(It is a full recap, but it was a half marathon)
So we headed off on Saturday to a few National Trust places, and then went to Oxford for a bit of shopping and some dinner. We went to Pizza Express and I had a new salad- it was delicious- spinach, lettuce, roasted squash, lentils, cucumber, mozzarella, avocado, pine nuts and balsamic- yum.
When we got to our hotel I got my kit out- it has been so warm recently so I didn’t have to decide- capris and a vest it was. I checked the pacing for 2.15 (10.18 miles) which I thought would be realistic- I knew the course was not flat so wasn’t aiming for a pb.
This morning we got up early, had some malt loaf for breakfast, and then I had to drop Andy off at the station (he was originally meant to be running too, but then the football changed to Sunday so he couldn’t) and then drove to the start. I had plenty of time, well, I thought I did. I was about 2 miles away with 40 mins to go, but then the traffic was solid. I drove in to the grounds at 10.28 am, and heard the starting horn as I was being directed to park my car. I had a bag of things for the donation station, but had to leave them in the car and sprint to the start. Luckily they were still letting people start, and I think I was about 7 minutes late when I got there.
I took this at the end!
The run itself was gorgeous- the grounds were so pretty and the sun was shining, some of the leaves were turning and there were plenty of people out walking and supporting.
Just before 2 miles the 10 mile marker was out, which I think was not good psychologically as it started me thinking about the end, plus I hen knew any tough uphill bits would have to be done again.
But, I found it tough. It was undulating, but some of the ups and downs, although short, were pretty steep (I find it hard to run normally on steep downhill sections). It was also very very warm indeed.
The first couple of miles were fast, I think as I was panicking about nearly missing the start. I was also thirsty (I was going to have a drink in the car before the start, but it was in the boot and there was no time)- at the 5 mile point I had some water from a station, which helped a bit. Up until 7 miles I was on target for my finishing time, but then I started to get really tight legs and felt quite tired. I had half a pack of jelly beans with me (left over from the St Albans half) so I had those, but then that left me with a horrible sugar taste in my mouth. By the time I reached the next water station at 11 miles I was gasping, so I walked and made sure I drank quite a few sips before carrying on.
For the last mile and a bit I could hear the tannoy from the finishing area, but it felt like I was a long way away. The final part was uphill- right through the finishers arch and beyond, so I had no hope of a sprint finish. I stopped my Garmin on 2.16 something, so I am pretty pleased seeing as it was so hot. I saw so many people being treated by paramedics, and several ambulances went past. At the finishers area there were more people being treated too- I think the warm weather took people by surprise.
I sat on the grass for a bit and admired my medal.
After half an hour of the half marathon, a 10K race started too (took me a while to work out why there was k markers as well as mile markers) so when I was finishing, so were some 10K runners. The medal it just a plain one-it doesn’t say the date or race or anything (although the ribbon does).
The Palace looked so impressive in the sunshine.
And the grounds looked lovely too.
But I was conscious that I had a long drive back home. I was going to change in the tent, but because of being late I had not left my clothes with the bag check. I picked up my t-shirt (no time before- they wanted people to wear them whilst running but they were cotton). I was wandering around the fields for a while before I found my car, so by that point I couldn’t be bothered to walk back to the village. A group of runners stopped me to check my medal as they had also run the half marathon and were miffed that their medals were the same as the 10K ones!
My car was away from the path, so I changed my clothes then (the big cotton t-shirt came in handy then, as did my baby wipes) and sat in another traffic jam on the way out! I had packed a clif bar, so had that and some nuun in some water while I was in the queue.
At about half 3 I was so hungry, so stopped off at Starbucks for some food, but in the end it was so busy I decided to just take it home with me.
So, this was my post half-marathon lunch, at 4pm! So delicious though- the icing on the cinnamon roll had orange peel in it (I am sure they used to have lemon peel??).
Then I showered, put a wash on, and lay on the sofa catching up on Strictly.
Andy just got back from the football and we are having a pizza for tea. Phew.
And thank you to everyone who has sponsored me- don’t forget to email your address to me so I can send you a thank you.