Today Steve and I ran our 1st half marathon of the year. It was our longest run of the year to date, and it was a brutal yet beautiful trail run around Bewl Water. After going out to see John Mayer last night I didn’t get into bed till midnight or so, and had to get up at 06:30 to get a train to meet Steve in Redhill from where he would drive us to the race.
The sun was shining yet there was a cool breeze to start, but our pace was a bit faster than planned from the get go. For the first 3Km we were doing a good job but then it got a bit more hilly and really I was feeling quite knackered. We were pretty much running at my 5Km pace which wasn’t going to be sustainable and so we dropped our speed right down.
From that moment we were having a great run, but at 8Km I bloody twisted my ankle, which was a real pain. Literally!
The middle section of the run was monsterous. Just these seriously long and steep hills that we had to walk up. Then glorious downhills that felt amazing, that would make me feel buzzing but we’d turn the corner into another horrific hill.
My ankle was uncomfortable, but not seriously hurt yet this run was a real struggle. Had we set off a bit slower I can’t work out if it would have made our overall time better or worse. On one hand going slower would maybe have meant we could have jogged more of the uphills making our overall time better, but also nearly everyone was having to walk the up hills, so had we set off slower it may not have helped.
Crossing the 10 mile mark we were entering our longest run of the year so far and by the 11th mile I had little left to give.
I’d say the main issue was really my mindset. I really struggled to stay motivated, particularly with the hills. Strangely I kept feeling demotivated by the athletes doing more than one lap (2 laps for a full marathon and 3 for an ultra!). The longer runners started earlier so we were getting lapped by them and it made me feel like I wasn’t good enough, despite clearly in the process of actually running a half marathon. It was obviously such a stupid mindset to have but I just couldn’t help it. I felt so elated on the downhills and so miserable on the uphill struggle that I felt like giving up. Thankfully I had Steve there to keep me going.
In the end we made it in 2:33:46. I’m just so glad to have made it round. It was by far the hardest half marathon I’ve ever done!
We have a 12 week training plan now which seems manageable and will take us up to another half marathon in early August.
Tonight I’ve eaten (lots), soaked my feet in Epsom salts and written up my training plan in my training diary. Now for sleep; which will be incredibly welcome!