Sunday saw me hit the half way mark of my training programme. I can not believe that it is only 8 weeks until I run my first marathon. Scary! As part of my training programme I took part in the Brighton Half Marathon on Sunday. With all the poor weather we have been having, I did wonder if this event would even go ahead! How wrong was I?
My alarm was set for 5am, as my pick up was at 5.45am! Luckily I was not driving, so I managed to sleep all the way down to Brighton! I was running the race with my friend Kate – it’s always so much nicer to run with friends! We parked at the Marina in Brighton as I have David Lloyd membership, so we decided that would be where we headed after the race. I was surprised how close the Marina was to the start line, and it was such a lovely morning, that it was a really pleasant walk to the start.
I had left my bags at the gym, so I didn’t need to use the baggage area, but there seemed to be plenty of storage area. It was starting to get busy, but we were there early enough that we walked to the nearest cafe for a tea.
As with all races, there was a little wait for the toilets, but only about 5 minutes which is totally understandable with so many participants. Accessing the starting pens were easy and the race started on time. We headed in towards town at the start, and completed a little loop, running past Brighton Pavilion. Typically we set off far too quickly. Whilst waiting in the pens, we had decided that we should run steady until about 8 miles, and then push from there. In my last post, I spoke about whether I could go for a PB, but realistically I knew I was in that shape. I think my comfortable pace at the moment would be between 9.50 – 10.20 minute miles. So we went through mile 1 in 9.23! Then on to mile 2 and 9.09 pace! No wonder I wanted to give up after mile 3! Not only was the pace too fast, but we also hit the hills. I had always been led to believe that Brighton was completely flat, and had wondered how this was possible! So really I should have been better prepared, but I think the fast start and the heat (I had to remove my neck warmer, my headband and wished I didn’t have layers on within the first mile!) made the hills feel worse than they actually were.
The night before the race, i had looked on twitter at the hashtag #brightonhalf and seen that a man was running for MNDA, but he was also pushing his uncle around the course in a wheelchair! Amazing, take a look at his blog http://www.thinksmilerun.blogspot.co.uk When I was struggling up the hill, I caught a glimpse of Chris and his Uncle Andrew coming down the hill. That was all the encouragement I needed!
As we passed above the start line, we could hear the sound system welcoming in the first man. He finished in 1 hour 5 minutes!!! How is it possible to run that fast? Running past the finish line, knowing that we still had half the race to run was quite tough mentally. Around 8 miles I started to feel a little more comfortable, as we had slowed down now to around 9.45 minute/miles, although I could wait to turn around and start heading back towards the finish. I finally finished in 2 hours and 6 minutes, and to be honest I was a little disappointed. I knew I wasn’t in PB shape, but I had hoped to be closer to the 2 hour mark, and for the race to at least feel easier than it did!
Weather wise, we couldn’t have asked for a nicer day, organisation was excellent and the course was good too. This weekend I am running the Hampton Court Half marathon, and my target must be to SLOW down. My PB is certainly being put on the back burner, and I have to concentrate on the marathon and running at marathon pace.
I need to run more than 13.1 miles this weekend, so I am planning on running to the start of the race and hopefully complete around 15 miles. Although this is going to be venturing into unknown territory again, I have finally put my medal display up, so am looking at gaining another medal to add to it!
I bought this at the running show, from The Runners Wall, and I think that I might be having to buy another one soon!
I have been thinking lots about fundraising too, and decided last week to tweet a few companies to see if they would donate a prize that I could use to help me raise more money. I was so pleased that Lexie Sport, Shock Absorber, and Little Miracles all replied and were positive, so hopefully I will have some prizes for everyone to try to win soon!