Today was the day of the 20km run. Started off at 10am. I was there early, ok, not that early at around quarter past 9am. And at that time there was already a lot of people at the front of the starting line. By the way, the starting line is right in front of the Trocadero. Here’s the best photo I can link to for the map:
The original race plan was to beat the 2:50 cut off, by running about 1:30 and walking the rest, thanks to some off the napkin computation on Excel. After some training weeks, I realised that I might have a shot at running nonstop and so, the idea to maintain 10kmph average for 2 hours… thus a sub 2hr run. Nothing special for the professionals, that would probably be able to do it in 1hr.
The first 5km was basically all uphill, subtle but you can feel it in the legs. My speed was quite respectable, looks like something like 10kmph or slightly faster according to my Polar HRM. Nothing special here. Since I started off modest, and at the end of the pack, I got to overtake a lot of people who were running a much slower pace.
The second 5km was also quite comfortable. I had a small bottle of Evian with me during the run, which was a good idea considering they were distributing only mineral water (was hoping for electrolyte drinks!) and of course cut oranges (I still dont see the point of eating oranges during the run. Isn’t the acid bad for you?).
The third 5km was a little more difficult, but manageable. That’s also where I saw an old guy on the ground by the side of the road. Eyes wide opened, and surely not conscious at all… Just a guess: Heart attack no doubt. Police and some fellow runners were attending to him, so I thought, nothing for me to do here, I wouldn’t know how to revive a heart attacked guy if I wanted to anyways.
The last 5km was quite difficult. I think my stamina was ok, but my legs were just begging to stop. I suppose the killing point here is that, during my training run I had to do the banks of the Seine River, but during the race itself, we were on the road, going into tunnels and coming out of it and the slopes at this stage were just killing my thighs. So I decided to stop a few times and enjoy the stroll. I was not going to be below 2hr but somewhere near there. Finally got to the finish line with a little sprint and the time was 2:02hr. Not too bad, 2 minutes down from my target, but there’s always a next time.
The footpod seemed to be about 5% out of tune. When I was at the 5km mark I thought it was showing at least 5.1km on my watch. And at the end of the race it showed 20.1km. The distance difference is not that great, not sure if I want to make any adjustments to the footpod calibration. Will think about it. Better train more than less eh?
The heart rate monitoring on my Polar S625X gave this result, which is ok for me, relatively stable heart rate. I guess my next few months of training will be based on lowering the heart rate for the stable part so that I can increase my speed. Will have to include intervals. The next target would be the Paris Half Marathon in March next year!