So you know how I said I wasn’t going to race the half marathon on Sunday…well I didn’t technically race it, but I did go a lot faster than I originally intended.
To be honest, I had no idea where my head was at for this race. I went into it with absolutely no plans. In retrospect I don’t want to do that again. I’m not a big fan of not planning my paces or at least having an idea of paces before a race!
Ben and me arrived at the race (which was only 30 minutes away) with my dad who had kindly come to support us (he loves cheering us on and he was excited that this was the first half marathon he could actually come and see).
It’s a league race so we’ve got our running club vests on
Originally I was supposed to run 16 miles on Sunday but then I signed up randomly to this half marathon. So I decided to run two warm-up miles and then a cool down mile at the end to make it up.
My dad at this point had marched off to where he was planning on supporting from (around the 5 mile mark). And we headed to the start. The race was chip timed but we soon found out it was only chip timed for the finish. I was stood with the ladies from my running club and we were so far from the front. Very frustrating.
Anyway, we started running and I straight away found myself running with one of the girls from the club and we just matched each other nicely. I did get a bit concerned because we were starting quite fast (7.40mins.mile)…and we didn’t slow.
I’m not really used to running races with other people. I’m also not used to running such long distances WITHOUT MUSIC either. There was a ‘no headphones rule’ for this race as the roads weren’t closed. I can’t tell you how much this sucked. I get bored quite easily and feed a lot from music. Hey ho!
This was around mile three
As we carried on running I realised that I wasn’t going to take this easy. It was nice to run with someone else. It was her first half marathon and she told me she’d “hang on” for as long as she could. But to be honest I don’t know who was pacing who! Then another girl from the running club joined us and we became a power trio, keeping each other going.
I saw my dad around mile 5 and he snapped a photo and cheered us all on
I found this race quite tough. There were a few nasty slow inclines and a couple of sneaky hills. I didn’t know what pace to keep to and constantly worried I was going to fast for our little group, or not fast enough. It was really hard mentally. I’m so used to running races on my own! But it was nice to have them there.
Finally the finish!
Physically, I didn’t breeze through this one like the Bristol half. Maybe because it was ‘undulating’, maybe because I hadn’t gone into the race mentally prepared to run fast, maybe it was the extra two miles before the race, who knows! Though I’d say I wasn’t properly struggling until around mile 11, then it became really tough.
My official time was 1:40:34. I came 9th in my age category and 25th female (173rd overall out 375). Ben helped pace a girl from our running club round and finished 2:08:48. He really enjoyed it.
After finishing and getting the goody bag I saw my dad and then headed off for a mile cool down. Oh man my legs were not happy to start running again. They were so stiff! So I kept it nice and easy!!
This was definitely not my favourite race. It pushed me mentally (no headphones, running with two others, no game plan) and physically (faster than I intended and hills). And the weather was pretty terrible. But I’m glad I did it. Not every race can be a great one! I’m happy with my time don’t get me wrong and it felt like a great work out. I just wished I’d have enjoyed it a bit more!
OH, and there were no medals. NO MEDALS. Shocking.
We did get one of those Choob scarf things though so that’s a slight consolation. It’ll be a good running scarf when it gets colder!
And as a side note, I love this photo my dad took on his walk to the five mile point:
It looks like the horse is about to charge him haha.
After the race, Ben, my dad and me were freezing when we drove back home. So wet and cold. I thoroughly enjoyed my shower when I got back!
And the cake I wolfed down [from our Brighton adventures]:
I microwaved that beauty for a minute and thoroughly enjoyed just over half of it before feeling sick. Ben feebly managed a third of his. Pft! Poor effort.
Race + cake = happy Anna
How do you keep yourself entertained on a run? I always listen to a podcast on long runs or for races listen to music. It pumps me up and keeps me going. Though running with a group at running club is good too.
Who’s your biggest race supporter? My dad loves supporting us and he’ll always listen to me yabber on about running. He’s brilliant.
What do you like to get in a race goody bag? It’s all about the medal for me.