Solent Half Marathon (1:40:34)

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).

Pre-Solent Half

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!

Solent half 3miles

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 Winking smile [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.

22 Replies to “Solent Half Marathon (1:40:34)”

  1. Dude cake AND ponies?! I’d be down for that race! Well, minus the whole no music thing. Omg I would’ve been sooo bored! There’s no way I could’ve done it. Nope. I can’t even sit in my HOUSE in silence! I need some sort of music on at all times almost!

  2. No medals? Ah that would suck! I have only ran a couple of times with no music, but I couldn’t do such a long distance without something to get me going. I found that the right music would help to pace me and give me such a lift. My greatest race supporter was definitely James, he was awesome when I used to run 🙂

    1. Exactly, I feed of music. If my favourite song comes on, or the tempo of the songs has picked up it can really push you forward. I get in the zone then.
      Yeah no medals. It’s like I never did the race…

  3. It’s so neat to hear how involved in you local running club that you are! I would love to find a similar organization around me that I can become actively involved in.

    Great job with the race as always. And great pick with the cake 😉

  4. Ahhh! No medal?! I love a good medal at the finish!
    That horse looks like it has been Photoshopped! Why was it in the middle of the road?!
    Mentally I run better with others normally, although I always worry I’m going too fast or too slow for them. I managed to break my iPod recently and it’s made my long solitary runs much more difficult!

    1. In the New Forest horses just get to roam free so randomly appear on roads. Fun for drivers! Hilarious though – my dad said he feared for his breadrolls that he was eating.
      Ohh no! Ipod disaster!! I’d be at a loss. I’d have to borrow someone else’s.

  5. This is excellent, it is so good for me to know that someone who runs as well as you still has ‘off days’. Your dad was also brilliant standing in the rain and cheering us on! I agree about the music sometimes it is the only thing that gets me around but most races ban headphones. On to the next I guess!

    1. Oh yeah I have bad runs and races all the time. Lately it’s been persistent niggles in my leg, but often it can because I wake up and I’m just ‘not feeling it’. Or I start running and realise I have no energy! You never know really. I just pray to the running God every night 😉

  6. Well done on a brilliant time on what sounds like a tough race! I imagine the three of you like Charlie’s Angels powering round the course.
    Rubbish about the no medal situation but the scarf thing looks exciting.
    Cake always tastes better after a hard run 🙂

  7. Great job, sounds like a tough race. I don’t like running with others, I ran my first half with my brother but I told him to leave me around 8 mile point as I couldn’t stand running alongside someone else and I felt like I was holding him back. I like to listen to music, I rarely go without but sometimes it is nice to listen to the world around you!

    1. Yeah running with others during a race is so tough. If you know the person well it can be a bit easier as they can be honest with you and you them, but with people who aren’t close friends it’s hard because you you don’t want to wear them out them or hold them back. Judging it is quite tricky.

  8. Great job on the race!!! I can’t believe how speedy you are!! At least you had some people running with you to help you push through without headphones…I would have hated that! I love your dad’s photo and the cake looks pretty awesome too 🙂 Nice job!

  9. No medals?? What?? I would have been tempted as it is local to Andy’s family, but now…
    Nice job on it though- I always used to run with music and then podcasts, but then when I did the marathon they (apparently) were strict with no headphones and people would be disqualified (even after) if they were seen to wear them, so I wasn’t taking any chances! I still usually run with headphones, but at Parkruns I always run without, and on my way to, from and during Sweatshop runs I have none as I like to chat, or just think. And now when I do races I don’t take headphones as I find if I have them I slow down and plod too much.

    1. People were actually disqualified from this race for wearing headphones – it was on the results. I had been tempted to ‘sneak’ them on but decided not to risk it last minute. Thank goodness! Being disqualified from a marathon would have been a disaster!!

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