Well Sunday saw me complete the Bedford Half marathon in a personal best chip time of 1h43:52! Yippee!
The day started off badly with me not getting up at 0645 like I had planned but only dragging myself out of bed at 0715. I had planned to leave home by 0730, but was clearly running late before I had even managed a shower. I was very tempted not to go. I was out the door at around 0745 only to be called by work (I was on call) about some problem that turned out to be due to planned changes. Anyway I only left home at 0810. 40 mins late. Long story short I eventually got to the bag drop area (after missing my motorway junction- don’t ask…) about 1 min before the race start. The race had started once I got back to the start line.
Anyway I managed to make up a good number of places in the first mile and even stayed on my 8 min mile target. Race was going well for the first few miles until the wind picked up and brought some drizzle. Not too bad I thought… until the rain came. And boy did it pour down. Combined with the wind the rain drops were stinging my face. Anyway having had a training session in these conditions I figured I’d cope and just head onwards. Shoes squelching and shirt clinging I trundled on.
I felt quite strong going up the hill leading to the final descent from around mile 8 or 9. I was going quite well for most of the race and feeling ok even though a number of the runners I passed were puffing and panting heavily.
The last mile did me in though. Up until mile marker 12 I was feeling comfortable (albeit very cold and wet) and relatively pain free. Past mile maker 12 however, my hamstrings started to give up and my pace dropped off. The last mile was closer to a 9 min mile, compared to a steady 8 min for most of the other apart from mile 10 which I managed a 7 min mile, unfortunately. I did finish and eventually hobbled back to the car.
I was cold and my legs were sore and I was tired. Not a good combination. Anyway car heater on with dry clothes did help but my lunch at a motor way services with a coke and a coffee definitely got me on the mend.
Right now my legs are still sore. More so than from Palma and Nottingham. I do wonder if the cold weather played a part in my legs not feeling so good, or maybe it was the lack of a warm up prior to the race. Either way, I’m pleased with my time but am surprised by the pain!