I had signed up to run the Wimbledon Common half marathon last Sunday. I rested on Friday and Saturday, getting ready to run the race and then Saturday night it rained. And it rained. And it rained. And this half marathon is off road on a common (park/woods) that gets very muddy with just a tiny bit of moisture.
On Sunday morning I did not want to face running a freezing race in the mud so I didn’t go.
What a lazy bugger, right? Well…
I push myself out of my comfort zone quite often but sometimes I don’t want to. Simple as that. And I don’t feel guilty about it. (at times like this I keep thinking how great it is to be an adult – nobody can actually make me do things I don’t want to do ;)
I had a nice big breakfast with the boys… read the papers… drank lots of coffee…
And then the sun came out.
The boys were going to go climbing as usual for Sundays but I had just had my nails done (yes, I know) so I decided that I was going to run a half marathon by myself.
No, not just run. I was going to race it.
It’s not something I have done before but I figured I was going to run a half marathon that day anyway, so why not?
By 10am I was out the door and started off at a good race starting pace of 5:07 min/km. I usually start my runs much slower, but this was a race! :)
I ran to Putney and then continued on to Roehampton and the first 12km flew by at a good pace. My overall aim was to finish with an average of below 5:00 min/km.
I was thinking as I ran whether racing for 21km by myself requires lots and lots of self motivation, but it didn’t feel like it. I didn’t have to pep talk myself too much. I just kept an eye on the pace and the distance and the road crossings to make sure I didn’t have to stop for anything or anyone.
After 15km I felt like I could be done now but in a race I often get tired quads at that point so it’s just a matter of pushing through that discomfort. I knew that once I got back to the hill in Wimbledon Village, I could sprint down it and keep up a good fast pace for the last 3km to the finish / my house.
Once I got closer to the end I realised that I don’t actually know what the exact half marathon distance is! I thought 21.1-something so just to be sure I ran 21.21 :) In the end I’m happy with my splits, finish time of 1:44 is only 2 minutes slower than my race PB from last year’s Ealing Half.
It was great to have the finish line in front of my house. I was able to have a shower and stretch a bit straight away. I had to go and do the grocery shopping before the boys got home so once I got back home over and hour after finishing the run, I ate and lied down for an hour – not being able to sleep but just desperately needing to be horizontal. The good old post-race feelz :)
So, something new accomplished. A solo half marathon at race pace.
There was no medal at the end but it’s ok, I’ve got too many of those anyway, I just needed to do this just for the challenge and the joy.