Roughly 2 years ago, I went to the doctors about some achilles problems I’d been having. It was the third time I’d been there in about a month and my doctor straight up said to me.. ‘You’re just not cut out for running’. I didn’t think anything of it and just continued training for the Reading Half that I had planned.
Race day came and all was well, until mid race my achilles went again. I had to walk/run the last third of the race and can honestly say it was the most painful hour of my life. I was in tears for the last few miles, then at the finish line I was greeted by my mum saying ‘you’re never doing this again’.
Long story short, I’ve trained hard, looked after my body and finally finished a half marathon injury free and feeling amazing at the end.
I’d been training for months and months for this race and had put so much pressure on myself to get a sub 2 time, which could’ve gone either way really. I did have pre race nerves but I get nervous just going for a 3 mile recovery run so that doesn’t really count. In my head I knew I had it in me to get at the very least a sub 2 hour time but I also had one eye on beating my PB (not race pb) of 1:55.
I didn’t do anything special before the race, apart from puppy cuddles which I haven’t had at any other races. My breakfast was a chocolate chip muffin, a coffee and some toast from Weatherspoon’s which was actually amazing.
I opted for a lucozade instead of water because I haven’t ever tried any gels or other mid race carbs and it definitely helped with my energy. The first few miles flew by and after 5k I was averaging 8:37/mi, which was a lot quicker than my 8:55/mi target pace. I bumped into another Sandhurst Jogger and mentioned the faster pace and she told me that if I was feeling good, just go for it. So I did exactly that.
The course was flat the whole way round so I wasn’t too worried about struggling near the end and ended up just getting used to the quicker pace. I’ve never really felt as good as I did during the run and I found myself helping others who were walking, by giving out my lucozade and offering words of encouragement. I’ve been the person walking before so know how much someone just saying ‘you can do it’ can change your race.
There isn’t much else to say about the race itself apart from the fact that I came in with a chip time of 1:53:27 and couldn’t be happier. From being told I’m not cut out for running, to smashing my goal and having a great time doing it.
The event as a whole
The whole event was very well organised. We turned up early to take advantage of the free parking, picked up my number, ran the race, picked up a medal and left. The location was good, right in the middle of Maidenhead and the crowds were really friendly, all shouting ‘come on Sandhurst’. Also, the pre race communications were really good and everything I needed to know was easy to find on their website.
If you’re looking for a half marathon PB I’d definitely recommend this race!
Let me know how you got on with your races this weekend and if you want to donate to my chosen charities, the link is on my ‘about me’ page.
Thanks for reading, peace.