Half Marathons… and Brecon Beacons

Half marathon, that wonderful 21,1 kilometres  race was my very first race I entered after I started running in 2011. At the time it was all about finishing the course as I had never exceeded 16km in training. I ran the Llanelli Half in 2012, had a goal of under 2 hours and managed it in 1:53. I was instantly hooked and signed up for a full one that Autumn. It took me until 2014 to run my next half due to breaking my ankle and struggling with injuries in between.

The next one was in Bath and I was very excited to break my pb which I knew should be easy considering I had never even ran beyond 16km for the first one and when preparing for Bath I was also training for London Marathon meaning I was doing runs way longer than 21,1km. I got badly injured before the half but ran it anyway in 1:42.  During that half I realised how much I love the distance. As much as I enjoy running marathons and shorter distances occasionally as well, I do think half marathon is the perfect distance. Maybe it’s because I’m not a huge fan of running fast like you would have to in 5ks and 10ks but I like to run long. Half marathon is long enough to make you run it in a decent pace but not all out and also short enough that it doesn’t require as much from you as a marathon. It’s also long enough to make you feel like you’ve accomplished something.

That same year 2014 I managed few more pbs.. I did Swansea half in that July but due to lack of training and my pretty bad lifestyle at the time I didn’t improve my time. A month later in Finland I ran a 1:39 finally getting my sub 1:40 which I was very happy with. The course had fair bit of downhill making me think it wasn’t a “proper” pb. In October I ran Cardiff half, which didn’t have that downhill advantage and managed a 1:37:22. My current pb which I accepted as “proper” pb 😀

This year I’ve not had much luck with half marathons. I did Bath half again in March, I injured myself beforehand and lacked all the long runs in training so didn’t break my pb but ran 1:39 anyway. Few months later in June I did the Swansea half again and this time I had done a bit longer training runs, I was still struggling with injuries but regardless I thought I was a lot fitter than for the Bath half and with a flat course I was optimistic that I would break my pb. The recap of the race is here. Long story short, it was the worst half I’ve ever raced. I felt nauseous and dizzy and had to stop 3 times in order to avoid collapsing. So no pbs.

I’ve been very annoyed at my this year’s half marathons and after a long consideration (due to my injuries) I have just entered my next half which will be in less than two weeks; the Severn Bridge Half. I am pretty excited because I have a good feeling about finally breaking my last year’s pb and having a successful half for this year. My slight concern is that I am struggling with a knee injury AND the course is meant to be really hilly. I’m just hoping the hilliness doesn’t affect my time too much. There isn’t many other halfs that would fit in my schedule at the moment until next year and I really don’t want to wait until then for my favourite distance. So fingers crossed I’ve made the right decision and my legs are ready for a half marathon pb. 🙂

Anyone else love the half marathon?

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On a separate note, me and JP went hiking in Brecon Beacons the other day. It is so beautiful there I’d highly recommend.  Here’s some photos:

 

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