Isle-Of_Skye Half

Posted on: 05 Jul 2018

…“Are you going to warm up”, running buddy asked…
“Nope…pointless as just getting round is all I have”, was the honest response.

Normally the temptation is to air on the side of caution and under estimate your race day predictions. Not today…training had started to come together but was falling massively short of what ‘good’ would look like as a race outcome…

We moved to the start and settled at the back of 700 runners…the last few training runs had seen me hold 10min miles over distances up to 11 miles. The knee was improving but still ached as the mileage or pace increased.
In the weeks leading up to race day I had also increased my cycling volume & intensity. My longest ride was a Cycling Sportive covering 65 miles on the 2 Jun with Grace. My love affair with cycling has been my sanity saviour…as the mileage built and the intensity of peddle pushing increased my running started to pull back from the abyss.

First three miles were a long drag up hill and immediately I settled into a comfortable rhythm…my running buddy had pulled away easily and I made no attempt to follow. Halfway into the long climb found myself actually enjoying myself…running buddy was passed…the run was feeling easy…the pace comfortable albeit much quicker than previous training runs.

We crested the first high point and was still in good shape moving well as the road dropped away for an undulating couple of miles…resisted the temptation to push the pace. First Gel taken at 5-6 miles…water at 6 miles with most used to cool my head and neck…it was hot but ok as had trained in similar conditions…my goal was to get to 8 miles in reasonable shape with running left in the legs…this goal was achieved comfortably…last Gel taken…

The last 5 miles turned out to be the most brutal road running I have encountered in many years…hill after rolling hill…it was relentless…but didn’t walk a single step…kept moving forward…at 11 miles the struggle really kicked in nursing my knees up and down the climbs. I realised early on that running a sub 2 was realistic and was so surprised how close it would be crossing the finish 2:01:10. My running buddy came in 30 seconds behind and had had me in her sights for miles! This was my 30th Half Marathon and my 6th on Skye.

My delight at just finishing was immense…weeks of painful struggle had finally paid off. and we spend a wonderful 5 days exploring the Isle-Of-Skye as a tourist…for the first time this really felt like home…at Dunvegan Castle…

 

 

 

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