Saturday, 24 November 2012

Back into it!

I can’t really remember much about my previous entry all I know is that plenty has happened since. Being very busy is probably one of the major things, minors things include a pretty full on Korean style tourist visit to China, being struck down with a bout of Gastroenteritis and yeah a half marathon!

Here in the Southern part of Korea winter has started to hit and the temperatures have really reduced. Bright, clear and sunny days are great but the wind can be icy at times. We really noticed this around 3 weeks ago. Not totally sure if this is entirely normal for this time of year as we’ve heard various reports and point of views. However, rain is rare making trails hard and fast.

No idea why I started talking about the weather, it’s such a load of nonsense and shouldn’t affect people the way it does. But obviously I am someone who feels he needs to share this information. Throughout my time of injury I did struggle to write about my on-goings without running, now I’m running and I’m talking about the weather?!

Running. Ok.

Everything tastes better, looks better and feels better with it! Sleeping is mad. Yesterday I feel asleep in the bank. The lovely security guard woke me up and I informed her that I was waiting for the teller to help me with a transfer. Here in Korea the banks, well my bank, are fricking brilliant. They close at 4pm. Not great. But, you get in there at 3.59pm, they’ll get you sorted, even if you’re there until 5pm, then give you some toothpaste and say sorry for keeping you waiting! Yeah, so falling asleep in random places is really maximising resting time for training. When waiting grab 5!

Sunday the 11th of November dawned with big ol’ fat rain! Large drops that quadruple in size once they slap into the concrete jungle of Busan. Busan was the location for my first race since the Christchurch Marathon, June. The week before I was sick and only managed a subtle 7km. However, weeks before, I’d managed to build a good routine, and was confident going into the race. Almost magically as we made our way to the start of the race the skies cleared and the rain ceased. I was very excited and very unsure how things would unfold. My plan was to keep on or around 3.30 min/km over 4 5km sections. I had completed some track sessions which gave me the confidence that this was achievable.

Korean races, well my experience is very limited so I shouldn’t generalise but I will, seem to be very well organised. Everything was sent to us well in advance, loads of things going on before and after the race and good support at aid stations.

From a personal point of view the race unfolded really well. The start was slightly chaotic as the usual heads raced off and went balls to the wall for the first km, classic moves! Once we settled into it was easy to pick who was up for it. I nestled in behind a group of 5 guys which diminished to 3 by the 3km mark, and then 2 by the 5km mark. Looking forward I could see first and second running well. The paced dipped for a km so I decided to push on at my desired speed, urging the guy to keep it on. Well, I used weird circular hand actions which could universally mean ‘let’s go, keep it on, we can catch them if we work together’, or ‘I’m using a whip’, or ‘my wrist is very tight and feels a little bit uncomfortable’. I’m assuming he had run his race as we dropped away leaving me to chase down 1st and 2nd. I continued to gain on them and felt stronger as the raced progressed. At a 12km turn around section I clocked them about 20 seconds on me. The runner in first then decided to burst and put around a 10 metre gap on second. I tried hard to push on each km and did move my way into second place. However, I didn’t have the speed to catch the first placed runner and finished in 2nd place with a time of 1.13.32.

Pretty stoked really!

What next? Well, racing done for the year but 2013 seems to be building with some great possibilities.

I’ll aim to be more frequent for the end of 2012.
Kepler next weekend, good luck to everyone who's running, racing or walking!

Enjoy the roads, trails or whatever surface you run or roll on!   

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