Sorry I have been so lazy on the blogging front, but after nearly two months off I have great news to report! I PB'd at Bristol and what a surprising and big PB it was too. Made it round in 1:36:21 a PB of over 3 minutes!
My training had gone ok. But my promise of 8 long runs before Bristol never happened. I think I managed 2. So my expectations prior to the race were low. Felt a time of 1:38 - 1:45 was the most likely result. My 5K and 10K PB's had tumbled in recent months but I felt the lack of long runs would realistically mean a HM PB would be beyond me. Thankfully I was wrong.
My prep in the days before the race went well. Some gentle runs, a good healthy Spag Bol on Saturday night and stayed on water not the beer. Also managed to get an early night. Woke up feeling nervous but good Sunday only to see threatening grey clouds outside the window. As me and Lauren walked down to the race start the rain started to come down. Wasn't too heavy but not ideal.
I got to the start area before Pete and couldn't find him before the gun went. I got a great position near the front and so was over the start line within 10 seconds. The first couple of miles I took it easy, let people pass me which was an unusal feeling. I'm usually further back and so am overtaking people throughout the race.
Pete found me after a couple of miles and he fell into stride alongside me. After his 65 miles in a day only a few weeks ago Pete didn't have a fast time or a PB on his mind and so we ran together. I thought it would only be for a couple of miles, but he then decided to pace me round for my PB. It was a real help! I've never run with someone in a race before and it kept me motivated and running strong as the rain continued to fall. We saw Lauren and Pete's mum at the 10 mile mark as we came back into the city centre for a push before the final 5k.
I started to tire as you do in the final couple of miles. But then Pete stepped in for some motivational words. The last mile was a real struggle, physically and mentally. Hearing the finishing announcer and crowd 1/2 a mile from home and curving around away from them was depressing. But as we turned for home and got onto the paved surface I had a second wind and me and Pete kicked for home. We were going like a train when they decided to let some spectators cross so we had to navigate an improvised little chicane but then we were running hard under the finish line. Job done!
Was a great weekend. Dinner with Lauren, Amy and Cole at a South African restaurant Friday night. A pleasant Saturday evening in Bristol with Lauren for a meal and the cinema. Then the fantastic race with Pete to finish a brilliant weekend. Hope to bring you more good news next week after the Great North Run.