The Peterborough Half Marathon and its aftermath!

This week started, on a Sunday of course, with the Peterborough Half Marathon (or the Perkins Great Eastern Run to give it its official name).  And what a wonderful run it was.  Who thought I’d ever say that about a half-marathon – or running 13.1 miles?  But it was.  Liz and I cut it very fine to get to the start on time, partly because of queues for the car park but mainly because there were not enough loos and there was no way we could run without “going”.   We almost didn’t find Linda – in fact, we only met up with her after the gun when we were moving through the pens towards the start line.  But I think that not having any time to stand around and wait, stopped me getting as nervous as I might have been or from getting cold.

Off we went!  And despite all our good intentions we did of course go off rather faster than we intended.  Our aim was to run each mile in 10 minutes.  We ran our first mile in 9:14 and the second in 9 minutes.  Oops!  We did on occasion try to slow down but we just couldn’t.  The course is flat, and it was good to run when I had no idea where I was or where I was going.  The crowds were supportive and the weather was the best we could hope for – no wind and never cold.  Because Linda, Liz and I had started near the back, we overtook stacks of people throughout the whole run.  For the first half of the race we chatted away merrily, kept trying in vain to slow down a bit and had a super time.  For the second half we were definitely quieter and our pace did drop with each mile that went by but even so we never took longer than 9:52 to run a mile.  I felt quite tired between 9 and 12 miles but then when I saw the 12 mile marker (and they were all significantly later than the mile beeps on my watch) I suddenly got a second wind and did a wee sprint for the final half a mile, with Liz and Linda hot on my heels.  Melinda and Sophie from the club were on the home straight and it was great to get that final bit of encouragement to get me to the line.

Here I am approaching the finish!

Here I am approaching the finish!

And our time?  I finished in 2:05:48, well inside the bronze club standard time of 2:18:00.  And I felt good!  Our average pace was 9:29 min/mile.  Oddly the course seemed rather longer than 13.1 miles – my watch measured the distance as 13.3 miles so I suppose we must not have taken the shortest line through the bends and made detours to get water?

I enjoyed the whole day so much – the run itself, the company of Linda and Liz, the support of other club members, the lunch afterwards on the way home that it left me raring to go for some more events.

Monday: Slump on the Sofa day

Tuesday: Efforts on the field at club – not that much effort was made as my legs were still tired but it was good to get out and stretch them a bit.  I was thinking though, that when I do efforts in the future I must make use of the lap button on my watch so I can see how quickly I run the actual effort parts as the overall average pace is pretty meaningless when we all jog and walk on the recoveries.  It will be interesting to see just what the pace is for the various parts of the session.  So I need to work out how to use that properly.

Wednesday: I did my longest ever solo cycle ride – 49.9 miles (my previous longest was 48.6 miles so it wasn’t a lot further) I’m not sure this was a sensible thing to have embarked on just days after a half-marathon but cycling uses different muscles and I was not riding quickly.  I enjoyed it but my legs were indeed very tired for the final 10 miles or so.  But it was good to be back on the bike and I was pleased that I managed to navigate the VCN Goodies route successfully, only getting slightly lost once.
(49.9 miles at an average speed of 15.2mph, ave HR 133)

Thursday: rest day with a lovely leg massage from Carolyn Weston in Dereham.

Friday: rest day

Saturday: Catton Parkrun.  This was the first time I had run at Catton and whilst my legs felt tired still, I liked this course.  It is more interesting and less congested than Eaton Park and you run on a variety of different surfaces and through little wooded areas as well as through open parkland.  It also has a bit of a hill and doesn’t involve running laps to the same degree.  It is one I will definitely do again as it can’t be a lot further from the house than Eaton Park and more people from Club go there so it was nice to have people to chat to.  I ran round with Linda and Mark – as usual rather more quickly than we intended!!
(3.1 miles at ave pace of 9:18 min/mile, ave HR 151)

Weekly mileage

Cycling: 66.9 miles
Running: 21.3 miles