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Brighton Half Marathon 2019 – Race Recap

I LOVE Brighton! AND I love the Brighton Half Marathon

Date: Sunday 24th February 2019

Time: 9:30am

Weather: Bright sunshine and warm.

Course: The course is the exact same as last year, so rather than rewriting it, check out last year’s post here.

Website: Brighton Half Marathon

My race:  I was so nervous about this race! I would even say that I wasn’t really looking forward to it – dreading it! After last week’s race, read here, I just didn’t want to hate it. I didn’t want to ruin my love for this race.

It was a slightly later start than normal, so I didn’t have to get up ridiculously early, so a 7 am breakfast was very pleasant. I got to the race at about 8:45, went for my traditional cup of tea from the place on Madeira Drive. The queue there was quite long and I did worry about being delayed getting to my pen, as its usually VERY busy, but once I had my tea, it was surprisingly quiet and calm getting to the pen. I must say that I was glad to be staying close to the start, as the toilet queues did seem horrendous.

I took the sensible option to move back a pen, as I originally should have been in the sub 2-hour start. Whilst waiting in the pen, one of the volunteers asked me about my connection to MND, and without warning, I started to well up! I told him about my dad, and we discussed the disease, he had run London many years ago for the MNDA. He wished me well, and I stood waiting for the start gun. I felt so emotional, I had to hold back the tears many times prior to starting the race!

The excitement nerves kicked in when Fatboy Slim was played over the speakers, and then we were moving forward. I was excited as I knew The Welsh Runner AKA Matt Rees was starting the race, so I stayed on the left, so I could high-five him!! Proper fan girl moment! hehe

The start felt very crowded, and I was unsure if this was because I started further back, or I just that I  hadn’t taken part in a big event for a while. The start to mile three was spent trying not to run into the back of people. This was good as it kept my pace sensible. I then spent a lot of time trying to spot people who I knew were running it. To my surprise, I managed to see all of them. I love spotting people and giving them a shout, it motivates me too.

All was feeling good as we finished the first out and back and headed into town. The roads were wider and there was more room, so my concentration was really on not running too fast at this point. As we headed back on to the seafront, I knew my husband was around mile 7, so I just kept pushing, making sure I was looking like a runner, as I had told him to take some photos! I had set that as my targets earlier that morning – I wanted to finish the race and get a race photo in which I looked like a runner haha. I think I was pretty successful!

I think I smiled all the way down the King’s Road. The support was amazing, the sun was shining, and so far all my miles, bar the first were sub 10 minutes. Life was good!

You turn to head back after the Hove Lagoon, around 10 miles. I had to walk the water stations as the water was in paper cups. It was warmer than it had been in a while, so I was making sure that I took on water.

Walking this water station meant that mile 10 was a 10:04 minute mile, I was NOT happy. Running along the seafront, you can’t help but think only a Parkrun, but I was worried that I would push too early. I tried to relax, and take in the surroundings. The sea looked amazing, the support was loud and motivating, shouting everyone’s names. With a mile and a half to go, you join the King’s Road again, and it was now head down and work. I felt like I wanted to run faster, but my legs were having none of it. Luckily having run this race many times before, I know that when you turn into Madeira Drive, there is still a bit to go, so I didn’t push too soon. My finish line was made even more exciting by finally getting to meet Kelly from Kellogs on the Run, and I had another fan girl moment!

Lesson learned: I still love this race. I think this run, made me love it and the running community just that little bit more!

Pros:

  • I still love out and backs! I love watching the speedy runners, and dreaming that one day I might be a little faster!
  • The weather was AMAZING!
  • The support in Brighton is AWESOME.
  • I loved my pacing and sensible approach.

Cons:

  • TRAINS!!! We had to drive, as yet again replacement buses were in place from Three Bridges to Brighton. They seem to do work on the same weekend every year!
  • Hotels are expensive in Brighton
  • Water in cups are so hard to drink from when running.

So, my fifth Brighton Half means, there is very likely to be a sixth. I just seem to really enjoy this race. If you want to read my previous experiences, they are here, here, here and here (for some reason I don’t seem to have 2015!)

Has anyone else run Brighton? Do you love it as much as me?

Do you have to race? – Part 2

So last week I wrote a post about enjoying running and not needing to actually train for a race, read it here. I received this comment on the post from MrsB over at Mind over Matter.

I thought about this and it hit home a bit. I keep thinking how I would love to gain a place in the Berlin Marathon, but realistically, if I did get one, I’m not marathon fit now, and I’m not sure I’d have enough training time to do it justice.

I have been training pretty consistently, 3 or 4 times a week, and I have taken part in some intense sessions, but I realised I have lacked any kind of long run since the London Marathon. I haven’t run a continuous run of over 3 miles since March. If you read any training plan, they always say the long runs are the important ones, and the session not to miss, yet I have over looked it now for months!

So, on Sunday, after I had completed the C25K with my sister, I attempted to complete a long run. I wasn’t sure what kind of pace I would run or how far I could go, so I just set off. The route that I took starts with a steady hill, so when the first mile clicked up as 10:45 mm, I wasn’t too concerned. During the 2nd mile, my legs felt heavy and I didn’t feel like I was enjoying the run too much. The 2nd mile clocked in at 9.49mm. By the 3rd mile, I felt like the run was tougher than I thought it would be. I felt I should be running more relaxed, but I didn’t really want to slow down as I wanted the run to be over and done with. The 3rd mile was at 9:58 pace.

I had an option where I could have extended the run at around 3.5 miles, but I opted to head straight home. Not running long for a while was showing. I completed mile 4 in 9:49mm, and in total covered 4.33miles. Not exactly long, but when you haven’t completed a long run for a while, this was long enough.


Although I still haven’t technically booked any races for the remainder of this year (although I am close!) I still need to train like I am running an event. I think I have the easy runs covered in the C25K, and the intense sessions with my club, so now I need to start building up my long runs again.

So, long runs here I come and I’m now off to look at races again.