When we were discussing our training plans we decided to run another half marathon about this point in the proceedings. For me the decision to run Fleet was straightforward, the start line is about a mile from my house and the only reason I’ve never considered it previously is because I didn’t want to train through the winter….something I’ve had to get used to with marathon training! Karen was slightly less certain as it clashed with Reading & you got a free finishers t-shirt with that one!! However in the end we both decided to run this one. It was cheaper!!
Tim dropped us off (yes I know I said it was only a mile from home, but we were saving ourselves!!) so we had plenty of time to check in our bags and use the loo. We had both been to the loo before leaving mine, but for some reason I have to go again just before the start! Pre-race routine! Thankfully he did drop us off in plenty of time as the queue for the 5 portaloo’s was incredibly long! We spent our time in the queue moaning, quite incredulous that there were only 5 portaloos. I mean, it’s not like it was the first race so why weren’t they more prepared?!? As we walked to the start line we discovered there were actually loads of portaloos that we just hadn’t spotted!!
The start line was very busy & we walked through the crowds to get to the back!!
We started off together, but relatively quickly said our goodbyes. We were both planning to do our run walk splits, but they are different …. mine is 1 minute walking in every mile. Although I do wonder if I should up this slightly to avoid fatigue in the later stages.
I started my 1 minute walking at 3 miles, thankfully this was nowhere near the crowds & people I knew….I was worried that if I started walking in front of them they’d think I was already struggling!
I quite enjoyed running through the busy bits, spotting people I knew & getting a shout out that gave me a little boost! Just before mile 12 I ran past a friend’s house (the same friend who hadn’t spotted me last week when I was out running!) When Tim had told him he’d ignored me last week yet had got a mention in the blog, he’d said next time he saw me he’d try wolf whistling & see if that got a mention! I didn’t get a wolf whistle, although he did appear randomly in amongst his bushes, a little like a peeping Tom!!
For those wondering, I’m not sure many are but anyway…..my new sports bra worked a treat! No chaffing and it didn’t even hurt where the sore bits from last week aren’t quite recovered! My only comment would be that given it’s not an underwired one it squished them together meaning I felt incredibly sweaty!! I think I’ll just have to live with that though!
I came up the home stretch and could tell I was going to get another PB! I was thrilled to cross the line with a time of 2 hours 21 minutes and 2 seconds, knocking about 3 minutes off my last PB. I’ve since become a little annoyed that I wasn’t 3 seconds faster so I could have said 2 hr 20 min!!! I need to try & stop getting so hung up on time so I don’t end up disappointed on the big day.
My split was 3 min run and 1 min walk. I had tried it out last week and it had worked OK. What I hadn’t taken into account was stopping with a load of people behind you! Fortunately I was to the side of the road so didn’t cause too much havoc. After that I checked behind me before I slowed down.
The other thing that was a bit weird was stopping to walk when there were loads of supporters around. So many of them shouted out my name (on my number) encouraging me to start running again and not give up. Bit awkward as I was actually walking to a system! But I didn’t want to let them down so would start running again. That was fine for Fleet where the support was patchy – but not sure how I’m going to deal with that at the Marathon!
Also my extremely loud and persistent ‘beeper’ (note to self – turn the volume down and reduce length of beep!) created a lot of interest. So for the first time ever – I actually found myself chatting (only during the walking bit though!) explaining about the run/walk philosophy and how it was working. Well it definitely was working as I overtook loads of people towards the end and managed a pb of 2:38. 6 minutes faster than my previous half. And I felt pretty good at the end and was able to sprint to the finish and even smile for the camera!!
We did walk the mile back to mine afterwards, feeling very proud of ourselves!
Once we were home we had a quick bite to eat and then Karen took me to Freddie’s football game on her way home. After Freddie’s game I set off to run a further 7 miles! It was a lot slower than my average pace during the half marathon but I was just pleased to put the extra miles on my legs! It’s also given me a little more confidence for when I tackle 20 in one go soon! All in all a good day.
When I arrived home I decided I would go straight out again and complete at least a further 5 miles and 7 if I could. I knew Charlotte was going to and I knew I would be gutted if she did and I didn’t!! So I set off again at the 3/1 split and felt remarkably not too bad. Slower yes, by about a minute a mile, but I was able to maintain it beyond 5 miles so decided on a route that would take me down hill for the last mile or so (even though I would have to walk back up again) because I was soooo not going to let CB have bragging rights tomorrow! I considered not going out, as at that point Karen had said she wouldn’t, so I wouldn’t feel too bad!! Thank goodness I did otherwise I would have been very annoyed!!!! I finished feeling ecstatic about completing over 20 miles (plus the walking). When I arrived home Steve was in the garden and suggested I carry on with the next 6 – for a moment I considered it – but only a very small moment!!
The psychology of having completed 20 miles – and knowing that I was actually OK and felt the last 6 is doable has left me way more confident for the day itself.
Don’t fancy a 3 mile recovery run tomorrow though!