I ran the first Thorpe Half Marathon last year , it was my first long distance run after all my back issues and I vaguely remember enjoying it as its quite local, parking is easy and a 9am start means I am home at a reasonable time.
If you are anything like me you usually have events booked months ahead so there is always a risk that you could suffer an injury or have an illness that scuppers your plans and so it was for this run.
With all the excitement of getting married a week earlier and then on our honeymoon weekend away in Christchurch dragging Liz to the Bournemouth Park run and having such a great time there feeling like mini-celebrities. I hit the floor with a bit of a bump on the Monday and started to feel unwell which over the next few days developed into tonsillitis, so no running for me just popping pills and resting.
Saturday morning I woke up feeling slightly more human but decided to give the Park Run a miss hopping the extra days rest would mean I felt up to running Thorpe Half.
The trouble with me is that I absolutely love the buzz I get from doing events, I never get nervous if I know I have put the training in I just get excited ( The Grizzly this month is the exception to this as Dave Bartlett will tell you) and if I cannot run ,cycle or go to the gym because of illness or injury it does effect me mentally as to how I feel and Liz notices within a day or two as I get a bit twitchy and unsettled so the thought of not running Thorpe after a week of inactivity did not rest easy with me.
Anyway Saturday night after I had got all my kit ready and put the number on my shirt. I decided to set my alarm for 6am and see how I felt when I woke up (TBH I think my decision was already made.)
I actually had a good nights sleep so at 6am I fell out of bed, got dressed, had my porridge and left the house at 7am thinking I felt well enough to give it a go and would take it easy at the start and just try to finish.
The weather was great, not a cloud in the sky but very cold at -1 with the wind chill making it a few degrees lower. I pulled into Thorpe Park’s massive car park around 7.45 and parked really close to the start line which meant I could sit in the warm car until a few minutes before the race began.
A nice touch at the start area as well as the usual nutrition/kit/coffee stalls was a visit from the Camberley Rock Choir that Liz is a member of and they were there singing a selection of uplifting songs to get you in the mood.
9am sharp and we were off. My plan was to set off at a nice easy pace and just see how I felt hoping to come in under 2hrs if possible. The run was on closed roads which was good with plenty of marshals giving encouragement.
After a couple of km’s I had warmed up and felt comfortable and the first 10km seemed to pass very quickly, looking at my Garmin I was surprised at my km splits as they were all around the 5 minute mark and I felt like I was cruising. I wouldn’t say the course was hilly but it did seem to have a fair few of those long roads with a slight incline that make you work just a bit harder than usual but it was nice as there were pockets of cheering supporters which gave you a little boost.
As it was very cold I only carried about ½ litre of drink in my hydration pack as opposed to 1-1.5 litres when the weather is warmer and I took a High 5 gel at 7km and 14km which is my usual half marathon plan.
At 15km’s I was feeling pretty strong so decided to up the pace a bit, I was enjoying the run and feeling very happy that I had decided to give it a go and before long I was running across the finish line with a time of 1:46:53 with the last 2 km’s being my quickest at 4m37 and 4m 34. All in all a good mornings work and another rather nice medal.