I made it to the second blog post! OK, it’s a long weekend. Anyway, I participated in the traditional end-of-year run in Barcelona, Cursa dels Nassos, and set a new personal record (or personal best) at 41:58, smashing my previous clocking at 43:18. Yes!
The race, which begins at daylight and ends in darkness hours before the new year begins has a festive atmosphere. Nassos translates to noses – the days left for the year equal the number of noses. That’s what they tell the children and that’s the name of the competition. People come dressed with noses, Santa suits and what not. I had the dilemma: take it easy and run with a friend or two, or take it seriously.
Well, the result spells it out: I did give it my best, skipping the festivities. I guess I channel my competitiveness into running. And well, I knew I was in shape to make it, especially given the extremely flat course.
During the first part of the race, I was within a crowded group of fast runners all chugging along at the same pace, making it almost impossible to slow down or speed up. I guess that’s what bicycle races feel like. I later realized we were all following the pacemaker.
Running in a group breaks the wind. Did that give me some edge? But is it relevant for non-professional runners? And wind wasn’t an issue anyway in the streets of Barcelona yesterday.
I don’t think it made a difference as I continued pushing also in the latter part of the run, and ended the race with a bit of energy left. So, I attribute the flat terrain, 34 meters of accumulated elevation, which is nothing and my hard work.
I set a goal of breaking 1:30 in a half marathon, my favorite distance. My current record, which I matched recently, is 1:33:47. These ~4 minutes are tough, but I’m on the right path, running 5 times a week on some weeks and making progress. My 10K result reflects 4:12 per kilometer and to reach my goal I would need to complete those 21.1K in 4:15/K. I can’t keep up with this pace for more than double the distance, but I’m getting there and the Nassos performance underpins my confidence.
Here’s the pre-race picture of our Barcelona Casual Runners group: