My half marathon update – the race

It’s with bloody blisters, slightly aching calves and a bit of a sore back that I’m thrilled to report that the race has been and gone.

half marathon

The weather was perfect. It was a bracing 12°C here in Germany on Saturday morning which is in huge contrast to the summer temperatures that I’ve trained in. I’d upped my chia seed intake over the last few weeks as advised by a friend, made sure I’d taken my daily dose of liquid iron in the form of Floridix and carb loaded with a big bowl of cheesy pasta the night before.

And it went perfectly. I started strong, and for the first 6 miles or so I averaged 9 minute miles. I was pacing myself and the route was practically downhill all of the way. Which meant just one thing. The second half was a lot tougher because it was back up the same hill. It would have made far more sense to perform it the other way around.

I loved it and it felt pretty easy. Much easier in fact than the 10K I did along the same route just two months ago. I never got out of breath but my body did more or less run out of energy at mile 12. I dragged myself through the last mile with the help of a huge swig of Gatorade at the water station and an awful lot of willpower.

Photos c/o S Inscore
Photos c/o S Inscore

I completed the 13.1 miles in just over 2 hours. 2 hours, 1 minute and 46 seconds to be precise. I genuinely didn’t have a finish time in mind. I just wanted to do it in under 2 hours 20 minutes so I was delighted with that. I need to find a flat course because I reckon I could easily come in under 2 hours without the bloody hills and inclines we faced from mile 7 onwards.

Splits: 09’18, 09’30”, 08’53”, 08’35”, 09’07”, 08’38”, 09’31”, 09’08”, 09’51”, 09’53”, 09’47”, 09’22”, 09’09”

09’16” average.

Things I learnt:

  • I need new shoes. I’ve had the same ones for most of this year and I had the most gigantic (and disgusting) blood blister on my toe until I popped it
  • I may not normally chafe but I had some inner thigh burn which was pretty minging afterwards. Get the Vaseline out next time
  • I had done 10 miles easily and without energy drinks or gels but I had to dig deep on those last 3 miles. It’s time to actually try out the gels
  • With more training I think I could be a lot better. I did 6 weeks of pretty weak effort (if I’m being utterly honest) and I didn’t do too badly. Imagine what I could do if I really tried…
  • Road running really affects your back and legs when you normally do your miles on trails. I may have had a bounce in my step from the concrete, but my poor back and thighs felt it pretty badly
  • A good playlist makes all the difference

Things I decided:

  • I’m retiring my running shoes now for the winter
  • I’m never doing a full marathon

I’m not really glad it’s over. I need a goal to work towards and without it I have absolutely no inclination to run.