Silverstone Half Marathon

I’m back running half marathons again. I haven’t run longer than 10k since before Christmas but I was so relaxed about this race you’d think I’d been training for months lol!

I was a massive F1 fan growing up. My weekend plans revolved around the TV coverage of the Grand Prix even if that meant getting up at 3am, so I couldn’t wait to run the actual, real life track at Silverstone.

Everyone told me that this was a boring race with nothing to see or keep you going but I didn’t care! I just wanted to be on that track.

My mum came with me on a road trip and I decided that I would run to enjoy this one. It’s a flat, fast track so ideal for a PB but I was going for the experience not the time so I really wanted to enjoy it.

Standing on the start line I met one of my running club so we started off together. She started to struggle after the first mile with her ankle and told me to run on. I felt so guilty. I’ve never left anyone behind before but she insisted and I actually felt in a really good place so I did.

Due to the nature of the course, spectators were few and far between but the marshalls more than made up for the lack of encouragement. They were friendly, smiley and very loud! There was also a DJ that you could hear every so often as you came near to a speaker/sound system.

The course itself was amazing for me. I ran the starting grid, the pit lanes, I ticked off the corners that I could name, I ran the service road. It was amazing. The only weird thing for me was that it was so disorientating. Everything looks the same (tarmac and grass), and there are no landmarks to orientate yourself. There was a marker at each mile, don’t get me wrong but I literally could have been going round in a figure of eight and not known any different. You’ll see why when you look at the route plotted on my Strava.

I hit a wall just after mile 10. I had rang my mum to let her know I was nearly done and then I just felt like I had so far to go. My own fault for not training I know, but I was doing so well time-wise and I had been feeling so good that it took me by surprise. Mile 11-12 was the worse part. That mile felt approx 5 miles long. I really didn’t think I could finish. But I knew my mum was going to be at the finish waiting for me so I struggled on.

I crossed the line and burst into tears!!! Haven’t done that in a while lol! It was a combination of the final struggle plus the overwhelming excitement to be at Silverstone. And I actually managed a really good time! I knocked 2mins and 7 seconds off my PB! It does make me wonder how much I would have knocked off if I had *actually* trained for it though!!

Ah well! There’s always next time. Right?


Women’s Running

Last Saturday I took part in the Women’s Running 10k in Cardiff. I’ve only run one other 10k before and once in training (with a stop in the shop on the way) and both times I’d walked in parts.

Parking at the MoRun was a nightmare and so expensive. Following Robyn’s advice I re looked at the course to see if I could find cheaper parking. The course had a part that I recognised from the weekly parkrun course so I had the bright idea to park where I park for that (which is free). What I didn’t realise was that I would have to walk 2 1/2km before I even got to the start!!

The rain stopped while we warmed up and for the first half of the race it held off, thankfully. Women’s Running had organised pacers for the race and after a lot of thought I decided to start with the 70minute pacer. This was a big step for me as the twice I have run 10k my times were 1:20:02 and 1:16:58 but I thought that if I started with the pacer I could always drop back if I struggled.

It was a very well organised race with a lot of water stations around the course. What I didn’t realise though was that the people manning the stations loosen the lid for you and I managed to spill quite a lot down my leg! The pace was quite a challenge for me and I was very pleased to get a 5k PB of 33:09. I was also amused by the shuffle feature of my playlist. Just as my running app finished telling me I had completed 5k, my music cut back in to Bon Jovi singing “we’re halfway there, oh oh living on a prayer!” I couldn’t have worked that out if I had tried 😀

I started slipping back from the pacer but made sure I kept her in my sights at all times. As in the MoRun I really struggled between 8-9km. This is obviously the point that I need to work on. Thankfully I saw Sarah, a twitter friend, just behind me at this point and we ran the last bit together. Having her there gave me the boost that I needed to keep going.

I ran the whole way, no walking even though I was completely drenched and my feet were squelching thanks to the weather. I’m pretty sure even the duck had umbrellas, it was that bad!

I crossed the finish line in an official time of 1:10:30 but both the pacer and myself made the course to be slightly longer than 10km. According to the app on my phone, I hit 10k at just over 1hr 7mins but I am going to stick with my official time as it still gives me a new PB by over 6mins 😀

I was absolutely exhausted by the end as I had given everything. I don’t think I could gave run any further. My feet hurt from sloshing about in wet socks, my hips hurt and all my leg muscles were screaming!!! This was the point I wished I had paid for parking 😉