My 26.2 mile journey... by Simonetta26_2

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I am a part time working mum of 2 young girls. 3 years ago, I ran my first marathon, in my birth town of Brighton, In a time of 4.53. Last year, I "st...

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Started: 3 Jan 2013

Last post: 23 Feb 2015

  • Brighton Half Marathon

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    Feb23201511:04 p.m.

    Ahhhhhhh.....My feet are finally touching the ground. Yesterdays "race" has been going round and round in my head and I feel that I can put it in writing now. I have put race in inverted commas, as I wasn't sure how I was going to run it: as a training run or a race? Being half term, I only managed 1 training session in the week, which was a hill session of just under 4 miles. So I was fairly relaxed and well rested. 

    I drove the 30 minute journey to Brighton, with my friend Sophie and parked in good time to get to the starting area by just after 8am. It was fecking freezing and as we walked along the seafront, I was still deciding what layers to wear. Still feeling calm, there were loads of people - as many spectators, with dogs, children and pushchairs, as runners and all jostling for the same space, which seemed to be getting narrower and narrower, the nearer to the bag drop we got. We passed the starting corals and still had a short walk to the bags, when everything came to a standstill. We were literally jammed in a confined space between barriers, runners and non-runners. Now I was less calm, as glancing at my watch, it was 8.52. There was no way forward and no way back. This is the 4th Brighton Half that I have done and this has never been a problem. I think they put more barriers in, so the pathway was just too narrow. The write up said they were expecting 12,000 runners (which started as a 200 strong race, 25 years ago) However, I think the true count was much less, at about 7,600 on the day. Still, over 7,000 runners PLUS spectators in the same area, was not working. With 3 minutes until the race start, we dumped our bags and ran for the start.

    Sophie had forgotten to charge her Garmin, so was running without it. WITHOUT YOUR GARMIN?!!! I would feel less naked, running without my trousers on!! I have never done a training run, let alone a race, without my trusty Garmin. I am embarrassed to say that I am a bit of (well, ok, a lot of) a slave to it. (I can hear lots of tutting....gulp)

    So here I was on the start line, alone, as Sophie had moved her way towards the faster finish coral. It was then that I made my decision to run the 13.1 miles as a training run and try to run the whole distance by not looking at my watch once, but just go with how i felt and take it easy. The first mile, the choice of taking it easy was taken away from me, as it was so congested that you had to just go with the pace of those around you, which felt very slow. Into the 2nd mile, I got into my stride and set off. I passed the nightclub where I have too many memories of coming staggering out of, my old flat, Brighton Marina, which i remember being built. It was a jolly trip down memory lane. The weather was holding well and the gusty and blustery winds were not forecast for another couple of hours. Past the Palace Pier (as I remember it, not the Brighton Pier, as it is now) Past the big crowds, all the time with the sea in view. A massive chunk of this is the Marathon course and for those who are running on the 12th April, the course will not disappoint you. The first mile marker I actually saw, was mile 9 and to my surprise it had come around quickly. My feet were hurting a little, but everything else was good. Mile 10 and the turn around to the finish. I had my first Lucozade here, passed Fat Boy Slims house and reassessed how I felt for the last bit. Well, pretty ok. The wind was starting to gust a bit now, occasionally from the side and front, but mostly from the back (ish) and the rain was holding off. I've got to say at this point, that Jim commented about the "blustery" wind, on my Facebook post yesterday. I wanted to reply Jim, but which ever way i put it, the words "wind" and "behind" were just too school boy gigglish and in the end I gave up!

    2 miles to go and there is a very short, slight ascent from the flat promenade beside the beach huts, onto the main road, by the Peace Statue. I doubt it would even register on the elevation gauge, but after all that flat running, you really feel it in your legs. With a mile to go, I felt I had plenty left and I was close enough to the finish to up the pace. It was only when the finish clock came into view, that I saw the time. I had run the whole way without looking at my Garmin. I did actually say out loud "Oh my God!", as I sprinted to the finish. 1.45:24. A PB by 4 minutes!! I came 1,825th overall and 91st in my category. And I didn't peek at my watch ONCE! That's not to say that I haven't since poured over my split stats on this........

    https://connect.garmin.com/activity/703442067 

     

    Sophie and I with our medals. 

