Tag Archives: racing

Cardiff World Half Marathon Race Recap

Helloooo!!

I know it’s been a while and I haven’t really been writing here.. Just been busy and it hasn’t been my priority unfortunately. But I did want to come and report about the half marathon yesterday because I like looking back on the race recaps and compare then.

So yesterday was the World Half Marathon Championships in Cardiff. My aim was to break my pb and ideally I wanted a time of 1:35, that’s what I’ve been aiming for and trained for. But to come up with excuses (haha) I was ill not long ago with a very chesty cough and had to take two weeks off. I’m still suffering from that cough a little bit and I guess it did affect my running because in the first runs back I had to take a break after 2km because I was so exhausted. Also, last week I did the 5km race missing a pb, and really struggled to keep the pace I thought I was capable of which really didn’t fill me with confidence for the half. Then again, I managed a 12km tempo in 4:30 pace couple of weeks before and it didn’t feel too bad. It’s the pace I was aiming to get 1:35.  Before my last half in August I managed a 10km run in 4:30 and it was sooo hard yet I still ran a 1:37ish for the half. So even though part of me wasn’t believing that 1:35 was achievable at Cardiff yesterday the other part was convinced it was doable. Does that make sense?

But then the weather… Wales really showed itself in all its glory yesterday. It was cold,windy and rainy. I mean I don’t mind running in the cold, and rain isn’t that bad either but they were forecasting winds of 40miles/hour and running in that isn’t great. When I saw the weather I started to seriously doubt my chances of a pb.

In the morning yesterday (race didn’t start til 2pm) everything was hurting, I had weird niggles and pains in my knee, achilles, foot.. I wasn’t sure if I was being paranoid or if I was actually in pain. Typical race day morning I guess. The women’s elite field started first and then the mass race started same time as the men’s elite race.

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I made sure to stick with the 4:30 pace from the very start and not get carried away with the atmosphere. I have definitely learnt from my last half (here). Usually the pace feels really easy from the start but I found it quite hard from the very beginning. I guess you’ll know from quite early if you’re going to have a great race or not. By the time we’d ran about 5km I knew it was going to be hard.. it wasn’t even that windy yet but it really felt like I had to work for that pace. I occasionally went slower than the 4:30 but I told myself I’d just negative split and catch up on the second half so didn’t worry too much. By the time we hit half way I did the maths and knew that 1:35 was still doable if I made sure not to drop the pace. At some time around 12-13km a torrential downpour started with horrandeous wind and I was just conveniently crossing a bridge. I didn’t know whether to cry or laugh it was sooo bad. Everyone pretty much turned their heads to the side because the rain/hail was so painful coming from the side. It only lasted for about a minute or two but it made sure that I was completely drenched from head to toe. My shoes felt so much heavier after all the rain had got in them it was ridiculous. At that point I really regretted having shorts and top on as well because it was so cold.

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Anyway I survived and then the wind and rain calmed down a bit again. I saw JP around 14km. I was feeling okay at this point and even smiled at him although in the below photo I look like a crazy person 😀

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After that I thought well it’s only 6km and all I need to do is keep the 4:30 pace to make it 1:35. How hard can it be? Well the wind picked up again and my legs started to feel heavy and suddenly when I felt like I was running 4:30 pace (the effort was definitely there) to my annoyance I saw I was running 4:45 pace. It was so frustrating. I swear my legs were going the same pace and it felt so hard but I just couldn’t pick up the pace. I guess the wind had an effect. We looped around Roath park and this is where I’ve been doing all my runs basically so I kept trying to push because it was such familiar grounds but for some reason my body just wasn’t doing what my brain told it to do. The next few km’s were so much slower that I knew 1:35 had slipped away. My only focus was to make sure I can get 1:36. There’s a bit of downhill in the last few kilometers as well which I was so thankful for, however the wind was against us at that point which made the downhill running slower too. Anyhow, I got to the last bridge just before you turn to the finish and realised how close I am to not getting 1:36 time so the last bit of the course was definitely my fastest bit. I made it in 1:36:48.

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My splits were: 4:29,4:31,4:32,4:31,4:32,4:35,4:28,4:30,4:29,4:33,4:31,4:32,4:33,4:34,4:32,4:39,4:41,4:39,4:34,4:42,4:24 and then 4:11 pace for the last 300meters.

