So on Sunday was a race that I have been building up for since the start of the year, this is the race that I wanted to try and beat two hours for a half. This race is very well supported and flat as you can realistically get. Doing the distance is something I know i can do but this time I was going after a time which is something i had never done before.
So met up with my friends who live 5 minutes from the start the 5 of us (two first timers) headed off to the industrial estate, i mean start! We mingled went to the toliet etc stood around talking to others we knew. Prepared my watch etc, we were off.
Now I made a bit of a mistake at the start as all my friends were planning to do it in 2hrs +so stayed near the back and i should have moved forward but i didn't to busy talking! But over the start line and had to weave in and out of people to get up to my target pace, luckily the road was quite wide. But we were soon away from the horrible bland industrial estate and in to the lovely Kent countryside, past the oast houses and the houses I could only dream of living in.
After the 1st km of crowds I could finally settle into my own pace, I needed a steady 5:35/min km or 9/min mile. This would get me in at 1hr 58 minutes, allowing a little time for fatigue at the end. I had set my watch to buzz me if went to fast or to slow. As you can see from my pace in the photo i pretty much kept to that pace
All was fine i did start to fell my legs at the half way point, but the constant buzzing of my watch kept me at the pace, It was not until with about 5km to go, that the pain really started to hurt but some how i still managed to keep at the correct pace. Then a railway bridge which although was not a big slope (felt like a mountain) was hard work and I might have said a few bad words. Even going down the other side was painful i just want the flat! But it was the sign as we entered Paddock wood again with about 2km to go and my legs where screaming to stop, i told myself that i am not going to throw this away now its only 2km to go. I was swearing quite a bit more by now, and saying thank you to the marshals had long gone! (sorry marshals i do love you really) .
With one 1km to go and one more railway bridge it was all or nothing somehow I don't even know how I did my fasted KM.
So i finished to me being very emotional, the last time I felt pain like this was at the Brighton Marathon last year, that time my pace dropped this time kept to my pace. I think without doing that marathon I wouldn't have been able to do this. They say running gets easier, no it never gets easier or less painful but you do learn how to push yourself in new ways.
Congratulations to my two friends who finished their first half, I hope you come back for more.
As for the time 1:56:39