April – Paddock Wood Half Marathon

So the April half is done – hot on the heels of our March run – and already thinking about training for the next one – although we have a few weeks in between this time.  Easter Saturday training – 4.4 gentle miles with 8 (horribly hard) 35 second hill reps thrown into the middle.  I need to shake things up a bit as May’s half marathon will require something a bit different to the first four road runs.

Paddock Wood 2011
But for now – number 4 in the series is done – Paddock Wood half Marathon on 2nd April 2017.  This was my second running of Paddock Wood – the first was in 2011.  At that time I had only run two half marathons since my resurrection as a runner.  I had actually ran a half marathon when I was 26 – but that was a bit of a fluke.  So my inexperience showed – I was running with my good buddy Julie – and we set off like a pair of rockets!  We were through the first 6.5 miles in under an hour happily contemplating a sub 2 hour finish (ha ha!).  But the route is flat and so relentless on the same muscles – and it was hot that day – and if I mention it to Julie these days – all she talks about is me moaning about wanting to die for the last mile and a half!  We faded badly and finished in 2 hours 8 minutes (exactly the time I achieved when I was 26!).  I have never managed that sub 2 hours…………

So with a local race and a 9.30 am start – we almost get a sleep in today.  I’m driving – so I pick Gill up at 7.45 am and we are parked at Mascall’s school by 8.30 am.  Race information says it’s a 15 minute walk to the start – but it’s actually over a mile – so it takes us a bit longer (please note – no mention of toilet stops – I have been told these have become too much of a feature of my blogs!).  The start area is crowded.  Gill’s back has been giving her trouble since the Palace half – so – despite her efforts to lose me…………

Gill: (text message) I can’t see you anywhere – I’ll see you at the end……….

Me: I know I’m small but I’m 3 foot away from you and wearing lime green!

We run together for moral support and encouragement – as we did at Tunbridge Wells!  I don’t think we fell out this time (although sometimes I don’t notice).  The run is much as I remembered it from 6 years ago – pretty lanes and good support – but flat, relentless and

Paddock Wood 2017
hot!  We run a faster first half than second half – and the cold, wet sponges that were handed out were most welcome – especially when tucked down a sports bra and refreshed with cold water from time to time! (note to self: add sponge to pre-race list – especially through the summer months!).  We did well – although Gill was struggling for the last 4-5 miles with pain in her back – so we resorted to the phone playing music as us as we ran along.  And a new tactic for distraction – singing!  Worked brilliantly at clearing our path as we sang along to Abba (Does your mother know……?) and Billy Joel (Uptown Girl (s).  I see a few familiar faces waving and cheering us in at the end – Bryony from Sarah’s Runners and Bev and Graham from Heathfield Road Runners (Bev finished an hour or two ahead of us!).  Plenty of running left for a sprint finish – so overall a good day.  Ice pack applied to Gill’s back and a walk back to the car eating crisps and contemplating our achievement – Four of our Twelve races done – we can do this thing………………..

Running track for this half marathon Billy Joel – Only the Good Die Young (so I’m safe for now!)

5 thoughts on “April – Paddock Wood Half Marathon”

  1. Wot no toilet stops..? (!) I was tempted to run that one too, but was busy with something else, unfortunately. Glad you had a good time. Does music (of whatever variety) actually help or is it better to be more Zen about it – lost in your own thoughts?


    1. Interesting! Personally I think that music helps as I get lost in the music which is often preferable to my own thoughts! Although I have, rather late in life, come to yoga and meditation and so I may revise this over time……….. Watch this space! You?


      1. When I were a lad (half a century ago!) I’d go sea fishing. I’d sit on the beach or a pier for six hours or so, concentrating so hard on that rod tip, willing the fish to bite. I’d imagine what was happening on the sea floor as I watched the rod’s movements and felt the line with my fingers. At some stage, perhaps there would be some change in the pattern, maybe a tiny vibration transmitting up the line and that would be the time to strike!

        I found that concentrating on this tiny ring at the tip of the fishing rod would empty my mind of whatever bothered it. I now know this is a meditative technique, but I had no idea back then. However, I’ve repeated this depth of concentration method ever since for driving, running, sailing, doing the VAT Return …what? No – not that one.

        But it works for me 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this – I think I probably do more of it than I think as well – but I also find I listen to music mindfully and more fully when I run – rather than it being a distraction from the pain (though it can be that too!!). I am interested that I work with a couple of youngsters with ADHD who have taken up fishing and their parents can’t believe how good they are at the sitting still bit of it! Maybe there is a lesson there…..


    1. Fishing used to work for me. But the same principle applies to lots of other activities – indeed to running itself. Is it mindless? Perhaps, if you want it to be. Or you can wrack your brain with the mathematics of split times, percentage allowances for uphill sections, downhill sections, where do you save yourself in order to attain the Holy Grail of “Negative Splits” (which Sarah tells me is a positive thing). Either way, all those fifteen second distractions of modern life are banished for the entire time you run. It’s easier for me, because I’m male and cannot multi-task. So once I’m thinking about …anything, really, there isn’t room for anything else.

      Liked by 1 person

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