Today would have been the Stratford Half Marathon, if it wasn’t for the fact that nothing is happening at the moment. I decided to run the distance this morning anyway, just because.
It was absolutely dreadful and I have no idea what I was thinking. Obviously it’s not comparable to an actual race because you’re not doing it on closed roads, and, more importantly, there’s no excitement and adrenaline from running with people and having spectators cheering you on. But it was both my slowest half marathon and one of the hardest runs I’ve ever done. The weather when I left was supposedly a cool 7 degrees, but it was a clear sky and bright sunlight so it was really a lot hotter.
The first 10k were fine and I was sticking to a 5 minute per kilometre pace pretty evenly, but by about 15k I’d had enough and I slowed down. I didn’t have a route planned, so I ended up going onto the nearby cycle track and doing kilometres 19 and 20 running around in circles. It seemed like the kilometres were getting longer and longer and I was slightly worried the GPS on my watch was under-measuring the distance in a circle, but it also said I was getting faster so it was probably just my perception of time. There were a few people around on the cycle track, which was energising and I was able to pick up the pace a bit.
In the end, I averaged 5:12 per km and finished in just under 1 hour 50 minutes. This is approximately 18 minutes slower than I was in October (almost 1 minute per kilometre!), which is OK because I certainly wasn’t aiming to beat that, but it wasn’t OK because I felt fine at the end of it in October, whereas today I lied on my living room floor in a sweaty mess and had to stuff two bananas, two croissants and two cups of tea into my mouth and have and a cold shower before I started feeling normal again. Only a week earlier I’d done 17k at only a slightly slower pace and barely felt like I’d broken a sweat, but it was cold and wet that day. The weather makes a big difference. I wish I’d weighed myself before and after to see just how much sweat I lost.
Overall it was great, 10/10, would do again. But maybe not for a while. I think tomorrow will be a rest day.