Last weekend myself and 3 of my running buds, Tery, Jess and Jon plus family, all traveled down to Edinburgh to run the Edinburgh Half Marathon. It was a successful weekend all round. Tery and Jon who had hoped to come in under 2.30 smashed their time with a 2.11 finish, and myself and Jess who hoped to come in under 2 managed a 1.53 finish. Although the forecast was not looking too promising with high winds and heavy rain forecast, the weather held up for us.
I was not fully prepared for this race, stupidly thinking it would feel like a breeze having not long competed a marathon. A month had passed and i had managed to keep up the training including a good 14mile 800m ascent run. Myself and Jess ran together. We started well, managing to get to the front of the pack. We were keen to do this as we had started at the back in the London marathon and spent the first 13 mile weaving through the crowds, trying to pick up our pace. The route took us down hill for the first 5 miles and we ran the first 10k in 52 mins, which is good for us. However, having decided not to take any watch, we had no way of knowing how far or how fast we were going. We were a bit gutted when we spotted the 5 mile marker, thinking that we were nearer 7! So knowing we could not continue at that pace for a further 8 miles we decided to slow down until mile 10. From there the plan was to try and speed up to the finish. However the last 3 miles was psychologically hard as the route took us along a straight road for 1.5 miles then back down again on the other side of the road. We did manage to speed up a little, it felt like a lot but having seen video footage of the finish it was not as much of a sprint to the finish as I had thought! I clearly remember thinking at 0.6 miles to go, “OMG! I cannot keep going for much longer!” which I knew was wrong. It was only a month earlier that I had run 26.2 and although we were running faster, not that much. It was a good reminder for me that you have to be careful when you gear your self up for the task ahead. Psychologically, if you set yourself up for 13miles, that can feel like your limit. I do not want to set my limits, I want to push my limits.
With that in mind I have now set my next goal. 30 miles! London I wanted to complete, Edinburgh I wanted to speed up. Next I would like to increase my distance. Our next race is in August, The Great Wilderness Challenge, 25 miles cross country from Dundonnell to Poolewe. So the plan is to move off the roads and up the hills. Short steeps and increased distance.