Half Marathon Altötting, Bavaria

IMG_3187_cropYAY, I am back to racing! Although it is only running events, it is good to be back. The injury in March this year put a dent in the race plans. Since June the priorities in the family changed and therefore no additional triathlons were scheduled.

 

Altötting is famous for its pilgrimage, but this weekend one of the fastest half marathons on dirt/gravel is hosted (Mens record is: 1.01.39). The vast majority of the race course is on gravel and packed dirt.

The training the past few weeks was not what I had planned to do, I had a few good break through sessions, but the overall mileage was not sufficient. It was really hard to know what I could do on the day! The course is known to be really fast, but the training was not enough for a PR. The plan was to start with a 7.15min/mile pace and see what happens. I also wanted to stay mentally tough and do my own race, since it is easy to get stressed out by other people passing you.

After warming up I met up with Jennifer and Tristan to get some extra motivation.

My usual running race start routine is to get a spot in the first row! Off goes the gun. I broke the race down in 4x5km sets, with the goal to remain steady. The first 5km was in 21.57 (7.04 pace), yowsers that was a little too fast! The second 5km was in 22.40 (7.18 pace), the 2nd and third were at equal on the second at 23.18 (7.30 pace). I was trying to keep my stride long and easy, which was getting harder after km 13 or so. I had to focus on getting a good stride and lifting my hips to open up the range of motion. The last 3 km were just hurting, especially the last, which was on a slight downhill, I just couldn’t a good stride going anymore. The pace dropped to just under 7 min/mile, but the heart rate skyrocketed!! I was not able to catch the folks in front of me, but there were a few guys behind me that were trying to pass on the last few hundred yards. Here goes the mentally tough part. I just started flying :). Not with me my dear friends!!!

 

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Overall it was a good day (1.36.29) , not fast, but good for the training I was able to put in.

Next race up is the Nikolaus Run in Tübingen, a HM with 1050ft of climbing. Meaning uphill both ways and there might be snow… or at least a lot of pain both ways.

That is all

Steffen

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