Good evening one and all!
It’s been a great day 😀 and I can wait to tell you all about my second race for 2016 tonight, but as always, let’s start with the weekly round up!
Week 7 Round Up
19.81 miles dashed
2016 miles = 93.31m
Donations received = £145.00
2016 total raised = £605.00
Training this week has gone well, as has fundraising, people are so amazingly generous and with any luck our end of year total will be through the roof!
So, onto today’s half marathon event…..
We chose to run the Hampton Court Half Marathon for our second medal of the year. Luckily for us this half marathon event is a short walk from home and takes in a good amount of our usual long run route! Perfect for the first half marathon of the year! I tried to think of it as a training run for the marathon in April but with a well deserved medal at the end!
I spent last night getting all my stuff ready, in my usual crazy way (see my last post for my silly running rituals!). By 9pm all my kit was laid out, my bag was packed and I started to relax (if you call lying awake thinking about the race relaxing!)
The morning came and I did my usual “force my porridge down my throat” routine because I was so hyped/nervous/excited. It’s funny, for any other long run I can eat no problem, but on race day I do literally have to force feed myself!
The walk to the race was pleasant, the mornings are starting to get lighter and the mile and half stroll to the starting line was a good time to sort my thoughts outs. I was impressed to see the Marshalls out at such an early hour too, helping non locals reach the start line and making sure the route was ready to be run.
Arriving at race HQ was pretty awesome, there were far more runners there than I imagined there would be, nearly 4000 in total. HQ was impeccably organised and every thing was easy, plenty of loos, quick baggage drop and funnels for you to file into depending on your pace. I decided to have a little stretch, toilet stop, stroll around and to keep warm.
Some time was spent deciding which funnel to go into. I’m not a fast runner and hate being with people who outrun me, it makes me feel slow and rubbish 😂 I was aiming for 2hrs 25mins, and so put myself in the 2hrs 30mins group. I’m usually quite a slow starter and don’t find my pace well until 3 miles into a long run so figured this was a safe option.
The start time was slightly delayed, mostly due to the popularity of the park and ride, a good few hundred runners had not arrived by the start time and so quite sensibly the organisers decided to wait for them to arrive, I think I would cry if I missed the start of a race!
The time came to run and and the pacing group were a terrifically friendly bunch but after two miles my legs felt good and so I broke away. The conditions were just perfect, a nice breeze, overcast but not raining, and mild but not hot. The route was largely flat and fast and I found my pace on the familiar route quickly.
The water stations as ever were run by the local scouts groups and volunteers, God bless those volunteers! I walked to take on water at mile 3 and then carried on at a good pace for me. There were more water stops at miles 5, 8 and 11. I walked through each station, partly because this is a technique I am aiming for this year in London, but also because I defy anyone who can drink from an open cup while running!
My favourite part of the route had to be miles 8 through 11. This is where you run along the ever scenic tow path from Kingston Upon Thames to Hampton Court Palace. It’s traffic free, and for today only was cycle free, and takes in much of the grounds of my favourite royal palace. Also, who else would you expect to be cheering you on but Henry VIII and Anne Boelyn?
Once past the palace you really are on the home straight and it wasn’t until this point I realised how fast I had run (for me anyway!). I began to realise my pace was much faster than planned and the I was going to comfortably beat 2hr 30mins. With half a mile to go I pushed myself to go faster than was comfortable to be honest but I wanted to then beat 2hrs 20mins. Before today I didn’t even dream it was possible but………..
Once I’d sprinted over the finish line I joined in the obligatory hobble to the chip removing stand (confidently places foot on upturned bucket for attendant to remove *wobbles*)
Then of course comes the medal and the goody bag, which this one was welcomingly full of food!
As every, here is the kinky to donate if you so wish to 🙂