I had intended to run/walk my second HM at around the same pace of my 1st. I had no ambitions for anything "faster" because I am still daunted by the distance and attempts at this distance are so few and far between it is difficult to get an idea of just how "fit for the purpose" I am ( as opposed to weekly 5K's at parkrun) .
My last HM averaged 7:30 mins per k for a 2 hours 37 mins finish - and , although I must admit that I had done the calculations as to what average pace an "under 2;30" time would require, it turned out that this pace would have to be quicker than my recent 10K PB pace of 7:10 mins per K. When I collected my race bib at the Marathon Expo centre, I did download a wrist band for a 2hours 30 finish - pacing times for each klm marker - but on the morning I decided not to even wear it because there was no chance that I would be anywhere even close to the pace required.
So - off we went ( with 10,000 other starters on the annual Gold Coast Half Marathon) - I started right at the back because i figured that it didn't matter where I started because my "Nett" time is the important time - and seeing as how I was intending to run/walk this race, I didn't want to be a nuisance to real runners !! BUT - within 20 minutes of starting, my run/walk device went Kaput - flat battery!!! So I was left to my own devices after that - I resorted to my "long distance fartlekking" strategy - pick some thing a couple of hundred yards ahead, run to it and then walk for a short while ( usually around 60 paces) At the 10K mark, my watch was showing that I was averaging 7 mins per k - 10 seconds faster than my 10K PB pace - I wondered how long I could hold this?? 6 k later it had fallen to 7:02 pace and I was getting tired - theoretically I could let it fall to 7:09 pace and could still crack the 2 hours 30 mins time. At 17K , I realised that my garmin was reading a bit fast - it was showing 17.15K at the 17 K marker - - a quick mental calculation on the run told me that I was really averaging around 7:06 per k and couldn't afford to lose much ,more over the final 4K. So, over the last few K's I pushed myself as hard as I could knowing that I would have only seconds to spare if that at the finish. I finished so hard that in the final 250 metres of the finish chute, I HAD to stop and walk!!!!!! But - lo and behold - an official finish time of 2hours 28minutes 44 seconds!!!
I am not really one to worry too much about running pace and times - and certainly not to constantly strive to better them But, for me this "under 2:30" is a bit like that magical " under 30 mins) for the 5K - I have done that once and have no ambition now to better it - and this HM PB will probably remain with me forever. I do have to revisit my 10K time however - because now my HM PB pace is faster than my 10K PB pace
As for a full marathon - I don't really think so . I don't think I have the legs for it!!