Freckleton Half Marathon – 21st June 2015
I looked forward to doing Freckleton Half Marathon as I should have done it last year for its 50th anniversary but was unfortunately injured so when it came up on the club run list, I was thrilled as it was a run I really fancied doing.
I’ll be honest, in the weeks leading up to the run I hadn’t trained nearly enough, life/kids/work had all taken priority and the longest run I’d managed was 10 miles and that was a major effort so apart from my normal club training runs and a weekly 6 miler, that was all I was managing. In hindsight I simply wasn’t trained enough to do this run but I misguidedly thought that as I’d already done 3 half marathons I’d be fine and I’d get round – how wrong I was!!!!
Nerves always get me at the start of a run (I always say run, not race because quite honestly I’m never racing anyone!) but I felt particularly edgy on Sunday. Having the start time of 2pm didn’t help either as that just gave me all day to fret and panic. A disturbed sleep the night before with a poorly child and the fact that I hadn’t plugged my watch in to charge overnight added to my anxiety, this run was not going to go well!! We lined up at the start and I could have thrown up, “why do I do this to myself?” I thought “I don’t even enjoy being competitive!!” We set off and I just panicked – I ran as fast as I’ve ever ran, I did my first 5k in 26 minutes (a record for me!), booom I was flying. I had uncomfortable underwear on that gave me a wedgie of epic proportions from 3 miles onwards, not ideal but I was fired up so had to keep going. 10k was done in 55 minutes, again another record for me but I was tired already and my head was telling me that I couldn’t carry on like this. I knew the course was going to be undulating but it felt like it’d been uphill all the way, my calves screamed and I felt heavier and heavier as the weather got hotter.
I took a drink from the water station at 6 miles and gulped it down, bad move as I developed such a bad stitch that it stopped me in my tracks, I waved Bev and Andy on as I knew I couldn’t run through it and then I did something I’ve not done since my first half marathon 2 years ago – I stopped! Well that was it really, my head had won and I just couldn’t get my rhythm back, I tried to get running again but had slowed down to a snails pace, the heat was getting to me, my stitch was still niggling, in truth I was completely miserable. I had a second wind at 9 miles and felt ok again but then at 10.5 miles my hip started kicking off and by this point I was done. I labored on the final 3 miles in pain intermittently stopping to pound my hip and the last 200 metres was hell.
Usually the sight of my husband and kidlets inspires me to push on but that just made me feel weepy and I could hear people shouting my name and encouraging me on which is always lovely (apologies I didn’t see who and I wasn’t in a good place to respond). I got over the line but instead of feeling my usual sense of elatedness and satisfaction, I just felt complete and utter disappointment in myself. No other way to put it but it was a rubbish, soul destroying run.
Yes, this is a pretty negative write up of a race I should have enjoyed but if nothing else I learned a very valuable lesson yesterday – you get what you put in. I didn’t do enough to get round comfortably so I need to have a better strategy for my next half in September, starting with preparation – get the training right, get the nutrition right and get the gear right (I’ve thrown away my uncomfy undercrackers already!).
Onwards and upwards!