One of the downsides of my new enthusiasm about running is how easy it is to get carried away when it comes to entering races. A quick chat with fellow runners about what is up and coming in the race calendar invariably leads to a few clicks on the computer when I get home and another race entered. Which is probably why I have ended up entering four half marathons which take place in the space of nine weeks. Not a great challenge when compared to the feats of some but enough for me.
The master plan, such as it was, had been to improve my speed over the summer with a target of getting sub two hours in at least one of the first two races. The Severn Bridge half was a great race. My fears of succumbing to vertigo on the bridge proved completely unfounded and instead I was inspired by beautiful views and cheery marshalls. I finally managed sub two hours achieving 1:58:53 on a course rightly described as “undulating” feeling positive about how good I felt at the end. Everything was going to plan and by rights I should be feeling confident and ready for my next half at Bristol.
However, that was without reckoning on my tendency to thwart my best laid plans. Bristol is my target race of the four and as I started to feel the pressure small disappointments took on the appearance of major catastrophe. I had hoped that training for the succession of races would help shift a stubborn stone in weight. This hasn’t proved to be the case as cutting back on alcohol and ramping up the miles has been replaced with an increased consumption of sweeties and cake. During my last long run two weeks before Bristol I was struggling from mile 11 and a a disappointing mid week 5k hit my confidence further. I lined up for yesterday’s park run stupidly anxious for a good time. Thankfully I managed it and there is nothing quite like a new PB to make you feel that little more confident and revitalised. I have done all that I can do now and a quiet taper week awaits. So on to Bristol and a new target (whisper it) of 1:56:00...
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