I said that the half-marathon was going to give me a good idea of progress, and it has.
The good news at least is that I can at least get round the first 13 miles of the course. The bad news is that I don’t think I could have taken another step. Things aren’t desperate yet, but I do have some hard work to do now to get in shape for the big one.
It all started fairly badly with the most chaotic and stressful starts I’ve ever had. We got to Hastings with what I thought was a reasonable 45 minutes to spare, however, what with traffic almost at a standstill and then nowhere to park I nearly didn’t make it. I was also busting for the loo and there were no toilets, ahhhh.
Always check out the route of a race. I didn’t and found that this race was amazingly hilly. Significant amounts of the first 5 miles are up-hill with one stretch of 2 miles continuously! This was fairly tough and I was very glad of my hill training at home. After the first 5 miles the route undulated or was flat or downhill which was good as my legs were about done.
I kept going through the unseasonably warm March weather (it really was a beautiful day), but I increasingly found as time went on that I was passing less and less people and many more were passing me.
During the race I gave a strategy that I’d read about a go. In this race I walked through all the water stops, tried to drink the cup and additionally threw a cup over my head. I still found drinking much water a struggle, but the pause was always welcome.
I was very grateful to see the ten mile marker as I ran through Hastings old town as I was fairly beat by now and I knew that it was just a run along the front to the finish. Those last miles, however, I found very tough and it was mostly will power that kept me going. Things got particularly desperate when I didn’t see the 11 mile marker and it seemed like forever before the 12 came into view.
I eventually made the finish line, though I couldn’t manage a final sprint. Very tired. Spent. Happy.
The Hastings half-marathon is a tough and hilly race and I only just made the finish. I did just about get in under two hours though, which is a plus. Not sure I’d do this race again, too much hassle to get to the start.
Now the real hard work begins…