Brighton Half Marathon

The first race of the year! I've been sick for around 6 weeks since I got back from India. I travelled to Costa Rica with my friend Emma (who has been blogging about our trip here) and was sick there. I cam home to bloody awful cold weather and tried to plough on with training. I almost considered not running the Half.

I'm so glad I did though! Sunday 28th Feb in Brighton was predictably cold and windy. Getting there early, almost every runner had gloves, hats and around 8 layers on. Of course the "elite" runners were there, lined up at the front, in nothing more than a vest and shorts. Eye roll.

I started in the 1.45-2hr pen which is one faster than last year's 2hr-2.15 pen. I didn't feel hopeful given how bad I'd been feeling recently but as the klaxon sounded, I quickly fell into a comfortable groove. I looked at my watch after around 1km to see an average pace of 5.40min/km. As I hadn't felt good in the lead up, I decided not to clock watch. I just kept moving at a pace my body felt okay with.

Up one way, down the other, up the hill, down the hill- the raced rolled on. Surprisingly I felt quite good. I was running at a comfortable pace, my IT band (the perennial injury) wasn't on fire and my breathing was steady. It was only when I got to 16km and to the last water station that I had to stop. My leg had started to burn and I needed a minute. I looked at my watch and saw I was well on target for a sub 2hr time. I nearly died; I have never ever been on target for a sub 2hr half marathon.

How could I give up now? Push push push. I ignored the pain and kept repeating the same sentence in my head over and over again, "you are a sub 2hr half marathon runner". I had 2k to go and I was in the dead zone. My body felt like it weighed 100 stone. I looked at my watch again and knew I had to leave it all out there. It sounds so dramatic now, thinking about it as I sit here typing with fresh legs. I was on the verge of tears when I was running; I wanted it so bad. My mantra changed to "DO NOT STOP".

I saw the finish line and the tears came (as they always do!). As I crossed the line my watch stopped at 1:52:09. It was 18mins off last year's time. HA! 18 MINUTES!!
Training is paying off!

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