Did something perhaps a bit crazy yesterday, but it was planned and there’s a reason for it, though I won’t get into that at the moment. What I will say is that, assuming Google Maps is right and a lap around the lake has 3.2 kilometers and the part I added at the end has another 1.9, I covered the distance of a half marathon, 21.1 kilometers, and I managed to do it in under two hours. More specifically, the time was 1:59:11, and I can say I was never exactly concerned about that target, despite hitting a wall around 17.5 kilometers and starting to lose time from then on.
Then again, I can say I wasn’t concerned about the target while running, but before I started I didn’t even really think I should try it, having target sector and lap times that’d have led me to a total time of 2:15 or even 2:30 if needed. Did start from those required for two hours and then worked my way up in order to determine the others, but sticking to 18-minute laps from start to end hardly seemed likely and as I started running I was still trying to decide between at least making that attempt and sticking to the target times for 2:15, which seemed to be the manageable ones. The 2:30 ones were there because I tried to keep expectations low, but I’d have been disappointed to need to use them.
A bit of a problem were the sector times, since the first sector is only slightly shorter than the second, the normal times, during regular runs that don’t challenge the records, being around 4:45 for the first and around 5:20 or perhaps 5:25 for the second. However, to keep things simple for the top goal, which was clearly going to leave me with little energy to spare for working with numbers, I decided to set targets of five, six and seven minutes, respectively, so I had to go quite a bit faster while in the first sector and then would slow down more in the last, where the normal time may vary a fair bit but can be said to be around six minutes.
Obviously can’t recall exact sector times anymore, but I’m pretty sure I barely managed to meet the five-minute target for that first sector on three of the six laps, and by that I mean covering it in exactly 5:00 and needing to pretty much sprint for the last 30 seconds or so in order to manage it. The most I gained there was maybe four seconds, or even only three, while I’m quite sure the most I gained in the second sector was ten seconds and in the third 13 seconds, which I was rather unhappy with, since it was in spite of slowing down significantly towards the end and meant I had tired myself too much by pushing harder than I had to until then.
What I remember clearly is that, as I was running, I realized that last week’s second run proved I could easily do two 17-minute laps and the two ten-kilometer runs proved I can just manage three 17.5-minute ones, so I should probably just be able to do four 18-minute ones, leaving me with the last two and those final 1.9 kilometers to worry about. For that reason, I planned and managed to have a minute in hand by the end of the fourth lap, but not significantly more than that, so I won’t tire myself more than I needed to. Then, a bit to my surprise, I still felt quite fine during the fifth lap as well, gaining just a few seconds more, so I started the sixth with 1:14 to lose.
With another sprint, I managed to finish the first sector of lap six in exactly 5:00 again, then pretty much hit a wall as I was nearing the end of the second. May have managed to meet the target for that one even so, and I did sprint to try it, but when I realized I’d just manage it at a full sprint for those last few steps and it’d be fake, because I was getting too tired, and it’d cost me more later, I stopped just before getting back out from under the bridge, which is where I check the time for that sector, and the result was losing two seconds compared to the target time. And then, though the thought of somehow managing to recover them over the third sector did cross my mind, since I had more time to lose there compared to my normal time, by the time I completed the lap it was clear I had to just keep putting one foot in front of the other and limit the damage. Lost 26 more seconds in that sector, so 28 seconds over the course of the lap.
Next was that final part, which required me to cross the bridge, which meant climbing up the stairs on one side and down the other. And that truly showed me how much my body was just screaming at me to stop and sit down already, as it felt that each step up was managed pretty much on willpower alone, while going down felt pretty much like a barely controlled fall. Also, the two-minute target for that sector was ambitious to begin with, so I was actually pleasantly surprised when I found myself at the bottom of the stairs and starting what was actually a seventh third sector after only 2:10. And then I just met the updated 7:30 target for that sector as well, leaving me a mere six seconds ahead of the target time before the last, which started with me going up stairs again, to get from the path around the lake to the one leading to the park exit.
However, when I said I was never worried about managing to finish in under two hours, I meant it, and that was because I had set aside a generous three minutes for that final part and it only has about 400 meters, which I knew I’ll manage in no more than 2:30 even with the stairs and in the state I was in. I was so sure of it I also stuck to the original plan of getting to the top of the stairs on one side, then reaching the other side of that wide path and then finishing back on the side I started from, adding a little more to the distance. And, as the end result proves, I knew what I was doing, as I only needed 2:17 for that final sector, adding 43 more seconds to those six.
Getting back after that felt a bit strange, as it was rather difficult to properly control my legs, not to mention my walking speed, but with the exception of the legs I felt surprisingly fine and still do. I didn’t even sleep much today, waking up at 1 PM, so after some seven hours of sleep, which is even stranger when you take into account the fact that yesterday morning I got maybe three and a half at best and then didn’t nap during the evening. My legs will definitely keep reminding me of what I did for a while and I have a slight headache, but other than that, I felt worse after days spent doing pretty much nothing. In fact, I often do.