Today I’m creaking around the office looking a bit worse for wear, but it’s not just typical Monday morning blues… yesterday I ran the 2012 Bath Half Marathon!
I fell in love with Bath when my boyfriend (who hails from around those parts) took me there to visit the Roman baths and wander around the stunning Royal Crescent with its beautiful golden Bath stone buildings. It’s definitely a city you feel is rich with history and culture, and you can’t help but be enchanted by its warmth and beauty. Plus, Jane Austen lived here for a time, so it has great literary connections too!
I doubt Jane Austen debated running 13.1 miles around her beautiful city, but I did it anyway. The morning broke to a misty 6 degrees – perfect weather – but by the time the 11am starting gun went off it was bright sunshine and 15 degrees. I even got a little sunburnt!
I set off with a fellow runner who was planning a sub-2 hour pace. I kept up with her for the first two miles but realized she had gone off faster than I’d intended – almost a 8.55 minute pace, rather than the 9.05 I’d wanted. Still, I was feeling good and kept it up until the halfway point, and I crossed the line at 56minutes – on track for a sub-2 time. At around the time I crossed the halfway mark, I was passed by the first set of elite runner – and cheering them on gave me a little boost!
Unfortunately, a hill between miles 7-8 knocked time off me, and miles 9-10 were sluggish. Now I know why they say not to go off too fast, and those early quick miles were catching up to me. By mile 11, I knew I wasn’t going to make sub-2, and felt really demoralized. Luckily, just after the 12 mile marker I saw my boyfriend and his mum cheering me on, which gave me the energy to get up the last hill toward the finish line. I crossed over in good spirits (yup, there’s a smile on my face!) and gladly received my finisher’s medal!
A few hours later, after a celebratory Ben’s Cookie (soo yummy) and a delicious meal at the Crystal Palace pub in Bath, I looked up my official finishing time: 2:02:27. Okay, so not quite the sub-2 I was hoping for, but the last time I ran this race in 2010 I did it in 2:10:55 – so a good 8 mins or so off last time! One day, I will run that sub-2…