My training programme was supposed to be… Cross train Monday, 5 miles on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, rest Friday, Saturday and RACE Sunday.
My week went like this…. Sports massage on Monday, thought my legs were broken on Tuesday, ran 5 miles in agony on Wednesday, Rest day, rest day, meet run group….for brunch and RACE Sunday.
I was really nervous for this race. I kept trying to tell myself it was just part of the training programme, but that god awful 15miler the Saturday before really got to me. The weather forecast was high winds and heavy rain, this run is hilly, has a 5 mile straight and killer hill at 10 miles, it doesn’t need bad weather too!!! I also felt a tremendous amount of pressure to get a sub 2hr or even a 2hr finish. I’m one of the slowest in the running group but that’s what everyone else was expecting to do. I ran Alloa 2 years ago (my first ever race) taking 2hr15 so a sub 2hr was a big ask and judging by my last two long runs 13miles was taking me around 2hr10. I knew there was no way I could make up 10 minutes or knock a minute of my my mile time but still I felt like I had to.
I hadn’t trained well this week, Mother Nature delivered her monthly gift the night before (sorry guys) so I felt crap and I hadn’t slept well because I locked myself out the house(don’t ask!) and to start the race they played Westlife -Raise Me Up ..what the actual…? That song is sad, that song was played at a friend of mines funeral, that song does not get runners pumped for a race. I started crying. Haha I wasn’t even over the start line and I was crying. On the plus side I’d ate well and there was NO rain or wind, it was cold but there was actual sunshine.
•This may be a bit all over the place, I meant to write this on Sunday when it was fresh in my head
Kevin was gone in a Flash at the start line and I struggled to get through the pack trying to stay with Emma and Amanda. Mile 1 was dodging and chatting and it felt good also I didn’t fall. Whoop. I fell at mile 1 last time! My Garmin buzzed at mile 1 …8.02, I thought it must be wrong all I’ve been doing is fighting the crowd. Mile 2 …8.09, I thought ‘Sh*t, I’ve set off too fast, I can’t keep this up!’ Mile 3…8.25 I knew I’d start to slow.
Mile 4 I couldn’t see any of my run buddies, I was on my own. I decided to stop looking at my watch because I find clock watching off putting. Oh did I mention earphones were banned, because they only close half of the road, earphones were banned for runner safety. No run buddies and no tunes.
Thankfully the crowds were out, it was cold as well but there were so many spectators braving the chill, cheering on friends and family.
There was no water left at the first water station, I didn’t even realise there was a water station until I seen all the bottles lying on the ground, I heard a few people complaining but I was fine I didn’t need water at that point, but that is pretty bad I mean I was still on schedule for a 2hr finish so I was probably middle of the pack and already no water left?!!
I took a gel, I had two in my butt pocket on my tights… it was hot, eugh. NOTE TO SELF: Do not keep gels in butt pocket.
I felt like the next few miles flew by there’s a 5 mile straight right along the hillfoots that kinda messes with the head, it also brought quite a strong head wind, the sun was pretty bright and felt like it was burning the side of my face. Wind burn on the front and sunburn on the side…I’m going to look fab at the end of this!!
I got water at mile 6, and decided to hold onto it incase there wasn’t any at the next one but after about half a mile it was annoying me so I binned it.
I actually don’t remember much but I had a few flaky moments where I wanted to walk but tried to just slowed the pace right down. I passed a little boy in a wheelchair holding his hand out for high fives, I gave him a high five then I started crying. Again! Wtf is wrong with me?!
I got speaking to a girl when she asked me if we were close to 8 miles. I looked at my watch, damn you woman I didn’t want to look at my watch. I saw the distance and time in that glance and being a mathematical genius** I realised I’d have to ram up the pace drastically to hit a 2hr finish – i knew that wasn’t going to happen. She asked me another 4 times what time we were at and what distance. Annoying m, but it was nice to have someone to talk to.
On the mile 10 -hill of doom, I looked at my watch 1hr 45….ugh, I bet Kevin would be finishing soon if not already. I spotted Amanda walking, I slowed down when I got to her to make sure she was OK, she said she was fine just had started off too fast and was feeling it now! She ran with me for about a mile then she walked some more and told me just to go.
At 11.5 miles I slowed to a walk too, I’d said I’d up the pace for the last 3 and here I was toddling along. I got going again and before I knew it the 400m board was in front of me Halle-freakin-lujah!!! I decided to sprint finish because I forgot I was in public (sprint like Phoebe Buffet), then I realised the finish was further than I thought, haha, I can’t stop now I’d committed and people were cheering me on, my friends, my Mum, Dad, my sister, Kevin. I saw a guy I went to school with just a few feet in front of me I put a target on his back, passed him and
I was (and still am) a little gutted, I should have done better but still a PB that’s 6minutes off my last time at Alloa. I still felt that runners high but I also got the fear, I cannot imagine turning around running that distance again. I’m officially freaking out about this marathon, I really need to be strict with training now. ITS 8 WEEKS ON SUNDAY!!!
Shout out to Kevin who did an awesome 1.47.29 a new PB for him too and my girl Emma who smashed it 1.55.16 beating her last time by 25 minutes!!!!!
The organisers have taken a lot of slack over the water shortage (there was none left when I finished either) and I realise this is a serious situation with regards to runners health but they do such a good job organising and this has never happened before so I can’t help but feel bad for them. They posted an apology on Facebook!
Thanks for reading😊
Have a great day ❤
**I’m definitely not a mathematical genius, I took a shortcut on a run once that had me run an extra half mile and a few weeks ago on our long run I started sprinting and said to Amanda ‘OMG I just checked my watch I’m only 0.2 of a mile away from a 2hr half marathon’ she said ‘Angela were just coming up to 12 miles not 13’ -doh