I’m already in New York for the marathon on Sunday, but there are still two race reports to write! My head will probably explode if I try to keep all the memories inside, so I better get started.
Hallwilerseelauf is a half marathon I did last year already, where I improved my PB from 1:29:59 to 1:27:21. This year, I came from a 1:25:02 at Greifenseelauf, but had a solid four weeks of NYC specific training in my legs. My goal was to beat the 4 min/km mark, 1:24:24 for the complete distance.
I bumped into a lot of people before the race: two guys from work, Oli, a guy I know from elementary school and often see at races, a girl I know from a group of people with whom I spent last New Year’s Eve… lots of chatting to do thus.
My wave started four minutes after the elite wave and three minutes after the wave with the relay runners. After a short while, we already bumped into the slower relay runners; a bit annoying, but after some time the field was stretched out enough to avoid any collisions.
As expected, the first few kilometres were very fast as they’re a bit downhill. I tried to do a fancy pacing trick with my Forerunner: loading the course from last year and then “scale” it to my new goal time. I put it to 95%; turns out that’s 95% of the speed, and not 95% of the time, so it was actually slower. Once I realised it I put it to 105%, but I didn’t look a lot at the watch anyway.
I tested my NYC outfit with arm warmers, and I’m happy with it.
Once the course got flat, my pace dropped to a bit faster than 4 min/km for most of the time. I kept passing people and was more or less waiting for the legs to become heavier, but just like at Pfäffikerseelauf three weeks before, it just didn’t happen.
I played back and forth with some people, like for example this guy in red:
He was in front of me for the better part of maybe half an hour, then I passed him, he passed me again, I passed him again… and eventually I lost him. (Behind me.)
The 10 kilometre point came, the North end of the lake with its many spectators, and before I knew it, I was on the final stretch.
The legs still refused to show signs of getting tired. The last bit of the course was not so flat, but really varied and interesting to run; other runners were few and far between.
Once I saw the finish line, I mobilised some last reserves for a strong last few metres:
I was sure that I was below my 4 min/km goal, but seeing 1:20:28 on the watch was still a surprise. A very positive one. Lots of training is good for something after all! If I can improve this by a bit and get a 1:19:00, I would qualify directly for NYC marathon, so I could sign up myself and get cheap flights and alll… worth trying!