The Vitality half marathon was my first real goal of the year. It would be the first time I have ever run this distance and I wanted to know how it would feel considering my movements to Ironman racing. I had a few unanswered questions in my head going into this one, mainly due to my form.
I have to say my preparation hasn’t been what I’d call great. I signed up for this around Christmas time knowing I had plenty of time to get ready. As mentioned in a previous post, I had also joined my local running club as I really wanted to work on my running this year. So what didn’t go to plan?
Firstly, I had two injuries to deal with. Nothing major, but the first started just after xmas on the inside of my left knee. This was a combination of increasing the use of my fins in the pool and running hard during track sessions. Icing, massage and stretching seemed to sort this but it meant no running for 2/3 weeks. The other injury was a recurrence of a problem I have with my hip flexor and knee. It results in a tightness and pulling in the knee area. This is easily sorted as I know how to manage it when it flairs up. This I owe to a great physio I went to see some time ago. On top of this, I had two bouts of illness. Bloody annoying! So you may be wondering how much training I actually did?
Well, most weeks consisted of two runs a week. I slowly increased my longer run but could not stick to the 10% increase a week as I didn’t have time. I was comfortably running around 6 miles and had set a PB in one of the 10k races I ran in February. My longest run was 9 miles – and I only did this twice. So you can see why I had questions in my head…Will my injuries hold up?…Can I complete the distance?…What sort of time can I do?
Originally I had planned on trying to run 1:45 for this but there was no way I was going to get anywhere near with the minimal preparation. I settled on somewhere nearer to 2 hours.
It was cold when I arrived at Wembley.
Once I dropped my bag off and made my way to the start those questions kept buzzing around my head. It is a race that is well organised and this year you got to finish in Wembley stadium. I would also add that if you are thinking of a half marathon, this is a good one to do, although I’m not sure it is easiest you could pick. It is hilly! Some of those hills are steep. Up and down, Up and down!
Overall I was pleased with my performance. My questions were all answered with positive results. Knee and hip – no problem. Completion – tick. Time – 2 hours, 4 mins and 2 seconds. No need to stop and the tanacious traits came out on those hills. Stats below: