I travelled up to Clackmannanshire on Sunday for the Alloa Half, which I wanted to do as a prep race 5 weeks out from London. Colin and I agreed to do this race some months back, however Colin had no choice but to pull out due to suffering from "man-flu" and having been unable to train for a few weeks.
The plan was simple, arrive early so that I could do a good 2 or 3 mile warm up, run the race at a decent pace (but not flat out), warm down then drive home. It didn't quite work out like that, as for a number of reasons (mainly getting stuck for half an hour in a car park with no spaces), I ended up getting to registration with minutes to spare!
So.... No time for the usual last minute toilet trip or warm up, but with a few pinpricks on my fingers from a succession of failed attempts at putting my number on, I made it to the start line by the skin of my teeth.
My plan was to run around 6.10 min/mile pace, which is approximately 20 seconds per mile quicker than target marathon pace and hopefully feel like I had more to give at the end. Didn't want to completely kill myself as I have 3 or 4 weeks of heavy training to do.
I positioned myself about 10 rows back. The race started with a literal bang as the starter fired a gun that wouldn’t have looked out of place in Wyatt Earp’s hip.
Off we went, the route starts near the sportscentre in the town centre, does a one mile loop and then starts to follow the road out to the foot of the Ochils. At Tillicoultry the route hits a left towards Menstrie, the Ochils casting an imposing shadow from the runners’ right, where then 5k remains through Tullibody and back into Alloa from whence we came.
As always, the temptation is to go off too quickly. I resisted that and went through the first 2 miles in 6.06 and 6.04 respectively, before settling into a nice rhythm (as per the plan). The course isn’t hilly but does have small undulations. My fastest split was 5.51, with my slowest 6.24 (mile 11), which covered the "hill"!
I felt pretty good and wasn’t absolutely pushing to my limit. Miles 12 and 13 were 6.06 and 6.05, giving me a finish time of 1.20.45 (Ave pace 6.09).
All in all, a worthwhile race and an indication that my fitness is getting there and barring injury, I'm hopeful of a decent PB in London!
Full results here: http://www.alloahalfmarathon.co.uk/2016_results.php
|Craig is in there somewhere|