Well, after all that anticipation – and training! – this year’s Royal Parks Half-Marathon was over in a flash!
I wasn’t too keen on running in this morning’s forecast weather, but it turned out that the timing was perfect. I only had to survive a bit of drizzle and wind and was well over the finishing line before the real rain arrived.
I had to skip last year’s Royal Parks Half due to ill health, so I was unsure how I’d fare in a half-marathon after all this time. But as soon as I crossed the starting line, it all came back to me. Once I was one kilometre in, I found my pace and just went for it.
I was aiming for a sub-2 hours time, then had a wobble last week, but after a while I realised that (all things going to plan) I could manage this and perhaps a little more.
I love the Royal Parks race, due to the route and surroundings. It’s gorgeous, well-organised and so much fun. That said, I had to navigate the usual pedestrians running through the race course (couldn’t wait two mins for a natural break in the race!) and the slips and slides that come from running through parks in the Autumn.
With a couple of kilometres to go, I was definitely going to come in under two hours and decided to push as fast as I could. Yes, my fastest run on this course was 1:42 and I wasn’t going to hit that, but 1:55 started to look possible. I gave it all I could and threw myself over the finish line to secure 1:54:19.
All in all, I was really pleased with both the time and my run overall. @TheFrankFlyer was an absolute gem. He was the equivalent of a one-man support team. He came with me to the run, carried my gear, cheered me on, shared my progress online for friends and family and promoted my fundraising link.
I quickly hopped in the shower as soon as I got home, ordered some pizza and then chilled out on the sofa for the rest of the afternoon. Even managed to squeeze in a nap. I think it was excusable – I’ve been up since 5am!
Looking forward to my next running challenge.