This was my first half marathon in nearly 2 years and I was probably on my best form in my very limited running career to date! I decided at the start of the year that I needed to change my running style (being the greatest heal striker that has ever ran in Newtons) and attended James Dunne's Oregon circuits on Monday mornings. These sessions basically consist of 4 x 8min intervals of running combined with strength exercises that replicate running on tired legs.
James being amazed at my unique running style decided to film me and Drew together for some valuable footage of how to and how not to do it. If you’ve not seen the clip yet then you don’t need to be a run coach to spot who has got the better form!
After some coaching and plenty of practise runs I eventually got my speed back and the legs felt much better during and in recovery. I have learnt to lift my legs more using my hips, which reduces the effort that it takes to carry my above average sized legs!
Race week came and I reduced the red wine intake and replaced it with BeetIT which unfortunately has little pleasure but hopefully helps come race day and I am prepared to try anything! The morning of the race was slightly wet and the days forecast was not much better so I was going to get wet. I walked to the start, I took my gel and stayed in the shed as long as possible keeping dry and feeling like cattle waiting for their final journey.
I started nearer the front than I normally would just so I would avoid the crowds and not loose any time in the first few miles. My pace was under 8min/mile for the first lap and only dropping on the one hill at the end. The rain got harder and by this point my shoes were soaked and this was before they decided to send us up on a section of waterlogged grass despite there being untold amounts of roads within the showground.
The second lap pretty much went the same as the first as I felt surprisingly good, I had my second gel and pushed on dodging the big puddles keeping my pace under the 8min/mile I knew I was on for a PB. The last hill was tough but still managed to pick my pace up for a sprint, well a slightly faster pace in my opinion.
My final chip time was 1.45.09 which was nearly 10mins quicker than previously so I was pleased with that.
Thanks to James Dunne at kinetic revolution for all his help in transforming my running style, Jane for holding the umbrella on race day keeping me dry and Sharon for passing me the open gel on my second lap.
Back on the bike now…….