Monday, April 02, 2012

Hervis Prague 1/2 Marathon Race Recap

Photo by AndreaH

The D day was here, first serious test of the effort I have been putting in since after the ING NYC marathon in November 2011. This was gonna be my third start in Prague's half, but first without Guillaume! I can understand that it is not as easy to get in here from the great Big Apple as it was from London :) So I found myself the evening before the race thinking about what should I get ready, when exactly do I want to be at the start and so on. I prepared all my gear, fueling and change clothes the evening before and was ready to go to bed.

Yep, I was in bed, but sound sleep it was not, I was awake several times during the night. But it is the nights in the week before the race that count and I managed to get in at least 8 hours every single one of them :) Shower, power breakfast and then I realized that I missed on very important racing equipment - hot pink nails! Fortunately, I still had enough time to squeeze in one layer of nail painting job :) Walked the dog who truly couldn't understand why I am wearing running gear and we are not going for a run??? Then double checked several times and was ready to go. One return to get a plastic waste bag to put on before the start to hold in as much warm as I could. It was around 7-9 °C (45-48 °F) and with strong wind. Great temperature, the wind, not that much!

I took the tram and walked last few hundred meters towards the start area. Was drinking my Isostar, looking around, cued for the porta pottys which took just enough time to meet with Andrea who came in to support me and take some photos. I went to get a plastic bottle of sports drink so I can trash it at the start area (I am environmentally responsible kind of girl and only have my reusable Sigg hot pink bottle that I definitely do not want to trash :) ). And with 40 minutes to start it was time to get ready. I applied the warming massage lotion on my thighs and arms to keep my muscles warm in the crazy windy weather, took on the arm warmers and the plastic bag. The final decision for clothes: NB running skirt, CEP compression socks, bottom layer sleeveless Nike Pro t-shirt with Nike hot pink shirt over it (very boring I ran most of the races in this t-shirt). And arm warmers from Running Skirts that are great because a) you can hide your fingers in them to keep them warm and b) they each have a pocket to stash a gel in it. And of course my fuel belt and Nike cap.

Photo by AndreaH

Warm up strides - can you see the elegant trash bag outfit? :)
Photo by AndreaH

Photo by AndreaH
Time to say good bye to Andrea, drop my bag, go to the porta pottys one more time and head to my starting corridor. Very logically the lowest numbers (= faster runners) were towards the direction of the slower corridors. Therefore I had to fight through the crowd to drop my bag and then the same way back towards my corridor. At least it took just enough time to leave me with not much to wonder in the starting corridor. I had a greatest running blogger moment there when for a first time ever a reader that I did not know before, dear Monika, approached me asking that surely based on the outfit I must be "Barborka On The Run". It was very pleasant mood uplifter. Thank you Monika!

And there we were running to the sounds of Bedřich Smetana's Vltava. Honestly, every year that is very touching moment. I crossed the starting line with 2:50 on the official watch. It seemed to me more crowded that the previous years. It is true that this year was maximum with 11 thousand runners, but I also think that fact that I was in corridor going for 1:45:00 and I was aiming for 1:40:00 pace actually. I couldn't know The Coach will help me get that fast :) Thank you Coach! On the other hand that was really helpful, because first time ever I didn't overspeed the beginning. I planned to do the first kilometer at 4:50 and I did it exactly at 4:50 (7:46 min/mile). Yay! I planned on going at 4:45 min/km (7:38 min/mile) for the first 5 km. You can see at the Garmin log that I went slower on the first mile, held to that pace in the second mile and then got to my general target pace of 4:40 min/km (7:30 min/mile). Giving myself little bit of "cushion" for going under 1 hour 40 minutes.

Not even 1 km in the race and I look worse than after the full marathon!
... it was really cold, needed some running to warm up :)

Photo by AndreaH

The other measure to check was the heart beat. If I was reaching towards 177 BPM in the first part of the race that would mean slowing down. But yay, I was well below 170 BPM in the first part, really happy about that. Honestly, I have to admit that I still need to be getting used to going that fast for such a long distance. Man, I want to run marathons faster than that pace, so I better get used to it! :) So back to the race, I saw Andrea and my mom just after the start before the 1st kilometer mark. Then dad and grand pa around 3 km. Honestly, the kilometers are flying by quite fast at this pace, cool!

