It has been three days since Prague Half Marathon. My emotions have settled down, my legs are not sore anymore and I am quite happy to share my experience with you.
I had prepared for the race a bit more this year. I wanted to beat my result and I wanted to see progress of my year around training process as well. First, I started a pre-race nutrition plan. I reduced, well, I almost excluded all sweets and unhealthy stuff. I was still gluten and meat free, which made my diet a bit tricky. The second day after I had started the meal plan I felt terrible. I had to miss several workouts, because I was weak and the baby was crying all night long. The start date was implacably approaching…
My husband took the baby the day before the race, so I had a chance to sleep all night. I even felt very strange as I had not slept uninterrupted for a long period. Notwithstanding I tried to have healthy breakfast the morning of the race: oatmeal. I could not eat that. I wanted peanut butter toast and I decided to follow my gut feeling. That was the right idea.
I met with my friends. We all were so cold. The weather was chilly and windy. I had my winter jacket on and I did not want to take it off for as long as I could.
I started in the middle of the coral E joining my friend. After the first 500 meters I felt my legs burning. I looked at my Garmin and saw that the pace was extremely fast for me (4:38min/k). I tried to slow down to 5:00/kilometer or even more. The first 5 kilometers I was battling with myself to slow down. But I did not want to listen to my mind. I was so excited, that I almost did a 5k PR, which is not a great idea when you run a half marathon.
Finally, I was very happy and running easily, so I made my 10k personal record. That was inspiring, but not for a long time. Right after the 11th kilometer I felt weak. I ate a gel, drank some isotonic and was ready to continue, when I saw 1:50 pacemaker passed me by. I tried to follow him, but I felt tired. It seemed I had run too fast during the first half. As much as I tried to keep my pace above 5:30, I often saw 5:45 and tried even more with the same result.
At the 18th kilometer I started to feel frustrated, but my husband came to pace me at the end. He was chatting a lot and that made me angry, because I could barely speak. He did many sprints to make photos and cheer me up. I think it helped and I sprinted the last hundred meters to the finish line.
1 hour and 56 minutes this time. Maybe I would have been able to do better, if I did not run so fast in the beginning. Next time:)
Never the less, I am the 558th out of 2708 women and 289/1339 in my age group, which is at the top 25%.
Since I improved my 10k PR by more than a minute in half marathon distance and almost improved 5k, my next goal is a 10k in 50 minutes and a 5k under 24 minutes. I need to add more high intensity intervals to my runs.
I really enjoy slow jogs looking around, sightseeing, but it does not help me to run faster. Now I am an endurance person, who wants to be fast enough.
Some more pictures are below. Maybe you will find yourself there?
Leader Kenyan women and European men: Crowd at the 3rd kilometer:Leader men:Leaders and their pace men:Right after a refreshments station:Legs and plastic cups:The railway bridge in Prague, a very good place to observe the Prague Half Marathon:My husband told that he had been waiting for me in 3 minutes after this adorable woman:Czech winner man, just behind Saji…Very interesting barefoot runner:The sun went out when we finished, but the very strong wind had been approaching. It has been three days after the race and we had been having 12m/s winds with snow and rain. Happy we were at the race day!