The Great West Run. Sponsored by Tozers. This was the 30th anniversary of the race and there were several thousand participants, so clearly still going strong.
I am slightly disappointed with my time. I ran a feeble half marathon at the Plymouth Half finishing well over 2 hours at 2:27, a substantial amount of blame was laid at my left knee and poor preparation. I hoped to shave almost half an hour off by avoiding injury.
Unfortunately this was not the case as I ran a pedestrian 2:13 while 14 minutes faster than my previous I would be lying if I said that I wasn't disappointed with not breaking the 2 hour barrier. I am pleased that I was at least faster than previously.
Type of course
Inner city with a hint of trial. No real trails but the route does head out into tarmac'd country for a couple of miles out and back. It is also a route of two halves. The first 5 miles were almost pancake flat with a small down hill section. The second half was tougher; a handful of hills and a good 3 or so miles of rollers.
Seeing mates cheering me on. This came in handy later on when I mentally bonked. The route through the city was fun. Running with friends was good although we only stuck together for about a half mile.
Sprinting the final stretch of a mile overtaking several trotters. It was the first time I had any energy left to kick at the end. It was nice to see I have a kick!
Mentally Bonking. I have never felt like I don't want to do a race as much as I did during this. I hated everyhting about it, I shocked myself how unhappy I was. It stopped me more than fatigue. I had to have a real mental talking to myself to get back into the race, which was good as the hills came straight after this.
OverallOverall I am actually happy with how this run went. I am slowly getting faster, I have had to really think about being realistic with some of the time expectations I set of myself but I can see steady forward progress. I definitely learnt a lot about myself having to mentally dig myself out of that brain funk at mile 6.
How this fits in the Master Plan
I have a soft spot for Halfs. I do not know if they are the distance for me, but I find them fun. I am thinking of another Half, I got an email saying the Plymouth Half is open again. I feel like I have unfinished business there with the knee fisaco of May14. I think I will going back to the Plymouth Half and seeing if I can crack that 2 Hour barrier. Another 14 minutes and I am there.
I held my speed relatively consistently for the first 6 miles. despite feeling like I was slowing down a lot. In terms of the 5ks and 10ks. This is good.
The week following Exeter I set a new PB in the Brockwell Park Run 5k and I think I can go faster still. I tried to run a negative split for that and each mile was 45 seconds faster than the last. The mental tools to just push came in hand and I think they will come in handy again with upsocming fitness tests.
Would I do it again?
The Exeter half was a great day and an interesting course. The last long slow rollers on tired legs are hard but it makes for a fun course. The flat finish chute makes a change from the Plymouth's uphill finish beast.
Ultimately I think I would do it again. Next time. I would want some one to run with friends.