Running Barbie by runnerbarbie01

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I ran in the London Marathon in 2010 and I loved it, up until mile 26. Where I completely blanked and passed out on Birdcage walk - i don't remember a...

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Started: 4 Jan 2011

Last post: 25 Nov 2013

  • Bath Hilly Half

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    Nov2520131:30 p.m.

    I was really rather nervous about this race. Made worse by an email received by the organisers on Monday evening "warning" about the severity of hills, mud and terrain of the course. My boyfriend even said "Well, I suppose we can drop out at the 10K point if we're really struggling..." Arghhhh! He's meant to be the confident one...

    Anyway race approached and the nerves subsided due to us spending the two days before the race with friends who live nearby to Bath and it provided a very good distraction. It also provided us with the best pre-race menu ever (Jo and Neil are feeders and knowing we were running a race the next day, they fed us to the brim all weekend) and plenty of porridge and toast on the Sunday morning meant we set off feeling energised and ready-ish.

    Luckily when we got to the race it was so unbelievably cold I wanted to start running ASAP. I do love the Trionium races, they are quite fun and they start with everyone singing the national anthem which is so funny and patriotic, it can't help but get you in a good frame of mind at the start line. Off we went...

    A horrible lap of Bath race course to begin with, goodness I really hate running on long grass. Then off to the fields, pretty much immediately we started a descent down a trail, which went on and on, and got steeper and steeper and then my worse fears confirmed - yes a runner in a club top and a race number coming up the other way. Brilliant. Oh and yes now its getting steeper and now its turned into the equivalent of a double diamond black ski run. Passed my boyfriend who had turned into a lovely purple faced version of himself panting like there's no tomorrow but powering up the hill/mountain/cliff edge. Grabbed two jelly babies at the bottom of the hill, big breath and started my ascent. I had my trainer Frankie's voice in my head (we have been doing lots of hill sessions in our running club recently) of "pump your arms" "drive your legs" etc. Weirdly I felt OK going up the hill and I only felt like my legs were going to cave and my lungs explode at the top - so overall not too bad!

    What followed were a few more hills, including one with a really pretty view at the top - shame I was almost seeing double at this point. Then a rather muddy track, which twice I nearly fell victim to and I can safely say completely ruined my trainers. Cropped leggings were definitely the right choice today :)

    One more large hill and then I could see the outskirts of the race track so I knew I would shortly be heading back out for round 2. I kept thinking in my head "Just get that first horrible hill out of the way" so this was my focus, long descent down past all the struggling runners coming up the other way. Past my boyfriend again "F*** me - this is brutal" How charming - "love you too darling". It really is quite distracting running down faced with people looking and sounding like they are about to keel over (and they are faster/better runner than me!) grabbed two more jelly babies and started the up. Not going to lie, my legs were screaming but I had promised Frankie the trainer that I wasn't going to walk up a single hill and also I had a lady in my sights so the competitve edge took over and I dug in and ran all the way up - overtaking two people as I did so. Not bad.

    Very nearly stacked it in the mud trail - ironically fell over just on my own stupid ankle as I exited the mud trail but luckily was not hurt and bounced/staggered back up. Now I knew the muddy bit and the worst hill were over I tested my legs and felt OK so tried to up the pace. Best thing about knowing all your training has paid off is those last few miles in a race when you try to up the pace and it works and slowly but surely you start to oevrtake fellow runners. I think in those last few miles I overtook about 7 people and then before I knew it I was on the home straight (and flat) sprinting (in my head probably more than in reality) for the finish.

    Amazing race and had a real adrenalin rush at the finish! Got a lovely top, medal and flapjack for the road. Even got a snap with my medal on the winners post :) My only regret was not running faster on the flat bits as I think I could have upped my pace on the flatter bits and got my time down slightly. Overall a fab race, toughest half marathon I have ever done and one I would love to try again next year.

    Quite keen to get a speedy 10K under my belt before Christmas to really see how the fitness is doing as I reckon I can get a PB. Will keep you posted ;)

    Happy running xxx

     

    Comments (2)

    • libbylaird 'Describes the race perfectly, brilliant running up those brutal hills! Well done. Next year I don't plan on having the injury excuse to take it easy! ' added 25th Nov 2013

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    • Rob_Barber 'Just read Libby's report on this race too, and I like the sound of it even more now. The strength you'll have gained from doing this one should stand you in good stead for that PB :-)' added 25th Nov 2013

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