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.
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
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!)