The runs I have done since VLM, have been just that, runs, not races I like to refer to them as events, more challenges to my mind and body.
Today however was a race. The third time of doing The Great West Run. I was nervous and did not sleep, I knew this was because this one ‘mattered’. It mattered to me, I wanted a better time, I was worried it was going to elude me.
I had been weather watching all week. Yesterday they were saying, torrential rains, high winds and lightning! This was not helping my nerves. All night I could hear the rain and the wind blowing, but fortunately the BBC got it wrong and come 9 am the rain had cleared, and the sky was blue.
The club had lots of runners doing this half marathon also, we chatted nervously at the start.
I struggled with my mind on this one. Having team mates who were meant to be running a slower pace than me (they said) messed with my mind. Run your own race Shaz, I kept telling myself, keep the pace steady. It was warm in the sun and very humid. Keep in the shade Shaz. The constant undulations played havoc with any ideas I had with keeping a pace. Run to how you feel Shaz. Give it some effort on the downs, while you can Shaz. Seeing the 2 hour pacer run off in to the distance, well that was tough seriously is a 2 hour pacer not meant to get in at 2 hours not under two hours? Get up this hill Shaz and then it is all down hill to the finish, to your girls and a bottle of diet coke, look at the time you can do this.
And you know what I did it. 3mins 28 second PB on this course (not a half marathon PB though sadly). I had forgotten how tough it is, I must remember that for next year and opt for the flatter Cardiff one. I remembered the big hill, but forgot the undulations all the way round. It nearly broke me, but I won in the end.