Well I did it! It was amazing, it was hard, it rained the whole way round, I loved it but I won't be doing it again any time soon!
Race day nerves began kicking in the night before, I was unable to sleep due to a mixture of excitement and dread. As you know the weather has not been kind to us lately and I was dreading bad weather. I woke up early at 6:45 am on Sunday to blue skies and pink fluffy clouds... unfortunately the sky did not stay this way. As we headed to the train station the sky was getting greyer and greyer ~ not good!
We reached the runners village in good time allowing me to settle my nerves, have a munch of an energy bar, dash to the toilet and of course sort out my hair! I moved to the starting pens a little late due to a delay setting up the barriers so I was thankful for the warm hoodie of Matt's I had on to keep me warm. Then the drizzle started and it didn't stop! By the time I set off my legs and ankles were cold, I settled into my pace but it must have taken about 2 miles to get myself warmed up properly. As I had not been well a few days before I had already decided not to push the pace too much and aim for finishing in one piece. The atmosphere around the course was fab, Bath Half is a two lap course which means you get to run past the samba band in Queen Square twice! It's a great motivator and the drums really get you running up that hill.
By mile 4 I was feeling comfortable at a 9:08 per mile pace and my muscles had warmed up. I kept my head down and kept my legs moving. I was thankful for my Oakley running hat to keep the rain of my face. The miles went by pretty fast and before I knew it I was on my second lap and heading for mile 7. At mile 10 my legs had started to get tired and I really had to dig deep to keep running. I was determined not to walk! I was having a full on argument with myself in my head to keep pushing, use the downhills to my advantage and telling myself that I didn't really need to pee I just thought I did. Lovely hey?
My determination kept me pushing to the end and I even managed a sprint finish! I finished Bath Half in 2:08:08 ~ knocking 29 minutes off my 2012 time. Oh yes! I was so happy about my time and that I have raised over £200 for the Katie Piper Foundation once I collect it all in. So thank you all so much!
Race Day Tips
- Don't eat or drink anything you haven't had in training. It might make you ill and you don't want that on race day.
- Hydrate before you race. Make sure you are fully hydrated before you run by drinking plenty of water both the day before and the morning of the event.
- Coconut water is your best friend. I took my own Vita Coconut Water with me on race day in a water bottle which I carried the whole way round. If you are properly hydrated you shouldn't need to drink too much during the actual race.
- Energy tablets. I used Gluco energy tablets throughout my training on my long runs and I took four with me on race day for when I needed them during the race. I had one at 6 miles, 9 miles, 12 miles and once I was over the line.
- Concentrate on your own race. Don't get caught up in racing against other people and go off too fast you'll soon run out of energy that way. Try to concentrate on the beat of your own trainers on the road.
- Breathe it all in! Enjoy it and don't forget to smile!
I loved the race but I am really looking forward to not heading straight to the treadmill at the gym!