    A close up of the chunky finishers medal.

     

     

    Is it just me? When I first read this, it appeard that from instruction No. 2, they were expecting some elderly or unstable runners........

    Comments (14)

    • gloshawk 'Splendid, splendid. That is an amazing chunk of time off your PB, quite awesome, and how well it augurs for twice that distance in a few weeks. I am so pleased for you, and so pleased that the trusty Garmin was there to record it all. The confidence must be flowing through your veins now, and rightly so. Run on, run on. Oh, and why you possibly thought anyone on this site would find anything funny at all about the word "wind" is beyond me - surely you know Sir Bolty et al better than that....' added 24th Feb 2015

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    • gaellebryant 'Great recount and once again, it shows that running without looking at Mr Garmin is beneficial... If you are like me you would have slowed down once you realise you were that fast and...well who knows! Fantastic result and a well deserved PB too... Tge rest the week before helped too i am sure.... Well done indeed' added 24th Feb 2015

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    • hollywooddave 'PB ALERT PB ALERT FANTASTIC! just goes to show how freely we run whilst not watching a clock! great stuff! ' added 24th Feb 2015

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    • KickAS_Kat 'Wow Simmy!! That's just absolutely AWESOME 😄 What a huge chunk off your PB and how utterly fantastic that must feel. Huge congrats 😊 So, same tactic for the marathon itself? It certainly seems to be having amazing results for those who're doing it x' added 24th Feb 2015

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    • AngusMc 'Well done Simmy, thats a big chunk off your previous best. Running free without the watch could be the best way to run. Great job.' added 24th Feb 2015

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    • moose10 'Many congratulations that a massive chunk off the pb and what will power I've run plenty of times with out a garmin but when its on my wrist i'm constantly looking at it top effort' added 24th Feb 2015

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    • DavidHaworth1965 'Brilliant simmy! Great running! But just think how much FASTER you would have run if you HAD looked at your garmin!! Lol ' added 24th Feb 2015

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    • DavidHaworth1965 'Only joking Simmy. You know how Much I love my garmin (although there is of course a difference between being in love and being a slave!) Perhaps I'll run my next half without looking at it....great blog of an excellent run!' added 24th Feb 2015

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    • Berlin_Bolt 'Yoppee!! What a super run Simmy! I think you will be leaving me for dust in London! Great medal too. Shame about the start, always a bit unsettling when your calm plans go to pot but you did so well to put that behind you and enjoy running! Fab! :))))' added 24th Feb 2015

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    • Runwithroxy 'Fantastic ! what a great run! Like you i am a slave to my garmin, not sure i could have had the will power not to check it once or twice. Well done for holding off! You must be excited about what you can do in the full brighton marathon now?' added 24th Feb 2015

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    • Simonetta26_2 'I love this site and reading all of your comments and feedback. The race was one of those really great runs that's stands out from all the rest. Moving on from it though, I have a new Garmin dilemma in future races now, of "shall I, sharn't I?"......' added 24th Feb 2015

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    • HOBSCowboy 'How brilliant is that - a big ole slice off your PB and it was "just" a training run - fantastic running Simmy. I love it when someone has "one of those running moments", and you just have, and I wish you many more of them. Super, super super!' added 24th Feb 2015

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    • Nick 'A great report and some fabulous photos! Well done to you for that PB!' added 25th Feb 2015

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    • Rob_Barber 'BOOM!! That kind of brilliant result is exactly why I feel the way I do about running by the watch - let it record what you did, don't let it tell you what to do while you're doing it. Great running Simmy 😊' added 26th Feb 2015

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