After my awful awful last marathon I decided that I needed to approach my next race very differently and actually have some fun and enjoy it, rather than slogging round with a time in mind.
The morning of St Alban’s half marathon arrived (I hadn’t even ran more than 6 miles since early May) and in a first for me – I left my Garmin at home and took of my watch so I would have no idea of the time at all.
I started off steady and having fun and then at about mile 2 or 3 I found a guy who was running his first ever half marathon, he’d only ran 14k before (for those imperial-minded amongst us a half marathon at 13.1 miles is 21.something-I-think-1 k) and was a little worried and hoping to come in under 2:30. I offered to run it with him, we stopped for a brief walk every now and again, I gave him some tips to tackle the uphills (“forget about your legs, just concentrate on pumping your arms backwards”), tonnes of encouragement and we finished in 02:01:58.
And I had a PB of my own – a race I really enjoyed. I had a lovely time both talking to my new friend and feeling like I was helping him. The course was great, very beautiful, spectacular organisation and I loved the mementos, a really nice technical t-shirt with big fun logo (I will snap a pic and add it), a medal and an ice lolly which in my hurry to wolf it down, I managed to stick my tongue to it. Ouch.
But to run without the pressure of a watch, knowing that my time was irrelevant because it was his time – wow, that was freedom!
Will probably do this race again; (maybe I will even race it). The next one is on Sunday June 12th 2016 – there is also a walking half marathon option which I think is a terrific idea and a 5k (which I think I could have got an age category place in as a senior woman – most adults who could run well did the half!).