Well, sat here, relaxing after a busy weekend, cup of tea in hand and an evening chocolate treat, I can honestly say...I'm shattered!
It has been a particularly busy time at the moment. On the back of a busy summer period, packing in family time while the sun was shining, the autumn season has not held back either. Football is back; Running Dads and running events have been regular and of course, working in education, life in the office is at it's busiest. Life really does not stop once you are on the train.
Since I last wrote, I have competed in three events; travelling up as north as Newcastle for the Great North Run; down the road from home to Warrington for the English Half Marathon and at the weekend, down to Chichester for the Goodwood Half Marathon. Three more medals in the collection and three completely different experiences that have taught me a great deal in their own way.
Heading to the Great North Run for the second time was something I had wanted to do since I first completed the run in 2016 when I was completing a 4 in 4 challenge. After breaking my 10km the week before and picking up a knee injury, I purposely took it a little easier, but still; the competitiveness of my own mind has had a little niggle since. Even though I also broke my half record the week after in my first English Half and my marathon PB at the Loch Ness Marathon the week after that!
I do love the event; huge participant numbers and what seems like a constant stream of spectators, all the hustle and bustle. It is like no other half marathon event I have done. It was great also to meet up with some of the Visorclub members and of course afew Runningdads in person. I bumped into Paul Addicott beforehand and decided to stay in the 1:40 funbus, but after a pit stop and upping the pace to get back into the pack, I blew at mile 10 and eventually came in at 1:43:17. Still, despite the disappointment, I loved the event and learned a valuable lesson with regards to trusting in my pacing and not pushing unnecessarily. Just breathe and find your stride!
The English Half was extra special this time as Ethan came along to watch and it was the second time that I ran over the finish line with him. I loved this when I completed the Liverpool - Manchester Ultra in April and this time was even more special in someways as the crowd was much bigger and he had a great cheer when we ran through. Meeting up with the Visorclub beforehand and en-route was a lovely added bonus too.
The event itself was a good measure as to where I am at physically at the moment. Coming in at 1:35:27 was around 7 minutes slower than my PB two years previously and an indication as to what I need to do to return to sub 1:30. The target was soon set and will remain as one for the 2019 running season.
And so to this weekend and a 5 hour trip down - half marathon - 4 hour trip home adventure to Goodwood. Meeting up again with Visorclub members, supporters and Twitterfriends from Runr, UKRunChat and Breathe Unity PR, and a seasons PB of 1:34:19 in difficult windy and wet conditions, it really was a fantastic inaugural event. Running laps was a little different for me, but really enjoyable and the good-will en-route was fantastic. I tried to offer some encouragement to each person I passed or that passed me; something I hadn't really considered would happen beforehand but of course, with laps, it is obvious in hindsight.
Plus, finishing in 17th place overall wasn't too bad either; my top finish at that distance! I quickly realised that I have it in me still; the sub 1:30 is on...
Throw in a nomination at the Running Awards for Best Personal Blog, and new support from Truesapien and August - October have been very good months!
Here's to the final two of the year...I wonder what events I can squeeze in!
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