Today I took part in the Semi Marathon de Toulouse. I had run this race already in 2011, where I achieved my personal best time in the distance (1h42’30”). The race is quite flat and runs two laps at a circuit of almost 10 kilometres, with some variations at the beginning and the end to reach the 21.1km.
I am now in the middle of the training period following a plan towards Athens Classic Marathon in November. Despite of not focusing the training on this race, and due to the PB in 10k obtained two weeks ago I was looking forward to beat my half marathon PB, aiming at clocking a time at least below 1h40′.
I went to Sept Derniers, the neighbourhood where the race is starting together with Luca and Andrea. There we met my colleague Manuel and together we did some warming up.
The race started about 15 minutes late. Manuel is lately in great shape so he wanted to start at the front of the pack, thus, I accompanied him there. This made me run the first kilometre much faster than I wanted to. From then on I slowed a bit until I just came to be running just a few seconds under 4’40” per km, that would ensure me to finish below 1h39′.
I could pace myself well until the km 14, from that moment I found it hard to keep a pace under 4’40”. I guess I paid the extra effort of the first 2-3 kilometres. Nevertheless, I made the numbers in my head and saw that even clocking times around 4’44”-4’48” I would be well under 1h39′ if I didn’t have any further problem (which almost had at the km 17, when I almost fell after bending the left ankle).
Just before entering the athletics track in the Airbus’ sports facilities, TOAC, I checked the watch and knew that I would be under 1h38′, as I would accomplish that final 400m lap in under 2 minutes.
I finally beat my best time in half marathon by 5 minutes! For which I am quite happy. I ended in 1h37’29” as per my Garmin (a couple of seconds more as per the official timing – no net time provided by the organization). I came in the 241th out of 1080, not being that especially important I made it to the top 23% percentile for the second race in a row (in Colomiers I came in 226th out of 990).
Thus, in 2 weeks I have beaten 2 PBs (10k & 21k)! Let’s hope that the health keeps going well with the training besides the small inflammation I have now in the right knee.
Enjoy some pictures of me running today (most of them taken by Luca):