Sunday, 22 February 2015

First race of 2015 - Brighton Half Marathon

I went to bed last night with the realization that in the next nine weeks, I was doing 2 half marathons and full marathon, with many miles training in between. Talk about busy! But no point in dwelling - I had the pressing matter of a race the night day to focus on!

Today went so well - smashed my PB by a whole 5 minutes, crossing the line in 1:34:45 - 10 minutes better than when I did the same race a year ago!

As per normal tradition, I had a huge, unhealthy, carb-tastic dinner last night (curry) followed by an early night. My race mornings are always the same, stay in bed as late as possible (night before prep is key), make two slices of toast smothered in Nutella, topped with Banana and tea, then hop in the car and go.

It was an absolute beaut of a morning, clear skies, no wind and an amazing sunrise. We got down to Brighton with loads of time to spare where I then made a beeline for the Portaloos (early arrival means you beat the queues!) and then onto the start line for a warm up. My warm up consisted of walking high kicks, lunges, side steps followed by stationary stretching. Then it was time to line up and off we went, all 15,000 of us!

Having run this race last year, I knew exactly what to expect from the course - the first mile is a flat, pacey loop back to the start, then a 6 mile undulating climb up the Marina and back, bringing you back to the start line. Last year I found this bit really challenging (I was looking for places to vom the entire time) but this year it flew by, I couldn't believe it when I was passing the 7 mile marker. From here, its then 3 miles out to Hove and back down to the finish. I felt great the entire time and even managed a final sprint to line to come in under 1:35.

My PB was great but actually the best thing about today was seeing my progress over the last 12 months - knocking 10 minutes off my time was absolutely the highlight. I could distinctly remember struggling on specific parts of the course that today felt great. It really shows that consistency is the key - already looking forwards to taking this one on again in 2016!

So this week is another big week of miles, with a 21 miler on Saturday. Bring. It. On.