With Stirling 10k a week behind me, and the Scottish Half Marathon looming ever nearer, I thought I’d better get a move on with my Haddington Half Marathon race recap!
I went into Haddington Half Marathon knowing that my training had been sub-par, but hoping for the best anyway. Sub 1:45 was unlikely, but I figured I might as well give it a bash. Mind over matter eh?
The course is a pretty hilly loop on country roads, but after a look at the elevation I reckoned the worst of it was over before halfway.
The plan was to get through 5 miles in 42 minutes, which would put me 2 minutes over the average of 8 minute miles I’d need to run for 1:45. Then, pick up the pace a little to make up time on the downhill & relatively flat final 8 miles. If you’re thinking that was naive of me, err, you’d be right…
The first few miles ticked by nicely and I felt pretty strong. You’d think by now I’d have learnt that feeling good less than halfway in means bugger all! Miles 4 & 5 were entirely uphill which isn’t the most fun but I knew there was a nice big downhill to compensate coming soon. My watch beeped for 5 miles at 41:30, well within target. 1:45 was still on the table.
Mile 1-5 splits: 8:01, 8:11, 8:05, 8:54, 8:19
The downhill came and with it, relief, but I have to admit that it didn’t feel quite as easy as I might have hoped! I knew Ricky – plus a water station – would be waiting at the 7 mile mark so that helped spur me on. I was still smiling at that point & still hoping for a new PB.
After the downhill, it mostly levels out until a sharp uphill at the start of mile 9. The climb itself is only about a quarter of a mile but even after making it to the top my legs just wouldn’t seem to move any faster! I realised I may have underestimated how much the smaller hills could take it out of you…
Mile 6-10 splits: 7:43, 7:50, 8:07, 8:31, 8:15
Right, just a 5k to go. Let’s do this! That’s what my mind was saying, buuut my body not so much. I wish I could say I pushed through the pain but, nope! After a downhill that felt harder than it should have, I was firmly in “just finish the bloody thing” mode.
I was quite content to carry on like this to the finish until, with a mile to go, I was overtaken by a woman I’d passed a few miles in. Nothing like a bit of competition, eh? I gritted my teeth and decided there was no way I was letting her finish ahead of me! I stuck close behind her until about half a mile to go and a wee downhill, when I slipped by. I’m pleased to report that she didn’t manage to chase me down, and I crossed the finish line in 1:47:38.
Mile 11-13.1 splits: 8:02, 8:54, 7:56, 0:52
Not a PB, and certainly nowhere near that elusive 1:45, but still a race I’m proud of. After Alloa where I didn’t push hard enough early on, I think I may have gone slightly the other way. Let’s see if I can land somewhere in the middle and come away with a new PB next Sunday!