Posted: 21/06/2015 at 17:01
What: 2 hours of gardening
Why: it's a disaster!
Last hard: yesterday
Lyrics: yes (I'm on a streak!)
So...race report.Vital Lauf half marathon
I thought this would be a good race to see how I was after my weekend run the other week. Arrived at the start of the race to a balmy 12C. Perfect for racing I thought. I'd heard the route was hilly, but as I'm in good shape at the moment, I still thought it couldn't be that hilly and that I'd be able to manage it in around 2 hours.
We lined up at the start, all 24 of us, 5 women. We started and the sun came out. Off we went. The first 3km or so were uphill and the field slowly thinned out and I was running alone. At about 4 km there was a short downhill stretch, in which I overtook 2 people, before the uphill started again and they overtook me again. This happened again before the 6 km mark. At this point, one of the guys who overtook me said he'd run with me. He said he hadn't trained for the race and therefore was happy to help me. Now, normally this wouldn't annoy me too much, but I did say to him to run ahead on the uphills where he wanted to as I didn't want to hold him back. He then started talking. I couldn't really understand him (he had a very strong accent) and he was a bit creepy (I was running alone with him through deserted forests...). Anyway, the hills kept going up, and at one point he pointed to a very high up point and told me that's where we were going. I had my own plans for the run, and he was really messing them up, so at one point I said to him, please go on ahead, I have my own rhythm for the hills. He refused. At this point we'd been going uphill for 9 km and my aim to reach 10 km in 1 hour was in reach. I powered on and made 10 km in just over 1 hour.
By this point the hill had got really steep and my timings went out the window. I employed my walk 1 min, run 2 min strategy, with the man saying that I didn't need to walk, I could just run slowly. In the end I said to him, please leave me alone, I need to concentrate. He didn't get the message. This continued with him running about 50 m ahead of me, checking I was always there until the water point at km 13. I asked the marshal at the water point how far until the top of the hill. He said 1 km. I pushed on, alternating running and walking still, until 2 km had gone by and there was no sign of the top. I took a gel. I saw an ambulance at what I thought was the top of the hill, heaved a sigh of relief and started heading down. Until there was another steep rise after about 200m. This went on for another 2 km until I reached Heartbreak hill. Now I knew I was at the top (there was a radio mast!). By this point, the annoying man was out of sight, phew. Then I turned the corner and saw he was waiting for me. So I was outright rude and ran as fast as I could down the hills for the last 7km or so of the race knowing I was much faster than him downhill. I felt so strong running down the hills. In the last 500m I saw someone ahead of me, I hadn't seen anyone else except the annoying man for 17 km, so I powered ahead and overtook him, sprinting to the finish line
After all that talk about not training and how he could help me, I finished 5 min before him. For some reason this guy really got up my nose, I just wanted to run in peace! Anyway, pleased with my finish time of 1:21:xx. Last woman, but on a tough course like that, I was just pleased to finish.
At least if I do it again next year, I'll be a bit more prepared for what's in store...