I type this surrounded by tissues, feeling like crap but totally chuffed to bits with how this race went.
We ran Worthing last year so knew to expect wind, a lot of running round residential streets but also a super flat course. My prep for this hadn't really been great with a stinking cold and I wasn't really expecting much, but I did my best yesterday to prepare as much as possible - lots of orange juice to fight the germs, water by the bucket loads, TWO epsom salt baths, foam rolling and stretching. I was as ready as I'd ever be.
Woke up "nice" and early (it wasn't nice) and had my standard long run breakfast of Erbology Nopal Cactus Energy Balls (yes, cactus. No, I'm not making it up), Chia Charge bar, big banana, SiS electrolytes and a cup of my fave True Start coffee.
After a false start (we drove about 5 miles up the road without our chip timers, absolute idiots..) we arrived in rainy Worthing in time for a quick jog to the start then it was race time!
The first mile set the tone for me - my half marathon PB best was (spoiler alert: WAS!) 7:29, so going through mile one at 7:11 made me think, okay dokey, lets see what we can do here.
My legs felt so good. Good bless them, they felt strong, no niggles, no grumbles from my dodgy achilles, from my dodgy glute, from my dodgy repeat to fade....they just felt ready to me proud. And my new shoes, oooooh let me tell you how much I love Adidas Ultra Boost X.
This is my second pair, first bought just after Brighton Marathon last year, I feel in love instantly because they are basically beautiful clouds ready to take you to running heaven. But your legs need to behave when wearing these otherwise it's a one way trip to Sadsville. They have no arch support whatsoever so I would not wear this during any dodgy knee episodes. But touch wood, the knees are OK at the moment and these shoes are bloody awesome.
The course at Worthing is lovely and flat and actually really good for methodical, "in the zone" type running. I don't race with music anymore (only at parkrun, I'm not ready to give it up for that just yet!) so the twists and turns around the streets helped me stay focused. My new Garmin is also good for this as it shows mile pace as well as current pace and average pace, and this is just the sort of stuff that keeps me on track and not overwhelmed by the distance.
The miles ticked by and I got to 5 still well under my PB pace and really beginning to enjoy myself (I should at this stage massively apologise to anyone that was near me when I was blowing my nose, coughing and generally being loud and disgusting..) I had my first few Shot Bloks
at mile 5 - something new for me as I normally have them at mile 3 but I'm trying to be a bit less reliant on so much fuel. Got to 10k and then it was push, push, push to the mile 10 mark where I knew the hideous "going round the field windy loop thing" was coming. But miracle of miracles, pushing through the god awful headwind and then on to that loop, it seemed so much smaller than last year and really not that hideous after all!
At mile 10, it was time to really get a ripple on and see how well I could do. We were treated to a glorious tail wind it this point and I had the treat of my final two Shot Bloks. Mile 11 went by in 6:59 and I remembered a few short years ago feeling this feeling during one of the Richmond Halfs
, when I hit a mile at 8:30 pace. Back then I would never in my wildest dreams have thought I'd be getting 7 something miles in a half let alone 6 something.. then Mile 12 in 6:56, then Mile 13 in 6:50, I was NOT messing around!!
The final few miles are an amazing straight along the seafront so you can really get a bit of a sprint on. I was doing some quick maths to see what sort of a PB I was going to get and it all seemed a little crazy.
I ended up finishing in 1:33:44, 9 minute course PB and an almost 6 minute overall PB, 16th woman overall. I, of course cried, at the finish line and worried the guy who gave me my medal and Mike who assumed I'd fallen over AGAIN, haha. The craziest thing of all is that my pace today of 7:09 is faster
than my 10k PB pace that I set in October (7:11). Bonkers.
Then it was breakfast with the awesome Personify Fitness
and Horley Harriers
gang who did themselves proud as ever in both the half and the 10k. What a lovely bunch. I've tried to filter up these photos but I still look like death warmed up so maybe avert your eyes!!
All in all, an amazing morning was had and I am so, so looking forward to seeing what will happen at Brighton Half
in a few weeks time when I am not full of snot. This was my previous PB course, but does have a few tasty hills so I've no idea how it's going to play out.
While I'm here, if you are looking for a running coach in West Sussex/Crawley/Horley, look no further then Ben - who is not only the most enthusiastic person maybe ever, but is such a knowledgeable running bod who can sort you out at any distance and any current running level. He's also basically as fast as Mo so you know you're in good hands!
Thanks for reading, see you at Brighton Half!