This is my second year running the English Half Marathon (EHM) and to date this is the only race I have gone back to and ran for a second time. I really enjoyed the 2016 EHM and set what was then a PB, so being a fitter and stronger runner 12 months on I booked this race with high hopes of running another PB. I only ran one other half marathon in 2017 the POTTERS ‘ARF 2017 where I knock 12 minutes off my EHM 2016 PB and that was over a hilly Potters ‘arf, so you see my thinking here? The EHM isn’t anywhere near as hilly so should be a quicker run.
The problem / dilemma: this year I am running the Berlin Marathon which happens to be 7 days after the EHM so the question was, do I run a steady pace and rest up ready for the marathon or while I know I am running well and have good pace (based on the previous 2 weeks 10k times) do I go for it and try to set a new PB? Another spanner in the works, the day before the EHM I swam the 2 mile race at SWIM SERPENTINE and my neck & back have been aching a lot overnight and this morning.
Mile 1 – 6: 7:01, 6:48, 6:50, 7:10, 7:20, 7:02
I lined up in the sub 1:30 section next to the 1:30 pacer. Why not? I can always slow down and drop back if I can’t keep up or change my mind on going for it. If I start off slow I will be running harder to make up time. Plus in all the other races where I line up according to my pace I spend the whole race overtaking people who are clearly in the wrong place so I may as well join them.
For the first three miles I ran with the 1:30 pacers, I had calculated a 1:30 pace to be 7 min mile splits and felt that was achievable. As you can see from above the pace for Mile 2 & 3 was quite a bit under this. I felt they were pacing too quickly so I decided to slow down and take it steady adding around 30 secs to my splits. I did remember that the first half of this race is generally up hill and then drops down in the second half so things would get easier.
Mile 7 – 13.1: 7:13, 6:57, 6:52, 6:57, 7:09, 7:18, 7:16
This race I was testing fuelling every 5 miles instead of my usual 6, my thinking was this should give me more energy to keep pushing harder in the longer runs. Come mile 7 the SiS Go Energy Gel was kicking in and I started to feel strong again. The 7th mile is the last slight incline, feeling stronger and facing 6 running downhill I decided to pick my pace up and go for it again running three sub 7 min miles. I had my second SiS Gel at mile 10 as we head back into town for the final 5k where the crowd support was amazing, as it was all around the course. This really give us a lift as we were winding around the streets during the last mile which seemed to keep going and going, then we turned into the finishing straight where you see the gates and red carpet of the finish line. Job done, half marathon number 6 in the bag…
Another really good enjoyable race and one I think I will run for a third time in 2018. To top it off I ran another new PB of 1:31:58 taking another 3:14 off my Potters ‘arf time despite slowing down for 3 miles, next target is a sub 90min half marathon.
In summary, great race, really well organised and another fantastic medal, certainly a unique medal on my rack, not sure if you have seen one which opens up like this before? Let me know if you have.