Monday, 12 October 2009

It hurts to move - Royal Parks Half - Race Report

So I'll start with the answers from last weeks post. Can I walk? Not really. Left knee painful so even left the bike at home!! I will try and walk home from work later though. How drunk? Surprisingly not which is one up on last year? And the toes? A couple of bruised ones and a few blisters but I still have all 10 toe nails so bonus!

And the race. First things first. I got my PB!! Very happy with that. Didn't reach my goal for the end of 2009 but a PB is a PB and a PB knocking off 3 mins 39 secs and coming under the 1:55:00 mark for the first time ever is extremely satisfying. My new time is now 1:54:51! Sometime in the future I have to look at knocking off 4:52sec which with the help of a little calculation works out that I need to find 22 secs per mile. Now that can wait til next year!

Getting up at 6am to get some breakfast is never nice on a Sunday. That's earlier than a normal weekday for me!! Left the house plugged into the ipod and an audiobook to kill time on the bus journey up to Hyde Park. Got there. Started raining. Now on no weather forecast I checked did it say anything about wetness! Mind you, better than last year with the sun burning bright I guess. I just hid under a tree and waited for eatingtrees to turn up, mind you, all I could think of was this story!!!

De-bagged, ready to go at 9:15 for a 9:30 start we wandered/shivered down to the start and put our fingers in our ears to protect from the rather loud PA system... and we were off! Starting the race as ever with eatingtrees, we clocked the first mile around 8:42m/m (which in hindsight may have been slightly out distance wise) and then by mile 2, we had settled in around the 8.30 ish for the 2 mile marker. We continued to plod along with me running on eatingtrees' heel until around mile 4 when he started to drop back a little and I continued on my own. Some strategic planning with LG meant that she was waiting just after the half way mark with wine gums and cheering which really did help and knowing that I'd be seeing her again sometime after the 10 mile point kept my spirits up. Mile 7 hit and I ran through it in 1:00:31. Pretty much bang on where I wanted it to be. If I could now run a 54min 10k, I would have my time under 1:55:00. The race was on. The playlist had been resurrected on Saturday evening so play was pressed and Foo Fighters set me on my way.

Lost a contact lens around 7 and a half miles which was annoying but luckily my vision isn't too bad so carried on and if I needed to see anything far away, I squinted a bit. Miles 8 and 9 seemed to go pretty well and were nowhere near as painful as I remembered last year. Past mile 10 and I knew that LG would be waiting and yep, there she was. Camera first and then the declined offer of more wine gums and I must say, I was feeling pretty good at this point. I even managed to stick my tongue out!


Mile 10 to 11 seemed to go really well and I was still feeling fresh and then back on myself for half a mile. Around the bandstand, another wave from LG and then the slight climb to 12miles. I felt myself slow at this point so my mentally having to tell myself to carry on and keep pushing. Through the 12 mile at 1:44:2* so a final mile at a similar pace and I was there. The start of mile 12 pushes away from the finish so I kept myself going at this point before the hairpin after a couple of hundred metres.

Now it was the home straight. I hate this bit of this race. It must be 3/4 of a mile and for quite a lot of it, you can see the finish line and it just doesn't get any closer! I knew I didn't have any kind of sprint in me so I pushed to try and keep what I felt was a pace I could finish at. I could see the clock. It's had just gone 1:56:00 and I knew it had taken around 1:30 to get through the finish at the start so I was nearly there. The last song of the playlist finished so I just got through the last 10/15 steps and it was done. Clocked stopped at 1:54:53 and then had to hold myself up a little on the barriers. Job done and a message through later confirming time of 1:54:51. Happy boy.

Loaded with Mars bars, Lucozade, water and banana's we got changed and with eatingtrees and LG, we headed to the pub to meeting Cathy and Shaun. Drinks were drank, pizza was munched and a thoroughly good time was had by all.

Now I have 3/4 weeks off which will be lovely... especially knowing I've gone into a mini break on a PB!


  1. Congrats on a new PB! Great time :-)

  2. Brilliant, always enjoy your blogs..inspirational

  3. Aww fantastic - I'm just desperate to get under the 2h mark - someday - and am hoping for the end of the month, but it's a course I've never seen. Eeek, You should be DELIGHTED

  4. Thanks for positive comments and Sam, I'm sure you'll get under 2h soon. Fingers crossed for Jedburgh for you.

    Anon, I've been called many things in my time but inspirational isn't one of them until now so thank you.

  5. Excellent, very well done on the PB...I've never managed to get under 2:01. Nice one!

  6. You'll find the 22 secs!
    Meantime, I thought you might be interested in reading this piece about a sportscaster who's work has been transformed by becoming a marathoner:

    There are a couple of other really good running stories on the site