Last week I ran the St Albans Half Marathon. It was my first run back after a 10-week period, where life got in the way, and training took a back seat. Not saying I didn’t train, but it was inconsistent. There were some weeks, for example the week I moved house, when I only managed nine miles, and on another week I got up to my usual output and knocked out 65 miles. Most weeks I was managing to run around 40 miles a week. But it was the inconsistency and lack of racing that meant I knew I wouldn’t be running a PB!
Right, that’s the excuses! June’s theme on the bug is nutrition, and your live experiment is proof that you really should try to have breakfast and not eat a Chinese or drink alcohol the night before a race. Feeling like my blood sugar levels were dipping it was fortunate I had time to find a garage and buy a cereal bar, with a relatively slow release of carbs. As I’d arrived 90 minutes early I had time to kill and found a stall selling jelly-beans, for guaranteed quick release during the race (they worked, like rocket fuel at mile seven).
There were the usual long queues for the loos, but other than that it was a smooth start. I ran the first mile at sub 1.30 race pace, but I didn’t run at that pace with ease, which indicated I would find this one a tough one! But the truth is I’ve run more races where I don’t feel 100 per cent, than not, so I relaxed by seeing what I could do, rather than what I couldn’t.
I’ve heard the course described as tough, but I don’t think it was particularly. It was undulating, but I think that’s ideal for a half marathon, and where there are ups, there are downs. St Albans is a lovely City, a former Roman town (Verulamium) 22 miles from London, steeped in history and because of its location, money!
The race, this year in it’s 30th year, reminded me of nearby Watford Half, but was marginally prettier, with plenty of variety along the route, a nice mix of town and villages.
Once the race was finished I was amazed at how quickly Race Ahead got the all important race results out. I literally crossed the line, got my bag and the result had been texted to me, at 11.35am, (I’d run 1.33.31 on the gun – so less than 90 seconds!)
Sport Cam were slightly slower in getting the photos out, but not unreasonable when you consider there are 3,000 of us to plough through.
I was notified by a facebook friend, Nigel Sheppard, that my pic was live: ‘There's a nice picture from St Albans of me overtaking you just before the final bend ;-)’ he told me… Grr, this time Nigel, this time!
PS… Not overjoyed with my time, I was pleasantly surprised to discover I’d won the V35 prize of £100 and was fifth woman!
Did you run St Alban’s – how did you rate it?
Did you like the course?
Did you find it too humid – did you agree with the race director that might explain the five minutes difference between this and last year’s winning times?
Do you like running Half Marathons at this time of year – do you, like me, wish there were more summer Half Marathon races to choose from?
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