I wasn’t planning on running this half marathon but a couple of weeks ago it popped up on my radar and I was intrigued by a new event / route so I hopped on board.
I have not run for more than 12km since the Run Hackney Half marathon at the end of June so I was actually a little bit nervous about this one. I knew my legs should be ok for the distance but I wasn’t sure about what speed they could do. I decided to just show up and go by the feel of the legs, making sure I looked around more than I looked at my Garmin.
The night before I could not fall asleep for some reason. I stopped looking at the clock after midnight but it felt like I never truly fell asleep and was wide awake by 5. That made me even more nervous than the lack of long runs all summer. I got to the race village a bit after 8, dropped off my bag and stood in the line for a portaloo, twice. Just in case :) Then it was time to go and I just took one km at a time.
The course was a bit more undulating than I thought but it was nice to have those downhill bits every now and then. I had finally changed my Garmin screen settings so that I could see my overall average as supposed to the current average. I knew that my PB’s average was 5:05 min/km so I tried to keep my average below that as the kilometres ticked by.
The first mile marker that I saw was at 7 miles. My legs were still very good at that point. After 8 miles they started to tire a bit but the road must have slightly turned downwards from 9 miles onwards because I was not slowing down from then on.
I stopped my Garmin as I crossed the finish line and my average was less than 5! It was 4:58 and my time was 1:44:57. Considering that my previous PB was 1:47:19 from a year ago and that I haven’t been running long distances since the beginning of summer AND that I lifted some heavy weights 3 times this week – I’m amazed. Totally amazed.
I have been dreaming of a 1:46 half marathon for a couple of years and now I have a 1:44! What’s next, I wonder? World Domination?!?
If you read my blog on a regular basis you know that I have not had any carbs, other than from sweet potatoes, fruit & veg, for 2 weeks. I am a couple of kgs lighter than I have been in a year and my digestion was solid until the end (although I did almost throw up after the finish line. Almost three times, actually but managed to walk it off :|) My legs felt strong and there are no aches and pains. Amazed – like I said :)
I’m thinking that this strict paleo way of eating that I’m doing right now as part of the Whole Life Challenge is good for me. I’m thinking I definitely need to keep this experiment up.
And talking about the WLC and racing – I did not lose any nutrition points even though that meant doing things differently than I usually do when it comes to half marathon distance:
- My pre-race breakfast was sweet potatoes fried in coconut oil instead of my usual pre-race porridge.
- During the race I drank water with lemon juice and salt added to it instead of my usual nuun electrolyte tablets.
- After the race I ate 3 boiled eggs and home made date/cocoa/cashew/chia ‘truffles’.
A nice cold beer would have been so so great in the afternoon but I had kombucha and kombucha is good enough if it means I don’t lose any points :) *
And to finish off I have to say a special THANK YOU to:
- the family who blasted Eye of the Tiger from in front of their house
- the marshals who were very vocal and uplifting
- the organisers who didn’t spend money on Gatorade or Lucozade and had proper water bottles (and not cups or these hideous pouches that exploded in my face during Hackney Half)
- the universe for giving us a great sunny day
- Lenka for organising for me take part