Edinburgh 1/2 Marathon Recap


In Which I Run VERY Tired

Edinburgh Half Marathon. As I live in Edinburgh, it’s my adopted hometown 1/2 Marathon race.  (That and the Scottish 1/2 Marathon in September which actually goes by my home…)

The previous two years I did the full marathon, finishing both years in around 5hrs (and last year being sponsored by a beer company, I got a HELLA lot of beer given!) This year however, I’m concentrating on York marathon in October so didn’t want to commit to doing two in a year. (I’ve run two a year in 2016, 2017, 2018. Gets tiring!)

To make the half marathon easy on myself I agreed to work the night shift just before. So I started work at 6.30pm on the Saturday, finished at 6.30am on the Sunday and the race began at 8am…

I hung around work when I finished as it was starting a few minutes walk away. I carbed up on a crappy microwave burger (seems to work for me!) and then got changed and set off in the pouring rain to the start line.

EMFhalfStart

People were soaked but their spirits could not be dampened. (I’m proud of that sentence!) The PA system was counting down by the minute and everyone looked excited and/or nervous, with lots of family and friends at the side lines cheering them on already.

EMFhalfCrowd

Then, we were off. Slowly, walking to the start line. It’s a huge undertaking I’m sure, getting all these people organised into start pens and making sure it all goes off without a hitch but it doesn’t stop people complaining that they have to walk a few minutes to begin the race. See it as a bit more of a warm up why don’t you?

The race starts very central to Edinburgh and within a few minutes I was running by Greyfriars Bobby and then my workplace. (National Library of Scotland.) The guys on the day shift said they’d be out front looking for me but they got confused and thought I was running the full which didn’t start until 10am. Turns out at 10am they spent AGES looking for me, but obviously I wasn’t there.

After the library we ran over the Royal Mile and down a hill called the Mound which lead us to Princes Street Gardens and a bit of people congestion so had to slow right down. Didn’t take long to get going again though, and we looped by Waverly Train Station and back on to the Royal Mile (which is a bit longer than a mile.)

EMF_MARATHON_2018 I felt surprisingly fresh after a 12hr night shift and was running quite well. Not fast, but I wasn’t struggling either. My plan for this run was just to enjoy it, finish and get the medal. We then ran in front of Arthurs Seat (a HUGE hill) and at 5k we left the city behind. (But not the rain.)

I was expecting to have to walk at the water station but carried on running. Mile 5 soon arrived and then we stuck to the coast line for the next three miles before coming slightly inland and running near the historic Musselburgh racecourse and that brought me to mile 9, which is where my tiredness caught up and I had a walk break. NINE miles constant running after a night shift though! I was VERY chuffed with that! I could see the finish area on the other side of the road but still had a way to go.

After that it was 2 miles on the same road before turning back for the final 2 mile stretch. The sun came out for a couple minutes, didn’t like what it saw and went away again. The last few miles of my race was a mixture of running and walking and I was enjoying myself more than I thought I would be. Time flew by and all of a sudden I was in the final stretch, down the finishers chute and done!

In my head I wanted around 2hrs 10mins and I completed in 2hrs 5mins 8secs. Can’t argue with that! Handily, the in-laws live close to the finish line so I went there for a shower and some cuddles from my baby. He made sure the medal wasn’t fake.

EMFhalfFinn

And there you go! Turns out that I can run okayish even when tired which is good news for marathon training surely? I usually run after my 12hr day shifts but this is the first time ever I’ve run after a night shift. Next race I’m entered for is Leeds 10k at the start of July and I want to get close to my PB of 47.57. If I do or if I don’t, there’ll be plenty beer afterwards..!

Speaking of which, you thought I’d forgotten!

EMFhalfBeer

TA-DA!

Leeds Abbey Dash 10k – 18/11/12


In Which I Run A Good Race

My alarm went off at 0700 on Sunday morning. Never a good start. I pressed snooze, and so it then went off again at 0715. I switched it off and then checked Facebook. The other people running the race with me had all put status’s that they were out of bed. (The other people as in Rob, Nigel and Martyn, not the other people as in 9’000 entered. Not friends with them all on Facebook.)

I got up and dressed and then packed my bag for the day. Martyns dad was bringing Martyn and Rob to my house, and Nigel had arranged to meet us here too. Around about 0800 I was eating porridge and could hear voices outside so went out to meet them, and bloody hell was it cold! There was ice on the ground.

