Sunday, 18 April 2010

Shiny Shiny Things

I'm a bit late posting after the epic drive from Edinburgh post-race this afternoon. The glorious sunshine that accompanied our drive up yesterday afternoon was replaced by rather rough, wet and windy weather in Edinburgh this morning. They’re toughies those Scots.

We awoke for our pre-race breakfast at 6.30am to my annoying electronic cock-a-doodle alarm. The hotel staff were fab, giving us free access to the kitchen to sort our far-too-early breakfast. After a bit of faffing with a strangely foreign microwave we’d sorted some pre-race porridge and with our tummies pleasantly plump we jogged to the start; a mile or so from the hotel.

Clad in full waterproofs with our racing shoes in our bags we were pretty much soaked by the time the start came. We shivered in our soggy racing pens and felt grateful for the start after a meagre mile warming up on the very crowded and puddle-covered track. I’m using the term ‘warm up’ very loosely here. I'd kind of anticipated a bit of a windy course, it being a coastal route and everything. The cold and unwelcoming rain and a very soggy start were an extra surprise, or kick in the shins, depending on your outlook.

The Chris Hoy Half Marathon is a pretty big race, but we thought it a good chance for A) a rehearsal marathon trip for me and B) a PB opportunity for M. It was worth the trip. The first couple of miles were pleasantly flat, breezy and slightly downhill. Hitting the promenade was the stark reminder of what was to come though; a gruelling 10 mile slog into pretty strong coastal winds, with rain sprinkles on top. By mile 5 I was strangely spent and running on empty. I’m not sure why but I’d felt drained and depleted in my last couple of long runs. I suspect I just hadn’t recovered. M was on my shoulder and pressed on without me and by mile 6 was off and away into the distance. It was all I could muster to keep it together and dig in. It really was a marathon rehearsal run.

M had a storming run, chasing down the unattached (!) Andy Hume and then working together with him to push on, completely kicking my a** and coming home in 78.16, a huge PB and a superb time on such a rough day. I was nearly a minute behind in 79.11, a disappointing time but an indicator of where I’m at. A bit of a warning to back off for a few days perhaps. It was a tough mental challenge to keep running hard whilst feeling so beaten but I finished. I was sort of chuffed to have not completely crashed and burned. 

I was first lady by a good lead (2’30’’) and won an awesome bundle; a very fine and rather heavy silver cup, £300 cash and £100 vouchers. I feel a bit of a fraud picking up such a generous haul but it did perk me up a bit. I also tested out some racers too; my Brooks T6s were a gamble today as these frisky little featherlights weigh next to nothing. I'm stunned at how responsive they felt and I may risk them in the marathon. Not a tweak, groan or blister came from my usually grumbly feet over the full 13.1 miles. Most of all though I’m really delighted for M who ran sub 80 for the first time. I was secretly thinking he’d run 77:xx and reckon, given a better day he would have done just that. He had an awesome run.

The race was incredibly well organised with over 3000 finishers despite the very sodden and cold start. I’ve just about warmed up now after being dripping wet and chilled to the bone all morning. The rather comforting albeit damp warmth of the shuttle bus ride home was a welcome refuge. It was made all the sweeter by meeting Dean; a very nice physicist who ran his first race today. Dr Dean, you chose a very tough race to start with! Great to meet you and well done on finishing today. Keep in touch! Race results here.

P.s. Well done to Julian M today for his well earned race win at Halifax 10k, go Julian.


Dawn Broom said...

Well done Sarah - just started my own running blog and have linked to yours. What time did you do?

Did you do another 5:30 1st mile?:-)

Mark H said...

Congrats on yet another win Sarah.
But you only came 2nd in your house!
Hope M is not gloating too much.
Just remember , if he passes you next time .... stick the foot out ;)

ultra collie said...

you're a star!

ultra collie said...

btw..did you savour ant local gastro treats?!

kate said...

fantastic result, sounds like perfect training. when the going gets tough etc.... well done :)

awsome M, a pb on a really tough course.

jumbly said...

Congrats all round, a PB and a mighty fine win all in the same household. Well done both!

Old Runningfox. said...

Well done Sarah, looks like it's all coming together.
And congrats to M on his new PB.
Proud on yer both.

T.C. said...

Well done! Congrats to you and also to M on a good race!

Andy Hume said...

Hi Sarah & Marc.
I would just like to congratulate Marc on a great PB and yourself on winning. I would also like to thank Marc on pulling me to along for a PB also. I'm also doing the Edinburgh marathon next month, All the best for that.

Dawn Broom said...

Nice pb for Mark and a nice win and prizes for you. Prizes all round then with pbs and wins!

Runningbear said...

Thanks Dawn, like the blog, will be a regular reader.

Thanks UC, Kate was right, Edinburgh far too posh for the kinda food pleasures I was seeking...

Thanks Kate, Jumbly, Runningfox and TC, M did good didn't he! Will try and remember to not let him pass me next time :)

Hello Andy, great that you came to visit - you had a great run yourself - was hoping to hang on but you were too strong. You'll have a great marathon I'm sure. Keep in touch. RB.

Julbags said...

Well done Sarah and to M, great running in far too typical Edinburgh weather! It's usually better in May, honest.

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