The one with a lot of hills
Race 21 …. done! This was the toughest race yet. Six laps of the race track which had three and a half hills.
The night before I was sensible … I ate right, I hydrated, I went to bed early and I woke up on the morning (28/02) ready for the race. A decent breakfast and some more water and I was ready. But as always … best laid plans and all that.
The husband was away for the weekend, so before heading to Oulton Park I had to drop the girls off at my mum’s. All fine … until we were 30 minutes from home and I got a call. A call from the husband to tell me he was getting an earlier train … And didn’t have a key. How was he going to get in?!
The awkward part of me wanted to shout I’m running a half marathon in a couple of hours I DON’T CARE, but I resisted! As he has been so supportive of my marathon training I said I would sort it. So I dropped the girls off and headed back in the direction I had just come and 40 minutes in the wrong direction for Oulton Park. This was not the calm start before race I had prepared for.
I arrived at Oulton Park with 20 minutes left to register and get my number. I was feeling a bit stressed so waited in the car until the start. And it was at this point I started to get nervous. I’m not sure why. I think it was because I was on my own and there were lots of runners wearing club vests. The running club local to me were also there in force and this made me even more nervous!
The start was a little odd … it just sort of happened. I think most people didn’t even realise the race had begun. People just started running!
The first two laps were great … I felt the best I had in any race. I even beat my PB for 1k, 1 mile and 5k. The hills were hard going but I was managing and keeping a good pace. Lap 3 went by and I was starting to slow but I was still on target for a sub 2 hour half.
I had clearly started off far too quick and by lap 5 I was starting to slow down. Lap 6 was painful and I slowed down quite considerably. It was also on lap 6 that my worst ever race photo was taken!!! The one isnt it, but comes close!
I pushed as hard as I could and finally crossed the line in 2:04:30.
Not a bad time, but I was a bit disappointed I didn’t get closer to two. I have consoled myself with that it was a tough course and I was still quicker than my first half marathon only 5 months ago … And that was flatter.
One thing I came away with (apart from the t-shirt and bling) is that I need to get fitter … And quickly if I am ever going to get myself round Manchester, and then London!!!!