I had a great trip away in Bath with Alma this weekend. Bath is a lovely city and the Half Marathon was well organised and friendly. It’s a mass participation event that didn’t feel too big and the race is run on wide roads which were not over congested. It’s not a hilly or undulating course but there are some changes in gradient, probably best described as ‘Bath flat!’
Our experience was enhanced by the fact that we were staying in a hotel within walking distance from the station and only 5 minutes from the race start. There are not many race mornings when there is no rude early alarm and you can be sitting under a duvet, drinking tea and eating breakfast whilst watching the TV at 8.30 in the morning.
In the days before the race I was chewing over what sort of pace to run at. What pace could I realistically keep up for 13 miles? I knew because of injury and only 2 weeks training with a longest run of 10 miles (longest since my marathon in November! Tut Tut) that PB pace was out of the question (could maybe manage 3 or 4 miles at that!) So was matching recent HM paces and even sub 2 (that might get me to half way?). I also considered marathon pace, whatever that should be, as this was really a training run.
In the end I decided to stop thinking too much and just relax and enjoy it and see how my legs and recently recovered glutes coped with the distance. So I plugged in my race playlist, started my garmin and pulled my sleeve down over it to cover it up and just ran. I tried to hold a steady pace which maintained a consistent effort, which was not too easy but also not enough to make me breathless or raise my heart rate which I felt I could keep up for the whole race.
When I downloaded my splits last night I was rather proud of my consistent pacing. I don’t think I could have done any better watching my Garmin all the way round. Being free just to run and take in the course without worrying about pace and time was wonderful.