Wasn't sure if it was going to happen soon, but with a bit of planning (carb loading yesterday evening) and the decision more or less made yesterday evening I decided to go for a HM this morning (it's a Bank Holiday here in Germany). My little rucksack was packed with water bottles, fruit for energy and a light jacket just in case I got stranded hot and sweaty far from home and had to walk back.
The weather was perfect, 15 degrees C, sunny but with the occasional cloud and off I went. The aim was to go really slowly and not get near my heart rate maximum. This was just to see if I could do the distance and I planned 3 hours. Part of me said I could walk it in that time, but common sense prevailed and I was indeed very slow.
My chosen route took me out to a local lake, which is my favourite route at the moment, then across fields to the next town with its castle and beer garden. This is very familiar territory, all my long runs so far have been in this area. What I didn't know was that my planned footpath about 5 km from home was blocked off. Fortunately there was a big sign - and fortunately I noticed it - but it meant backtracking and added another 2km to my route. That was a bit demoralizing, especially as I was getting tired by then. The last few kms were not particularly fun, but they never are and I finished my 21.1km about 2 km from home which showed me that I'm really getting a good feeling for distance. This route had been planned in my head and if I hadn't had to backtrack I would have been spot on.
And during most of the run I felt really good. Trotting through woods at 8km I felt I could run for ever, at 15 km I decided to skip the 1 min walk I allowed myself every 3km because my rhythm was fine. The last 5 km were faster than the first 5. It was actually fun!
I have to say though that 21 km is a long way and I won't be doing this every week.
Blimey, my first half marathon! And a picture to prove it!