I only had one little moment of trouble before the 10th km, I felt strong going back to the right bank of the river. There was mom, Andrea & co. again and they were great at cheering me up (check out the videos bellow). I waved at them and got out my gel to get it in because I was just before 10 km mark so slight after 45 minutes into the race. And there I got the side stitches (píchání v boku in Czech) ... grrr. I got some more water to help the first half of the gel get down and had to run with the gel in my hand for some time so I can put myself back together. Luckily, I was able to breathe through that and I don't really remember how it ended. I was just back to my pace working hard to continue. Got a little bit slowed down by the huge marketing group around the famous football player Pavel Nedvěd. Man, he got like 8 guys around him to chat with him and give him pace I guess, all in orange t-shirts saying something like "Pavel Nedvěd team". I wanted to say something little provocative, but then I told myself that seeing a girl in a skirt with pink socks and basically pink everything passing him might be just enough :) See you at the marathon Pavel!

Running in the second half towards Holešovice, it is where you know you are in the second half, but you also know that you will turn in the ugly last 5 km that were gonna be really windy this year again as they were in 2010. And yes, these were some windy kilometers. As the Ethiopian winner Atsedu Tsegay said the wind took the world record away from him, and I would say it took the under 1:39:00 time from me. Back to the winner, he is just 20 and he ran the half at 58:47, he missed the world record closely and it is the fastest half marathon time ran in 2012 so far. And he ran the last 6 km on his own speeding up all the time. Bravo!

The last 6 km for me? I know I was putting in more effort since there was the strong head wind with no buildings to cover us up. I tried to hide behind some guys, but it simply did not work (not many girls around there). The field wasn't that crowded by that time and there were either the really good guys who were speeding up and I couldn't catch up with. And the others were slightly slowing down. It was good to be passing people, but on the other hand I had to fight with the wind most of the time. At around 17 / 18 km for some time there was a really tall guy in green t-shirt and dark blue shorts and I was barely hanging on his pace which was great for me. According to my heart rate, I knew I could push little harder, because I wasn't still reaching 180 BPM, but I was really afraid of breaking down if I pushed too hard.




I lost my tall pacer just before 20km mark on the turn to the bridge away from the finish to come back with the next bridge. There I knew I can start pushing it. I am glad that at least the 13th mile was at under 7:30 min/mile, the last tiny bit was even bellow 7 min/mile!!! The official real time:

1 hour 39 minutes 21 seconds

average pace: 7:35 min/mile (4:43 min/km)
fastest miles (5th & 10th): 7:25 min/mile (4:36 min/km)
slowest mile (1st): 7:54 min/mile (4:54 min/km)


I am also including the official splits, Honza will love this, I managed to do my second half of the race in exactly same splits: 23:33 per 5 km :) The last 1 097.5 meters I did at 4:55 minutes which equals 7:18 min/mile (4:28 min/km). Called The Coach, who was really excited! Yep, so was I. Met with my fan club and went for the well deserved hot chocolate. Can you understand that they first brought it without whipped cream on the top??? Enjoy some more photos, I am off to bed, since I couldn't really sleep well last night after the race.


Happy running everyone! What are your next planned races???


Photo by AndreaH

Searching for my sweat shirt ...
Photo by AndreaH

... to find out I have it already on :D :D :D ... it was really freaking cold!
Photo by AndreaH

Photo by AndreaH


Afternoon recovery with Zensah :)

Victory burger with my favorite boys!


24 comments :

  1. I just don't know what to write - it's everything so perfect! Congratulations again, awesome result :)

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    Replies
    1. Nobody's perfect! :) I need not to be afraid to push harder in the end :) :) :)

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    2. So you know that you can be faster! :) That's perfect .)

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  2. Krasny report! Jako bych to cele absolvovala s Tebou :-) Jeste jednou gratuluju k vykonu!

