Lesson Learned

After slightly moderate training, I felt I was in reasonable shape, prepared for the 13.1 miles and plenty of hills of the Tonbridge Half Marathon. The Tuesday before I’d beaten my best on my lunchtime run around Regents Park and the Friday felt good after a slow three miles. I’d been fueling on carbs for most of that week and planned food for the weekend. Yep, prepared.

Then, Saturday morning, ugh. I woke up with what seemed like the start of a cold. A scratchy throat, achey and no energy.

I dosed myself up with berroca, paracetamol and fruit. I got a reasonable nights sleep and woke Sunday morning feeling much better.

Here goes…

I set off on a foggy cool morning, fueled on a banana and energy bar. Arrived in time and made it to the start line all set.

For the first twelve miles my time was quick and consistent. I was heading for under (or around) 1 hour 45 minutes. This dispite a number of hills, some quite steep. Then it hit me, I don’t think I’ve ever hit the wall before and if I have, I’ve never hit it so hard. In the space of a few hundred metres my energy zapped, my legs went and I started feeling quite faint. In hindsight I really should have stopped and walked for a bit at this stage, it may even have improved my time having a quick rest. But stubbornly I didn’t, I tried to keep up with the few runners near me, I tried to keep running to get a better time. That last 1.1 miles finished me, lots of people overtook and I was down to what could only be called a stagger. From an average 7:50 minute mile to a 9:55 last 1.1 mile. I crossed the finish line with barely enough energy to stand. I saw Geoff who looked like he could run it all again, we got our medals and slowly walked back to the baggage area to refuel. I checked my time and although disappointed, on reflection, it was pretty good. I knocked nine minutes off my previous best for that course, came close to my best half marathon PB and was 304th place out of over 1300 runners. I shouldn’t be too disheartened I know. Still, the runner in me wanted better, so maybe next time.

As it turns out, I caught a stomach bug from my daughter and Sunday afternoon to Wednesday I’ve been I’ll. Really I should not have run, especially how I felt Sunday night. Would any of us not run? Probably not.

So on to the next race…

But lesson learned? Probably not.