It’s a small pb, exactly 34 seconds from my last half marathon pb that I set in Cardiff at that exact same course in October 2014 (in a lot better weather though!!) I’ve been trying to break that pb many times in 2015 and never managed so even though yesterday’s time wasn’t what I wanted, it’s still proved me that the 1:37:22 time wasn’t unbreakable 🙂

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My runs in 2015

Hello,

Since I’ve figured that I won’t be racing anymore this year (thanks knee!) and at the moment I’m unsure whether I’ll even run properly this year, I thought I’d share with you my runs so far this year in between my injuries.

In January I was training for Paris Marathon and on one of my longer runs my right ITB got extremely sore and from then on I battled with that pain on and off for few months.

I still ran a Bath half marathon in March even though it wasn’t my wisest of decisions (when are they ever?). I really wanted to beat George since we had pbs that were few seconds apart (mine was faster ;)) and I really liked Bath half the year before. My ITB was super sore from the start but I somehow finished in 1:39, which I was disappointed with at the time but thinking about it now, I hardly trained the 2 months leading to the race and I was only 2 minutes off my pb. George ran 1:36 something so I still have to beat him.

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Two weeks later my ITB wasn’t any better but there was an annual Swansea Trotters 5k event where current and graduated Swansea University students race against each other. The two previous years I’ve been too injured to run and I thought if I’ve managed a half marathon with the pain I can suffer through 5k. I managed 21:06 which ended up being my 5k pb. Very surprised again since I had hardly trained. I was happy with that time but it left me very eager to try and get sub 21 next time.

marina5kMy ITB got worse and worse and I eventually realised that Paris marathon in April was never going to happen. Everything was booked for me and Minna already but she got an injury too and neither of us could run it. The disappointment was massive since Paris Marathon is meant to be amazing but I think because Minna couldn’t run it either it helped to share the disappointment. We went to Paris and even to the marathon expo and had a great time just minus the little 42 kilometer run.

My ITB slowly got better when I actually let it rest and strengthened my glutes/hips etc.. I started back running in April and entered my first 5 mile race at the start of May; the Cardiff Bay 5 mile. I hadn’t done much longer runs (think longest was 10k up to that point) and the 5 mile race (8k) proved quite difficult. I ran it in 35:27. I hadn’t run a 5 mile race or even 10ks before so didn’t know what to compare it to really so I was pretty happy with that.

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Around this time I started getting my left knee pain (which is still an ongoing issue)… But few weeks later I ran my first ever 10k at the women’s running event.  I had started my blog by then so I actually have a race recap of that here. It was my first 10k so a guaranteed pb. I ran 44:17 which I was disappointed with timewise as I thought I could do closer to 42-43 minutes but I got a third place so happy overall. And I remember my knee didn’t hurt which was a bonus.

10kraceMiddle of June I ran my next half marathon, the Swansea one. I did it last year too and had high expectations as I knew it was a great flat course. Also, I thought I was in a lot better shape than for the Bath half in March and was 99% sure I could get a pb. The race recap is here. In summary, it was my worst half marathon ever. It was a warm day, I felt nauseous and dizzy and had to stop twice (first time in a half marathon). My time was 1:44 which I was majorly disappointed with because of my own high expectations. The only positive thing was that my knee held on and didn’t ache.

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I wanted to race more so I signed up for a 5k race in Port Talbot in July and was looking to get that sub 21. Unfortunately that didn’t happen as I ran 21:17 on a very windy day (excuses).  Race recap here.

Disappointment from the Swansea half left me looking for another half as I was convinced I could run a pb for that distance this year. I ended up doing the Severn Bridge half at the end of August. My knee pain was on and off at this point, it was very sore the week of the half but not during the race. The recap is here. I ran 1:37:38 which was 16 seconds off my pb. If I was disappointed with Swansea half I was definitely disappointed with missing out on a pb by so little. I do have to say that the course was extremely hilly and I had to walk up the steepest hill, plus I started off too fast so my own fault too.

Always happy to finish.And then it was finally time for the marathon. Gutted for missing out on Paris I decided to opt for a more “local” race in Chester on the 4th of October. My knee pain had made training difficult at times but I felt ready enough to tackle the distance. The race recap is here. It was a pb by 9 minutes and overall a very successful race. My knee hurt at the start but then eased off and I was very grateful I managed to run it. I had a major runner’s high for a long time after the race but my knee decided to have an all time low…

chestermaraIt has been just over a month since the marathon and I’ve tried very gentle running but it still hurts. Yesterday I managed 2 times 5 minute-segments and thought it was getting better only to notice it was worse afterwards. So no more races for this year but plenty planned for next year which I will tell you more about later (after I know I can actually run again).

Overall, I am quite happy with the year despite missing out on Paris and some pbs I still managed few good runs in between the injuries.

Let’s hope next year is faster and more importantly, injury-free!

Have a great week guys!

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