I was so nervous in the run up to the race (no pun intended). The week of training was going well and in theory I knew I had the sub 2 hour in me but the hills were worrying me and the fact that I had never run that distance that fast before - you know? Scary?
We had a pretty busy weekend in the run up which involved a boozy night out with colleagues on Thursday, travelling to my mother in law's on Friday and then shopping and getting nails done on Saturday! We arrived at the race to clear skies and sunshine, quite a lot of wind and a definite chill in the air. Soon we were off though and trotting out into Berkhamsted and my hubby striding ahead of me (because some things never change!).
I felt OK in the first three miles and took the realbuzz advice of just feeling out the race, rather than focusing on an actual pace. My legs felt very bouncy and fresh and I felt steady but not pushing myself too hard. I glanced at my watch and the first three miles had all been under 9 - woops! Then the hills kicked in and they were rather hilly. I never really struggled on the hills but they definitely slowed me down. In my last hilly half marathon, I felt that I could have strided out on the downhill bits more, so as soon as the first downhill bit came about I stretched out my pins and really tried to peg it down the slope. The miles were ticking by quite quickly and I was still around the 9 minute mile marker - even with the hills. I kept waiting for the pain to kick in or my legs to explode.
I had lots to focus my attention elsewhere - the scenery was fab and it was nice and sunny, there was one poor lady who was wearing a pair of leggings which were completely see through and for the brief time I was behind her got a lovely view of her thong and bottom (what is the right thing to do in that situation - tap her on the shoulder and let her know, I chose not to and ran on), one poor girl had read her training plan wrong and thought Sunday was not "half marathon race" but interval training - she would sprint past me only for a few minutes later to get overtaken by me because she was walking. I finally overtook her for the last time at around mile 10 - surely that tactic has to be exhausting?!
Around mile 9/10 I looked at the watch and realised I was definitely going to do a sub 2 hour so thought I would try and speed up and finish in style. All going well in theory until they through one last hill at the end of mile 11 - I ran all the way up it but it was tough (not going to lie) and then the last mile was all downhill. Now I don't want to brag but I totally nailed mile 12 - I was sprinting the whole way (7:30 minute mile!!) overtook about 7 people including one girl on the final stretch (see ya!)
Got my sub 2 hour and time was 1:57:58. Woohooooo!
I have been paying for it today - I have had seriously sore legs today and somehow (we refurbished and moved out of our flat last summer) in the move we have lost our foam roller. I think a new one might be purchased tonight as with the next heavy weeks coming up - 18, 20, 20, 15 - we are going to need it.
7 miles tomorrow with some intervals - hoping my legs will have recovered a bit better and some strides will help loosen everything off.
Hubby did 1:35 - I am catching him up!
Happy running xxx
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