly until a group of 10km runners who were battling for positions came up on me.  I switched back into gear and basically fartleked my way to the end pushing 400-500m then recovering for a while, this was tough but I nearly caught the two runners in front of me as a result.

I had stopped checking my watch a while back and when I hit the line it read a very disappointing 82.20.  Well below par and a sign of overreaching that gives me plenty to think about in the future when it comes to racing and training.  I came 13th and was really disappointed with how it went, but in the end thats all I had in me and I did my best, bad results come with good results, thats why its a competition.

Kel ran in feeling much the same, she had struggled after a brilliant weekend at Mudgee the week before and ultimately we both took a lot from our toughest and what felt like our longest half marathons.  Luckily for us it was Fathers Day and we had the boys to take our mind from the mornings run.  We finished off the parts of the zoo we hadn't seen yesterday and had an ice cream with the boys and my parents before heading back home.  I will be back for this one, it was a beautiful course and great atmosphere, it also becomes the redemption race similar to the Glow Worm Half of 2012.

I believe a picture tells a thousands words, and I also believe without disappointment happiness would not be as profound.

The Edgell Jog 2013
My local event and a welcome sleep in on race day, while not a realistic chance or winning I place a considerable amount of importance on this race.  It always has around 1500 entrants and is a real community fun run.  Sunday was my third attempt in what was my first ever race, I was aiming for a PB, down grading from a sub 26min time after my prolonged recovery from Mudgee, and finishing as highly as possible, top 10 with a chance of a top 5 depending on who showed up.

Race morning was relaxed, I had a hot bath and stretch then made my way to the start area on Kings Parade.  I was able to knock out a very decent warmup and was throughly ready, confident my legs had a quick 7.5km in them.  As it was hot it was a race for a spot not a time, my goal was to run well and finish strongly.

The madness of the start
The start line is always a mess, kids as young a 6 lining up with the faster adults is always a recipe for disaster, hopefully one day they sort this out as someone will get hurt as the numbers grow.  So I lined up around the middle and we were started on our way, there was a little push and shove but I managed to get a clear run after about 20m or so.  The first few blocks is always a mad rush and I was aiming to be conservative, but I was running way too fast so I backed it off and settled into my race.

I was running in a small group, I wasn't really paying attention to who but was aware I was in a race with Nic Zawadski and a few other locals.  I was feeling good and ran a solid pace up the first two hills and pushed hard on the descents, my flat speed was far more balanced so I was happy.  I wasn't in the same league as the leaders, but I was much closer than in previous years so all is pointing towards a podium in the future if I continue to improve.

It wasn't until around 2km to go I started to test the waters around me.  I had ran relatively intrinsically until that point and was now seeing what others had in response to changes in pace, hills and so on.  Coming into the last long downhill I gave two surges, the second was before the turn into Seymour St. lasting for far longer.  I put it out there then, I went to the front of the group and pushed on, by listening to the other runners footsteps I could tell I was starting to open a gap.  At the turn into the finish straight I couldn't hear anyone behind me and I knew I had to hold on with a tough uphill finish coming up.

I ran past the usual St Pats Hockey crowd at the Family Hotel, they were celebrating a comp win, and give all runners an encouraging cheer.  I was not only holding my spot but catching 5th and 4th respectively, I closed the gap on the female winner to only 20sec which at times had gotten out to 1min or so.  I gave another surge and ran into the finish line strongly, crossing in 27.52, 6th overall and 5th male, all goals achieved with the bonus of being 1st Bathurst local home giving me the half/jog double for 2013.
My finish captured by Sean of Mountain Sports, who travelled up with Mel, promoting the Lithgow Tri and offering their support on the day. Thanks guys!
Hurting home in 27.52
(pain = bad form!)

I waited to see Kel come across the line 33min, a new PB and 5th place overall in the women's field.  She had also crossed as 3rd Bathurst Female and run a strong race taking over 3min of her time from last year.  Our combined results also gave us the Husband and Wife prize for the second year running so we were very pleased with how the day went.  It was a good morning especially after the disappointing trip to Dubbo 7 days before.

With the Jog done and dusted it is now onto the Sri Chinoy Canberrra 100km event on the 21 September.  I'm on full taper and will be running short meaningful sessions, reading up on running and preparing for a new year once Canberra and Kanangra are finished.  I plan on training and developing further over the Summer, working to a thoughtful plan using my past experiences to improve my running.

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