A fairly good race in Argentan, despite (relatively) hot weather that saw the winning time increase by two minutes and a half. (Last year’s winner actually lost 3 and half minutes on the same track). Gaining 18 seconds over my time from last year was thus a significant achievement. This was my 17th—or 18th including one I ran on my own as it had been cancelled—Argentan half-marathon. The first half [of the half] was a bit unpleasant under the relentless sun, and each wee slope made me miss my 3:52 kilometre goal. But very few runners passed me for good after the 5th kilometre and reaching the forest part was a blessing, providing shade and cool. A single runner passed me there, although I had not slowed down, and I did not realise it was another runner in my V2 category as I could have tried to keep up. The last kilometres were indeed much smoother than in previous, thanks to a change in my training where I increased the number of long distance trainings. And presumable thanks to the previous week abroad when I trained twice a day. Anyway, I was still surprised to end up as the second V2, 15 seconds from both the first and third V2 runners. Which got me a nice Timex watch as a reward! And a pretty ugly cup… [Thanks again and again to the photographs of Normandiecourseapied for their free pictures!]
Archive for race
A rather comparable race in Argentan with last year, with exactly the same time, a similar weather (a bit too hot and too windy), and a lack of pack for half of the race that again saw me running by myself the whole second half. This was my iXXth Argentan half-marathon. I started a bit more slowly than last year, wary of the headwind, then accelerated in the forest and felt really well till the 17th kilometer, where I slowed down a bit, with a group of three runners passing me on the 18th and alas one of them V2. I tried to keep up till the 20th, but they ended up 20 seconds faster. This year I had left my traditional Insee Paris Club red tank top, to reduce the chances to be spotted but my opponent from last year was apparently not there. The number of runners seems to be going down steadily from one year to the next, maybe more so this year due to another race on Pont de Normandie tomorrow. This helped with keeping my chances of reaching a podium higher than expected, as I was not at all thinking I could make it again this year… [Thanks again and again to the photographs of Normandiecourseapied for their free pictures!]
This race was a tough one, ending up with more than a minute lost from last year… Not so much because of the weather conditions (a bit too hot and too windy), but because of the lack of pack for much of the race that saw me running by myself with no-one near. I tried to keep with the 3rd woman from last year (Daria Furkalo who finished second in 1:23:50 this year) but I slowed down too much on the forest slopes and I had to fight hard to stay around 4mn per kilometre for the rest of the race, with hardly anyone in sight. There was about the same number of runners as last year, but I somehow fell into a gap with minutes between runners at the end of the race. The last two kilometres were a wee bit harder, maybe because of a lack of long distance runs, maybe because of a residual of the flu, maybe just because I am getting older!, and the runner in front of me seemed impossibly far. He actually ended up second in my V2 category. When I talked with him at the rewards ceremony [yet another ugly cup to store in my CREST office!], he told me he had spotted me by looking at the results of last year and seeing my Insee Paris Club red tank top, which prompted him to fight harder to keep ahead of me (while I had no idea of his age group!). I found this story quite funny in the planning it involved (while acknowledging trying to spot other V2’s on the race and asking one runner catching up with me at mid-race whether he was V2…) [Thanks again to the photographs of Normandiecourseapied for their free pictures!]
Here is the cup I won at the Cross de Bercy last week, as third V2, despite a poor race…
After resting for almost four months, I thought it was time for a test about the recovery of my legs towards a new year of running. So about two weeks ago I started a new cycle of soft training, with a maximum of 45 minutes per session and no fast session so far. The result is that I feel much better, less tired, and that my sciatica pain has not increased a bit. (Plus, running back in the local park gets me to see unusual birds due to a cold spell (like a heron, a grebe and a couple of cormorans… Ans also red squirrels which I thought were hibernating!) I will run a local 5K race on Saturday to check about a faster pace (if slower than last summer, for sure!). And to join again my fellow runners from the Insee Paris Club (IPC)!
Darn, the tendons I mentioned in the previous post were just on hold and they made this clear after the third k. So I limped to the arrival line, loosing more than a few places to end up in 16:49, i.e. more than 30 seconds above the time of last year. As my friend Dominique Calassou told me a few minutes later, the incoming 50’s should make me more cautious about setting high goals as this kind of trouble is bound to happen more and more! The race was actually easier than in the past years because the uphill slope was hardly noticeable. The kilometers were however indicated in a fairly unpredictable way: I ran the first k in 3:54 and the second in 3:02, which is clearly impossible. The third k was done in 3:42, which seems plausible, and I ended the fourth k in 4:10, which is also possible given the limp… The most surprising thing is that I ended up 12th (out of 128), compared with 19th last year (out of 156). Anyway, I will have to take a long break now if I want to run the 5k in D.C. this August and the two half-marathons in the Fall…