Since my last post I have completed the Aviemore half marathon. This is a very emotional race for me and I have decided that this years run will be the last time I run it for some time.
An amazing course, incredibly helpful stewards and staff at the registering event. I was running this race with my mate Karen, her second half marathon and what an amazing job she did!
I had warned her that I would just be heading off, I know a selfish way of running but sometimes even I need to push hard and satisfy my competitive nature and own personal need to push myself to the maximum and know that I put everything into this event. My aim was to get a pesonal best as it is for everyone.
It was an incredibly cold, crisp day, perfect running conditions. We arrived at the start of the race, the queues for the toilet as always very long. I am suddenly aware that I speak about the access to toilets alot on these events haha - I dont believe I have issues?? Hahaha
One last point - there are never enough for females.
Karen and I split up at the start of the race, according to our expected start times, I had hoped for 1 hour 50 minutes and I had given Karen the goal of 2 hours. Sometimes, we need to be taken out of our comfort zones and be asked to push harder than we thought was possible. It is the only way to find out that actually we are capable of so many things that we would simply dismiss and never attempt.
Great start, piper leading us up to the start position, its great to be Scottish. I find it amazing when races start of with a piper. The intial part of the Aviemore Half marathon is the most undulating, but with the uphills comes the downhill. I try to look at hills with a positive attitude, if you go up there has to, most of the time a downhill section at some point. Use the arms, look straight ahead and drive your legs. Love hills!
Lots of amazing hills, personally I do not feel the need to wear headphones on courses like this, you miss out on so much information I think myself. The views across Loch Morlich are tremendous, you hear the pebbles being knocked out of place by the sheer number of runners. Once the inital crowd starts to thin out, you hear the water in the streams, then comes the heavy breathing of others around you. But I try to remain focussed on myself, I have started to become much more aware of how my body is reacting to different aspects of a race, very strange feeling.
I hit one of the slightly steeper hills and my emotional state - very nearly took over and made me stop, nearly but I decided to use this to make my daughter proud if she were ever to know. It took a while but the focus came back, I decided to be'canny' , I know not a very technical term, in the first half of the race and I found that by the time I hit 7 miles I was getting my running legs. I wanted to really push the second half of the race, take the next three miles at a slightly quicker pace but steady and then up the pace for the next mile, settle into there and lift it up another notch for the last section.
I think it worked, I managed the following splits:
7 miles - 1 hour
10 miles - 1 hour 25 mins
13.1 miles - 1 hour 49 mins
Boom a personal best for me, 6 minuttes off my previous years run and 3 minutes off my overall personal best. I even gave a punch to the air as I realised what my time was but not with some overhanging feelings. this was the race I wanted to carry my wee one across the finish line as I see others doing.
So thank you for being my first half marathon and quite easily one of my favourite but I need to move onto new races.