I remain unconvinced it is an improvement.
Anyway… I was convinced to enter this race as I would “get a cool number.” Round numbers being arbitrarily cool, I entered and grabbed number 200. Unfortunately, it did not result in the spot prize that I hoped it would. I was picked up in the morning by Naomi’s Dad and after picking up too many cereal bars and a Susan, we headed out to Stonehaven to repeat my first ever half Marathon a year after I started feeling a need to punish myself on a Sunday morning. We parked near the outdoor pool and walked over to the start line in what turned out to be a very eventful “five minute walk.” Little did I know it was not only the day of the Stonehaven HM, but also the day of the triffids. This is what Naomi looks like when I get attacked by a tree:
Yes. Crying with laughter. Hmm…
Having prepared for this race by eating as much food as a carnivore can possible eat during 8 days off shore and doing no exercise, followed by a 9 mile run and parkrun in the preceding days, I was feeling fairly happy and excited for this race. That was, until a bush tried to eat me. Miles 1-3 were fine and despite being mostly uphill, I stuck with the girls and bashed out three miles which were well below 10 minute miles. Unfortunately, I had a rubbish mile 4 where my legs felt like jelly. I put in a very slow 12:18 min/mile and got some Blok Shots on board. At mile 5 I felt back to life and the new goal was to catch Naomi and Susan. Spoiler: it didn’t happen.
At the top of the hill at mile 6, I was greeted by a lovely fetchpoint and the eye of the tiger blasting out of the car. I remembered this from last year at this point and I’m happy to report that instead of seeing a bunch of friendly weirdos at the top of the hill this time, I saw a bunch of friendly weirdos who I now know at the top of the hill. The jelly babies went down a treat girls!
The next 7 miles was fairly uneventful. I just tried to keep a steady pace and managed between 8 and 9 minute miles for the majority of the race. At mile 10 I realised that I had no chance of a sub-2 hour HM, but that I could run a season best and beat my Skye HM time of 2:03. I came in the finish funnel and had to sprint finish to avoid being pipped at the post, came through the finish line with 2:01:43 on my watch and collapsed in a heap.
Given our run came with a free swim in the salty open air swimming pool, we headed over the the pool to have whistles blown at us for mis-behaving, to slide down chutes like big kids and to have Naomi laugh at me again rather than save my life from drowning. Thanks!
Chip time: 02:01:42
Finish time: 02:02:09