The night before i decided by elimination. 2:05 was my Birmingham time. 2:20 wasn't a high enough aim. 2:10 and 2:15 were what i thought achievable so i went with 2:15 so that if anything, i would hopefully better my goals, rather then fail them.
|Pace tattoo on my forearm.|
I had a big steak and jacked potato the night before and as i had a little hangover belly i allowed myself two ciders. But i did make myself drink a ton of water too. I didn't want to take this race too seriously, i was seeing friends who i see rarely and won't see for ages so just went with the flow. I was in bed by 10pm though.
|Everything prep'd for the next day.|
|Overly large 'medium' shirt.|
At 5am my alarm went off, though i was already awake 10 minutes prior. I got up, dressed and ate a small bowl of oats and yoghurt and drank a tall glass of water. I mixed one of those hotel instant coffee sachets in to a couple of ounces of cold water and downed it. Thankfully my wonderful husband offered to drive me down-town to the train that they had put on for the runners. He dropped me off with the mobs of sports clad early risers. I was getting really excited now.
I realised on the train that i forgot my shades and that really pissed me off. I rarely go outside in the sun without them, never mind run for 2 hours. But i didn't let it spoil my mood. I spent 30 minutes in line to use the porta-jon , ate my banana and by that time it was 6.45am. The race started at 7am.
I ran a little to warm up and got in line in the 2:15 pace area. I chatted to a couple of people, one guy had only ran a 5k before and when i saw him at mile 7 he said that that was the longest he had run ever - that's crazy! I hope he made it.
It took ten minutes to get to the start. I forced myself to keep a slow pace, running over a ten minute mile. I really wanted to run the race properly. A slow start, conserve the energy and have a faster second half than the first. What actually happened was that there was barely 3 minutes between the first and second half split. The that's just fine with me. When i was hurting i was still running just a bit faster than the first half.
I had one packet of organic pomegranate chews and planned on drinking water at every station. I ended up taking gatoraide 3 times and water 3 times and doubling up once. It was warm out but with no shade and salt from the drying sweat it felt harshly hot. I ran through a mister once and that was divine.
It was tough keeping pace. The adrenaline made me want to run faster, the crowds were spacious but everyone was running different paces so i just never settled in to a pace. I checked my watch a ton. At the 8 mile mark i decided to push it a bit more. I believe looking at my split stats that this just kept me on goal.
As i neared the end i really picked it up. I wanted to finish strong, knowing i was close got the adrenaline pumping again which gave me a boost. The crowds were SUCKIE!! Yes there were folks there, but they were't supportive. They waited until their friends or family passed and ignored the rest of us. I was very disappointed, and glad that the excitement of finishing my first HM was enough to turn on the adrenaline pump. As you can see from the numbers i really tried hard at the end, and i passed a load of folks, Only a few of us were really pushing for a strong finish. Everyone else just kept on moving. I prefer my finish technique. I may not be fast the previous 12.5 miles but i sure as shit will try to look it for the last .6 mile of the race.
And then it was over. A bottle of water, a finishers medal, a dropped cookie which i grabbed for Jeff but then didn't want in my race picture, a granola bar also for Jeff tucked in my skirt out of sight, photo, banana, and then trying to find Jeff in the heat and blinding sun with sore legs.
What a fantastic morning!!!
I loved it.
13.1 miles 2:10:44 (or Sally says 13.2 in 2:10:42)