When I signed up for Janathon at the end of December last year, I did it in the hope it would give me the kick up the arse I needed to get fit and lose some weight. I didn’t sign up thinking I was going to make friends, or with the intention of completing 8 races this year, or of turning into a running nut and yet all those things have happened. Every one of my runs this year have been completed with someone I have met through Janathon (Alma, Kim, Louise, Shaz and Ciaran so far and the best one is coming up next month with those poeple (except Shaz – don’t go there) plus Rachel, Helen, Cathy, Shaun, Adele and probably a billion others I have forgotten. I also met 6 or 7 other Janathoners at the Janathon meet up in February. When I say it has changed my life I am not joking or exaggerating. It really has. I would not have done half of those races without Alma, and I wouldn’t have met Alma if it wasn’t for Janathon. Today was no exception…she and Kim got me trough the last 2 miles when the wheels had fallen off and I am so grateful to them. And of course to Cathy the brilliant organiser of said Janathon (and Juneathon, and hopefully post RPH meet up!) as without her none of it would have happened.
So, here is a little race report for you.
The day started out a little stressy, Hubby and I were in Abbeywood and needed to get to Greenwich, all approach roads were closed, no buses were running. Eventually I decided to get as close as possible and walk the rest, so my warm up was a 2 mile walk (which I also had to walk back AFTER the race I might add!). Eventually I got to the race area, met up with Alma, dropped bags, stuffed the last of my banana down, q’d in a veerrry long loo q then met up with Kim in the White pen which was the last one to set off.
As is usual at these events we were waiting around for 30 minutes or so before we got moving, which gave us plenty of time to decide our strategy. For all 3 of us the focus was to finish strong, and with it looking to be a very hot day that meant going slowly until at least mile 8 or 9 to conserve our energy. We decided to aim to keep our pace at about 11m 30s and I was to be pacemaster as I had borrowed my friends garmin specially for that reason.
We eventually set off at around 10.25 and straight away realised that staying slow enough was going to be our biggest issue. I must’ve said slow down at least once a minute for the 1st 15 minutes so much so that I was bored of saying it so gawd knows how the other two felt having to hear it! The only splits I have for the race are the ones provided by the chip timing, so here they are:
3m: We hit the 3 mile point in 32 52 – my fastest ever 5k time YAY – PB number one of the day! My previous 5k PB is 34 20. I got a lovely surprise – my hubby, my Mum and her partner standing on the roundabout with a HUGE Go Carla banner which we saw from about half a mile away! It was lovely having them there and made us all go a little bit faster – we were already somewhat faster than our planned 11m 30 miles…
6m: We slowed down a little bit between 3 – 6 miles the section took us 35 24. My cheering team managed to get themselves to miles 4 AND mile 5 which was just brilliant and made me feel very special!! This made our total so far 1hr 08m 16s – YAY – PB number two of the day, my previous 10k record is 1hr 09m 16s
Mile 6 – 7 was the long hill and this felt the longest and hardest mile up to this point. I started to wobble a little bit – the heat and the hill got to me, so we walked up it then started a much slower jog.
9m The section from 6 – 9 took us 36 57, yes we were getting slower! But we walked most of that hill, it was very hot and we stopped for a loo break.
10 miles – we hit the 10m point at 1hr 54 min – YAY – PB number THREE for me as my previous 10m time is 1hr 56m. We were starting to think maybe a sub 2hr 30m time was on the cards…
10-11 was a wonderful downhill through Greenwich park – wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
Mile 11 was where the wheels fell off for me. I couldn’t catch my breath, I was hot, thirsty, I felt weak and I just wanted to walk. Kim and Alma were wonderful – I tried to tell them to bugger off, that I wanted to wallow in my misery, that they should go get their PBs, but they refused – we started togather so we will finish together they kept saying. I was annoyed with them at first (you know that point you get to in a race where you just want to be on your own! Misery does NOT like company in my opinion) but soon realised that actually it was the best thing they could have done for me. Alma, you should consider being a coach. She kept me going – lets run a little bit now, OK now let’s go a little slower, it doesn’t matter how quick we go we should just try to keep running, look there’s only 750 metres left…like a real life audiofuel programme keeping me buoyed up and focussed on getting to the end. Thank you Alma.
12m Miles 9-12 took 37 15 bringing our total at this point to 1hr 22m 28s. It was obvious then that we weren’t going to get under 2hr 30 – it was more about just finishing! We came in eventually at 2hr 33mins 32 secs having run the last 750m quite strongly I thought, although I did burst into tears as soon as we’d crossed the line. I think it was a mixture of relief and disbelief that I had managed to complete it! Here we are about 5 minutes after finishing. Check out how much weight Alma has lost and how fresh Kim looks! I, on the other hand, look exactly how I felt – knackered!
So. I’ve completed my first half marathon in a not too shabby time and proved to myself that I can run 5k and 10k quicker than I have been! Run to the Beat itself was a pleasant surprise – it was well organised and there was plenty of water on the way round. The powerade ran out at the first station but I think that was because of the weather – we were skanky and picked up bottles that the very kind faster runners had only taken one sip of and then discarded. The music stations were the only real disappointment – it was all just a bit meh, and Calvin Harris, who was supposed to be at the end, must’ve done a set of less than an hour as no one I spoke to got to see him. That said I have already registered my interest for next years…
Today I learnt that I can run a half marathon. Whoop whoop. But you know me – ever the competitive soul, guess what my goal is for RPH? Yup – sub 2h 30m…