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  3. Úžasně napsané! Rvala jsem se podobně jen v jiném tempu :o)
    Gratuluji a přeji hodně sil do další přípravy.

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  4. Blondýna: :-) Vždyť Tys mě taky celou cestu sledovala! :)

    Pulec: To je na tom běhání nejlepší, že sice každý ve svém tempu, ale pocity máme všichni úplně stejné :o) Běžíš celý?

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    Replies
    1. Jsem to ale Colombo, co? :-)))))

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    2. Jestli, tak ne v Praze. Nějaký podzimní by snad vyjít mohl.

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    3. Podzimní závod taky teprve vybírám ... uvažuju o Amsterdamu nebo něco na jihu, jako Madrid nebo Benátky. Co Ty na to???

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    4. Ty jo, o Amsterdamu uvažuji taky! Chce jet i Nicolas s kámošem. To bychom mohli nějak zorganizovat, ne? Jih - tam by bylo moc teplo. Ale probereme to na setkání.

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    5. Super! Zdá se, že se nám tu začíná klubat dobrá akcička. Těším se 20.!

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  5. http://img11.rajce.idnes.cz/d1102/6/6231/6231433_2befeb7eb674ee0d96cb19d8b0cdce15/images/IMG_6431.jpg

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  6. Poladil bych ještě ty boty. K té růžové soupravě moc nejdou. A taky čepici.

    Třeba tuhle: http://www.rajpohadek.cz/cepice-hello-kitty~zKid-Cep-199dopro.html

    :-D :-D

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    Replies
    1. Růžovou kšiltovku samozřejmě mám, ale to už by bylo moc dobrého najednou, je třeba to kombinovat ... :)

      Boty už mám nové (ne růžové tedy), ale přišly mi den před závodem, tak jsem teda nebyla tak drsná, abych v nich napoprvé vyběhla rovnou na půlku na závod ...

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    2. Nad botkama jsem se taky divila, zes nemela ty svoje ruzove Nike... :-)) ale vim, ze tyhle jsou Tvoje zavodni. :-))

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    3. Teď už jsou nové závodní ;o)

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  7. A to já bych zase dal místo sukně krátké běžecké závodní elasťáky, návleky klidně nechat a to by potom lítalo :)))
    Jinak tedy pěkný výkon, na podzim to tam pošleš pod "30" jako nic :P
    Nejvíc mě ale v tuhle chvíli dostal ten burger, tak ten bych ztrestal hned :)
    P.S: fotky super :)

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    Replies
    1. O nějakých elasťáčkách začínám uvažovat, zatím jsem pořídila další sukni - ale ona každá ta sukně má ty závodní elasťáky pod tím :) No a na pod "30" dojde, to je jasný :P Kolik máš osobák???
      Burger byl naprosto výbornej, ve stejkárně, takže ze super masíčka. Bílkoviny je třeba doplnit! :D :D :D

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    2. Sundáš sukni a pak to poletí, ono tam je nějaký odpor vzduchu a to dělá taky svoje :) Osobák mám hned ze své první a poslední účasti v Pardubicích loni, 1,25,09hod :)
      Až budem s ženou v Pze, zajdem na takovej burger? Nebo dva? :)

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    3. Hezky pěkně, tak to jsem zvědavá, jak budeš za 10 dní vylepšovat ;) Já to poběžím maratonským tempem, takže žádné zázraky nebudou ... Jo a burger, ten platí kažadopádně! Jenom už abyste přijeli!!! Já to říkám Jituš pořád :o)

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  8. Samozrejme gratulace nejen za cas, ale i za sukni!
    Na TT nedej, oni jen zavidi, ze oni v sukni behat nemuzou:). Ja to sice taky zavidim, ale umim to priznat..:)
    Mezi nami ani nevis, kolik muzu za tebou ti vdeci za vyborny cas! :)
    MSF! At nam to beha! 12:)

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    Replies
    1. To je úžasný, jak vždycky najdeš samá pozitiva. Já vlastně běhám v sukni pro lepší výkony mužského startovního pole, to je jasný! :D :D :D
      Pěkné běhání, těším se, že se 20. konečně uvidíme :)

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