So today I did the Reading Half Marathon.
I wasn’t expecting a PB, purely because my run performance has taken a massive hit from the end of last year with all the travel at work, and then Christmas and winter and I’ve just lacked the motivation to train. I finished in 01:41:09 – which is in between my two previous half marathon times, so I guess there is a silver lining when I wasn’t expecting to get under 01:45 – I just wanted to finish under 2 hours today really.
Myself and Nigel got to Reading pretty early, at around 8am (we got told we had to be parked by 8:30) where I stripped off into my running gear (I’ve never put a bag in the bag store yet) and we made the walk to the race village. That was my first mistake of today, not keeping warm leading up to the race, the wind chill was awful and there wasn’t really anywhere to hide from it.
Me and Nigel looked around the race village (there wasn’t much to it really) and then headed down to the start pens early (again we had seen we had to be there by 9:30). The race itself didn’t kick off until 10:15 – so there was a lot of waiting around to do which was a little frustrating. Both me and Nigel were in the red pen, so we could chat leading up to the race, but I knew he’d be much faster than me, so we weren’t going to be running together.
We had seen that there was going to be pacers in today’s race. So I thought I could tag onto the 1:35 pacer, and if I made it 3/4 of the way with them and then dropped, then I should still get within 1:40 (not that it was my target for today and I’d been happy with 1:50).
We started the race and the 14,000 or so runners headed on out to the streets of Reading. This is the biggest race I’ve ever taken part in and there was a lot of people today, you kind of struggled to get your own space and keep a pace because people would just in your way around you.
I was struggling and kept moving along and keeping up with the 1:35 pacer as I had planned to at the start of the day, until around mile 9, when Mark Perkins – the 1:35 pacer, just gave up! He threw his flag on the floor and just collapsed on the pavement. As soon as that happened I just kind of felt my splits start to drop. I don’t think I had the fitness level or the recovery to get a PB in today’s race really. So here is a screenshot of today’s results, I just want to show my time and the 1:35 pacers time.
Oh and did I mention, that coach Justin advised that I went out for a “3 hour, easy” bike ride yesterday. So yesterday I went out to the Cotswold water park and did the bike route of the Cotswold 113 (Half Iron Distance). This was because I knew it’d be around a 3 hour bike ride, and I kind of wanted to set myself a bench mark time before I compete in the Cotswold Classic at the end of August. If I wanted to aim for a PB today, I think it would have been sensible to not go out for the bike ride, but I’m not to sure if I would have gotten a PB even if I hadn’t done the bike ride. Also Justin is coaching me to compete in and complete Ironman Barcelona. In the grand schemes of things, today was just the same as another other day, just a normal training day, and my goal for this year is Ironman Barcelona. I need to learn that not every race will be a PB and then I need to utilise them as training leading up to my goal for the year. So in that sense I am very happy because of the amount of training I’ve done recently where as I would have tapered near the start of the week for this weeks race.
I’m looking forward to the end of the month, where the clocks go forward and we get an extra hour of sunlight in the evening. It means I’ll be able to start getting out to the lakes at least once a week, I’m hoping I can make it twice a week with at least one structured pool session a week. Also my stats from this month seem impressive and I’m looking forward to sharing those with you as well.
Right, it’s now time for me to relax (read: collapse) and recover to start work tomorrow.