Sunday, 22 May 2016

Never say never.

As part of my Ramathon build up I entered the White Peak half marathon as a tune up race.  Owen is a bit of an expert at predicting race times and when he told me what he thought I was capable of I thought he was mad.  He expected me to run the race between 6.20 - 6.24 minute mile pace which I had done my 50 minute tempo at and I couldn't imagine sustaining that effort for another 40 minutes.
The race is a scenic route meandering through the White Peak trail finishing down hill into Cromford. It is known as a fast course generally but Saturday brought us a lovely treat of a strong head wind for most of the run.  I started out fast but on target with my heart rate zones but after a couple of miles the wind kicked in and it was a mental and physical battle.  I felt the time slipping away but knew I was running at my limit so I just had to accept that it is what it is.

There are three sharp downhill sections which were great until it flattened back out and my legs went to jelly.  Three miles to go I just had to dig in.  I stumbled a few times when the fatigue set in and the last .75 miles on the canal bank felt like it went on for an eternity.  I crossed the line as first lady.  I hadn't even looked at my overall time for the whole of the race and it wasn't until I'd staggered about, downed some water and gathered my thoughts that I checked my watch.  The big beaming smile from Owen said it all, 1:23:00, a 1.47 minute PB.   The first thought that crossed my mind was, why didn't I run it 1 second quicker? Good is never good enough.

I finished 9th place in the race with 249 runners.  I would never have thought I was capable of ever running a time like this.  This kind of time in my mind is for those fast girls you see at races looking tiny, serious and in hot pants.  Not me, I'm just a 38 year old mum in training, trying to find the right balance of everything in life, hoping I don't neglect anyone or anything.  My first half marathon was back in 2001 in Nottingham finishing in over 2 hours and I can remember having 2 thoughts.  Firstly I will never be able to run faster than I have today and secondly I will never do another half marathon again! Never say never.

It's now Sunday and I am walking like the Tin Man.  A few easy days recovery and a hand full of quality speed work sessions then it will be judgement day.  Only two weeks to go and I feel a whole concoction of excitement and complete anxiety.

This is me and my family looking a little less anxious.  Chris from Dark Wolf Photography offered to take some professional photo's of us to support our fundraising, thank you so much. He does some fantastic portrait work check out his website - Dark Wolf Photography

Thank you also to Wendy and Ewan for coming to the rescue when they heard about the buggy run melt down and provided a phone holder to try so Archie can now listen to singers in tune rather than me trying to breathlessly entertain him on the run Running Buggies

I am overwhelmed by the generosity, kind words and just the general belief family, friends and strangers have given me throughout this whole adventure.  Thank you for being a part of the journey.

Summary of this weeks training:
Monday: 10, 40 level 2 10
Tuesday: Recovery 50 buggy run, Pilates
Wednesday: 15 mins, 4 x 5 mins 6 x 200, 1 x 5 mins, 15 mins
Thursday: Rest, ab's and glutes
Friday: 30 minutes 10 x strides
Saturday: White Peak Half Marathon
Sunday: Rest

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