I arrived back from Prague on Saturday night, boarded a train and set off to Blackpool. At the time I was rueing my bright idea of rounding off the week with a night away with Ed and half marathon in the morning. I felt exhausted by the time I met with Ed (….which happened to be in Preston as I got the wrong train- not a new thing for me, I have form with that- luckily the conductor was understanding)
My first road marathon was the Blackpool one and I really found it difficult, I remember walking long stretches into a headwind and generally making a meal out of the whole thing.
I’ve been getting a little bit faster generally so the plan was to see how much progress I’ve made in terms of speed by doing a flat half. As I ate my room service burger, I reflected on what a silly idea this was after a busy break in Prague.
The race started outside our hotel so that made things really easy in the morning, in fact we were so relaxed, we almost missed the start. As I was trying to get through the crowd to start somewhere sensible (i.e. nowhere near the front) it soon became apparent that I was going to be at the front because the race was about to start.
I resolved not to go off too fast- this is a big issue for me, I go off far too quickly and end up bonking at the 10 mile mark- it’s always been the same. In an attempt to battle the bonk, I took two gels- one for 5 miles in and the next for 10.
I was going pretty well and making sure that I wasn’t pushing too hard. I want to start using my Garmin to help me pace but I have this thing about not looking at my watch…it’s so silly but I’m scared of getting disheartened or putting myself under too much pressure. So I just went by feel.
This clearly didn’t work because I overheard a conversation between two guys discussing pace and I was running way faster than I had intended. This was confirmed when at mile 4, a marshal shouted- ‘you’re in the top 5 ladies, well done!!’ ….oops.
So fast forward, I’m at 10 miles and just boarded the bonk train…. mile 11, I start asking people around me if they had any sweets- they thought I was being funny and laughed. It was rough.
With the end in sight I pulled it together (admittedly walking up a slight rise) and made it to the finish for a PB.
Now people who read my blog will know I’m not about the finish times, it’s more about progress. This was a flat race so if you’re after a PB, it’s a good un.
For me, I was heartened by my position- out of 332 women, I was 12th and in my category (out of 103) I was 3rd. So I’m really pleased, especially after such a busy week. There’s more progress to be made!