Auckland Marathon!

Just finished the Auckland marathon with a net time of 3:08:15. Mixed feelings really. Was adamant that I was going to finish under 3 hours, but it wasn’t to be. My excuse for not doing so will be due to a rookie mistake!

A minute before the start I was jogging on the spot and positioned up near the front (where the 3 hour runners line up). I looked down and then my stomach sank. I have forgotten to bring my timing chip! I swiftly moved to the side and jumped the metal barrier. I frantically ran to the race official who could give me a replacement timing tag. By now the race had already started, and due to this ordeal my heart was racing already! The official put on a replacement timing tag and gave me another race number.

I was now at the start line 4 minutes late and ready to race but everyone, including the walkers, had left. For the first 10 km or so my pace was quite high and erratic.  Not ideal. I must have passed 2,000 or so competitors at this stage. Despite feeling amped, I would later pay for this in the second half of the course. Before the half way mark it was a real treat being able to be able to run over the harbour bridge (it is otherwise strictly for motor vehicles).

I was stonking along and reached the half way mark at 1:25. I was happy with this, but a few kms later I really started to feel my legs. I think the constant weaving between people and lack of a consistent pace must have put unnecessary stress on my legs. I realized this and eased back on the throttle. What a shame I thought, especially since the first half of the course was the hard hilly part!

Unsurprisingly it was a struggle to get to the finish line. During the last quarter of the race I had the humbling experience of having 100 or so people who I would initially sped past overtake me. Serves me right for lack of preparation and poor pacing. I sucked it up and gave it all I had in the home run. Since I had to change my race number at the start of race the announcer didn’t call out my name on the loud speaker as I crossed the finish line. This kinda sucked.

The split for the second half was 1:43, some 18 minutes slower (-21%!) than the more difficult first half. But all was not lost. I still completed the run with a respectable time and improved on my previous marathon time. The legs are quite stiff and I think I’m going to be sore for a few days. But today’s lesson was to always put the timing chip on your shoe the day before the race!

Auckland marathon build up

As part of my build up for the 2013 Taupo Ironman, I’ll compete in the 2012 Auckland marathon. This will be my second marathon after the 2011 Christchurch marathon. This time round I’m hoping to improve on my previous effort and with a bit of luck, finish under the magical 3 hour mark. I know it will be tough but I believe I’m capable of doing it. With all the training I’ve done this year, I think I’m a lot more prepared than last time. However, I’m well aware that the Auckland course is more difficult. For one, it is not flat and it is likely to be warmer on the day. It is also not too long enough since I had a major surgery. Stay tuned!

Skin folds test

As part of being a participant in an AUT research project, I had a skin folds test today. It is not come as a surprise that I’m fairly lean. Today that has been quantified: I am 8.3% body fat! A summary of today’s data:

  • Triceps skin fold: 8.0 mm.
  • Subscapular skin fold: 10.6 mm.
  • Biceps skin fold: 2.9 mm.
  • Iliac crest skin fold: 18.8 mm.
  • Supraspinale skin fold: 8.7 mm.
  • Abdominal skin fold: 14.2 mm.
  • Front thigh skin fold: 6.8 mm.
  • Medial calf skin fold: 5.9 mm.

Taking into account that I weigh in at 80.9 kg and I’m 189 cm tall, using the sum of 6 skin folds (excluding the lowest (biceps) and highest (iliac crest) readings), I’m 8.3% body fat! A bunch of other measurements were taken and my Somatotype (using the Heath-Carter system) is 2.5 Endomorphy, 3.7 Mesomorphy, and 3.5 Ectomorphy. To conclude, I’m of a moderately muscular and moderately slender build with low amounts of body fat!

Serious hunger out on the bike

Just came back from my usual 100 km Sunday ride. But I almost died of hunger (well, not really, but you get the idea!) in the last few kms due to lack to energy. I clearly did not have enough breakfast nor take enough fuel with me. Yes I did take cash with me but there are no shops or gas stations along Ridge Road which is where I needed food. This morning I procrastinated when getting out of bed. In order to make up for the time I slept in a just had toast instead of the usual hearty porridge for breakfast. Big mistake and not to be repeated!