I decided to do Brighton half 2018 to achieve a PB as I have done it several times now. My goal was to train really hard and lose some weight, so I could 'fly'…. Well this never happened. I did no training except for about 5 miles, once every 10 days since November and I gained 7lbs. So, I wasn't very hopeful for a PB!
I drove to Brighton with a friend and we were very late! We parked by the station and as we walked down towards the start, my calves were near to freezing in the arctic conditions. I could not feel my fingers tips despite wearing gloves, so I was dreading the event. I have never once taken a bag to an event, not sure why I did this time (?), but it turns out the bag drop is practically in the marina and about 10 miles away from the start (well not that far but it felt 10 miles - both ways).
The race started at 9am and we finally got going at 9.20!! Turns out lots of other people started late too! We jogged down towards the start line, past lots of kids who were doing some sort of race after us - good for them! And eventually I got going.
The first 3 miles were pretty brutal but as I warmed up as I went up hill and started to overtake people, I felt more confident and into it. I came across the first drum band who were excellent and dressed again in their gothic black and purple attire, then another band….
I saw a few of the club elite runners whizz past me on the other side down the hill which is always nice (if a little dis-heartening!). I finally got to the top of the hill and headed back down. The run went really well, and as usual there were lots of different characters, lots of different shirts to read, a man pushing a wheelchair, a man with a prosthetic leg, and all different types of people.
I love the encouragement and enthusiasm of the Brighton spectators it makes you feel like you are running an actual marathon. The high fives the kids give and the random people who have bowls of jelly babies are always encouraging. As I got to Hove and turned around to come back along the seafront at 9 miles, It was COLD, windy, brutal and a real slap in the face but I carried on; and still at my 10 min mile pace :). When I hit 11 miles I thought "It's the home stretch now …" and I upped my pace. Well I thought I did, it felt like it, but turns out I didn't. Anyway, as I came through the crowds towards the end, as always, they boosted my energy and I pounded the last mile. I came in at 2hrs 15 (my average time/pace fastest is 2h06). I was so pleased with my result, what with the lack of training, and the freezing conditions. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute and never struggled. This was my 9th half marathon and the first one I have found relatively easy and thoroughly enjoyable, and, I wasn't a dribbling tired mess for the rest of the day either!
Next year I hope to train harder, be lighter and get under 2 hrs!
That's the plan anyway…… ;)