We all piled into my house and I made everyone a cup of tea. (I’m nice like that.) Before too long we’d woken everyone up so decided to set off to Leeds.

Car Journey: Uneventful.

After parking in a car park in Leeds we made our way down to the start line with the thousands of other runners. The queue for the toilets was about 200 people long so we did the intelligent thing and went into Wetherspoons to use their facilities. No queue at all. We then made our way back to the start and had a picture taken:

Nigel, Martyn, Me, Rob

Before too long the countdown had begun and then finished and we were off, crossing the start line to ‘Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey. All four of us stayed together as a group, chatting away nicely and setting a steady pace until about the 3K marker. After that Nigel was keeping pace with me until about 4K and then I lost sight of him until the turnaround at 5K, when we waved at each other as I headed back and he neared the turn around. The furthest I’ve ever managed running without talking a walk break is 4 1/2K which meant I was chuffed to reach 5K non-stop!

The first 5K (and I suppose, the second 5K, what with it being a race that’s there and back…) was along the streets of Leeds until you got out to Kirkstall Abbey, which is where the turn around point and water station was. Kirkstall Abbey is one of the most complete examples of a medieval Cistercian abbey in Britain.  Set in wonderful parkland along the banks of the River Aire, Kirkstall Abbey boast historic architecture amid a haven of wildlife and greenery. (Just copied and pasted that from their website.)

After the turn around, it got warm. The sun seemed as though it was at eye level above the buildings of Leeds, and combined with the sweat pouring from me, I was very hot. I didn’t stop at the water station because I had a bottle with me, but haven’t practiced running and drinking at the same time. I looked at my watch and figured I’d been running about 35mins non-stop. Before long I reached the 6K marker, still no walking, then the 7K.

As I approached the 8K I needed to walk to take a proper drink as my head was getting dizzy. I pushed on further, and managed to pass the 9K marker, but then thought about how embarrassing it’d be to pass out so walked, and had a drink. I looked back at my watch and figured I had about 6 minutes to finish the last kilometre and to finish under an hour. I pushed it.

Round about the last 200m my watch ticked into the next minute, the minute that I knew signalled an hour, so I sped up as best I could and finished the race strong and with a sprint. I was knackered. I went onto sports tracker on my phone and it read:

01:01:01.

Even allowing for starting it before the start line and ending it after the finish, I didn’t think it’d take off much more than 30seconds. Still, it was a PB.

My phone beeped as a message came through.

It was from the Abbey Dash people, whos tracking chip I was wearing on my shoe.

Official chip time: 59:58.

I actually cheered! My first ever sub hour run. Absolutely chuffed. I looked back over the crowd and managed to spot Nigel who got his own PB of 01:02:41. Not too long later, Martyn and Rob finish the run. Rob finished his first ever official 10k (weighing 19stone, running in football trainers, and after a night of 9 pints and a curry) in a time of 01:05:46. Martyn had trouble with his legs on the way round the run so wasn’t at 100%, he finished a second behind Rob.

We made our way up towards the exit of the run to get our finishers T-Shirts, but as it turns out they didn’t bring enough for everyone so none of us got one. We were told to email the organisers who would send them out to us, but we were gutted not to be able to wear them there and then.

Looking at the stats on my tracker, I was amazed. Apart from the last part of the run, where I walked for a bit to have a drink, each mile was quicker than the last. I improved my pace all the way to the last mile!

Amazed!

After the run we went to Wetherspoons in Leeds train station to meet a group of people who were coming along to York for my stag do that afternoon and night. I don’t remember everything that happened, but I came home Monday with both my eyebrows and a hangover, so it was all good. We only got barred from one pub too. Brilliant weekend.

Next race is Bradford 10k on 2nd December.

EDIT:

Thanks for reminding me Nige, though I don’t know how I forgot this!

Just before we split up we were chatting away happily when we looked up. There was a heavy set bloke plodding along a little way in front of usand you couldn’t help but notice his outfit. Not for the fact that he was wearing just lycra shorts without any running shorts over the top, but for the fact that his lycra shorts had slipped down and were now halfway down his arse.

Seriously, a few more steps and they’d be down completely. He hitched them up, and carried on. A few seconds later, they were  down again. He might’ve been the reason I got some speed up…

They say that race day isn’t a day to try out new running shoes. They should also add that it’s not the day to forget to tie your shorts.