A year ago I went off on my lonesome to the village of Wootton in Bedfordshire to take part in my first half marathon race. Since then I have run in two other half marathons - the Ranelagh one in May and one on holiday in Lanzarote during August. Today I was back at the Bedford Half Marathon for more of the same and it wasn’t just me - I was joined by Sharon, Kirsty and Danny in the car, and when we got to Wootton we met up with friends Darren W., Mandy W., Carola R. (all members of Ranelagh Harriers), Kieren G. and Claire H. Quite a crowd don’t you think… After the race we met up with some others - Heather M. and Charlie B. We also had team support from Jane which was most appreciated.
The weather of late has been pretty shocking, and today was no exception. It was about 7 degrees (without the wind chill!), the wind was about 10-15 mph, and the rain, well, after a few miles the heavens opened and we were hammered constantly by heavy rain and the occasional hail stone. It was wet, very wet! My shoes were absolutely soaking wet - along with the rest of me. My recent training hasn’t been quite what I wanted to do of late, having only managed a couple of long runs, and with my longest run being just under 15 miles at the start of November. However, I was feeling good today and was ready to run this sensibly and not go off too quickly from the start.
Well, I think I executed the plan just as I had hoped to, and finished in 1:27:42, a personal best of 1 minute 26 seconds. I finished in 105th place (out of 1385 finishers). I had an excellent and enjoyable run.
The thing that I love the most about this time today is that my previous best was on a fast flat course with little wind and some rain, and this one was undulating, wet and windy - meaning that on a good day on a flat course I can go quicker. I look forward to that day.
My splits were as follows: (1)6:26, (2)6:20, (3)6:43, (4)6:47, (5)6:54, (6)7:02, (7)6:49, (8)7:11, (9)6:48, (10)6:15, (11)6:31, (12)6:29, (13)6:36, (13.1)0:54. I’ve not worn my heart rate monitor on recent races but chose to do so today to see how I fared. My average heart rate today was 168 with a maximum of 176.
For info, at last years Bedford Half Marathon where I finished in 1:33:37 my average heart rate was 178BPM. So, in a year I’ve managed to run the same distance on the same course, just under six minutes quicker but with a much lower average heart rate.
Darn it, I guess that means I must try harder!