On Sunday I ran my second half marathon of the year, the Swansea Half. It was organised for the second time this year and I ran it last year too. It is such a great course and event in general and I was very much looking forward to it.
I took the train there in the morning and was in a very good mood, 99% confident that I would break my pb by about 2 minutes, running it in 1:35.
My training hasn’t been very good these past months as I keep going from one injury to another and back again to the first injury but the past few weeks have been okay and I’ve even managed a couple of longish runs so I was quite optimistic about the race time. I did a Bath half marathon in March with what I thought was a lot less training and with a very injured leg and still ran 1:39, and Bath is hilly. So I was convinced that I’d run the Swansea’s flat course in at least 1:37 but more like 1:35.
Well the race started and the first two kilometers it was all great and everything was hunky dory and I was pacing myself well (I thought). By 3k I was starting to get stomach cramps but it was more of a discomfort than pain so I didn’t think it’d affect anything much. It was a very sunny, warm day and I hate running in warm weather and sunshine. I don’t know why but I seem to really struggle with it even if I am perfectly hydrated etc I still get very dizzy and nauseous easily. By half way point I had slowed down so much that I knew my goal time isn’t happening and I really just wanted to stop altogether. All I kept thinking was that I have never not finished so didn’t want this to be the first time. The nausea and feeling afwul got worse and worse so I slowed down massively and had to stop in a race for the first time. Well first time apart from London Marathon 2014 where I experienced exactly those same feelings just a bit more intense and ended up collapsing. So I guess I’ve learnt from my mistakes and I actually made myself stop on Sunday before collapsing. My legs almost gave up when I stopped but managed to stay up and stretch and drink water even though I felt like puking. After few minutes I took off again just slowly plodding away. It was almost like running with a terrible hungover. I felt afwul til the end and even 2 k before the finish I had to stop again as I thought I’d faint if I didn’t. I sound like such a drama queen but it was truly afwul 🙂
Eventually finished in 1:44, which isn’t a bad time. But considering I was convinced I could run 1:35 I was massively disappointed. And half marathon being my favourite distance I was so frustrated that this felt so bad. I am most annoyed about why it happened though, as I don’t understand how I can feel so afwul because of the heat and sun when it’s not like it was super warm and 30 degrees or anything… Ah well. Maybe I just have to run in the sun more to get used to it and wear a cap. Or just run when it’s cold 😀
Definitely looking forward to running and training now, after such disappointing race I feel more motivated to run. I haven’t actually signed up for any races at the moment but that will have to change soon. So if anyone has any suggestions for good races, let me know!
I did my first 10k race on Sunday and thought I’d post my first race recap here.
I have raced a 5k twice and half marathons and marathons a bit more but never a 10k. I sort of had a feeling it would be a tough distance to run and my lovely friend Minna kept telling me that too and warning it’s gonna be afwul (thanks :D). And she was right, it was afwul. Maybe it was the fact that my knee had been playing up and I had to take a week of running prior to the race or the pacing or both but it felt tough as.
It was an event in Bute Park organised by Women’s Running Magazine and despite the rainy and windy conditions the whole organization and race was great.
I started off very excited and very quick at the start together with 3 other women. I looked at my watch and realised I’m running faster splits than my best 5k time but was too ambitious to slow down at first. I hang on with the first three runners for about 1k and then passed the third one. After about 2k the front two runners were starting to disappear to the distance and I thought they must’ve really picked up the pace. Looking down at my Garmin I realised it was me who had slowed down drastically. At around 4k mark I was completely done, I felt afwul and literally just wanted to give up. All the typical negative thoughts in my head telling me how I can’t cope it’s too hard I won’t even stay third the person behind me will overtake me soon I won’t get my goal time etc etc.. Until the marathon runner and a future sport psychologist in me remembered the power of positive self-talk and how it’s all in the head, eventually starting to repeat the “I can I can I can”.
Whenever the wind got tough I also reminded mysef that everyone else has that wind too, it’s not like it’s just me who will be affected by it and there’s no point in worrying about the external things you can’t control. A cyclist who went past me at one point informed me I’m third (which I knew but in a way gave me that extra boost I needed). JP was there to support me as well and because it was running laps I saw him three times which definitely helped.
I slowed down massively towards the end and my 1k time between 8 and 9k was slower than my average time for a half marathon last year, showing how badly my pacing went. I really should have stuck with the slower pace from the start but oh well.. Live and learn aye.
My goal time was 42-43 minutes (quite ambitious I guess) and did not happen. It was windy and had some very steep U-turns and some running on the grass which added to the time a little bit but excuses aside, the main reason I didn’t get my goal time was just the lack of fitness and afwul pacing 😀
Ended up running 44:17 and managed to keep my third place. Lucky for me all the “real” and elite runners were in Bristol doing the 10k so I got on the podium. Got awarded with bottle of Prosecco and a pair of Skechers which definitely made up for not running my goal time.