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Thursday, 26 February 2015

RACE REPORT | Brighton Half Marathon 2015

I'm a bit late writing this one up but my immediate post-race-endorphins were blurbed out into another post about why I love running, so head over there if you fancy a peek into the euphoric mind of a runner who's just ran a 7min half marathon PB.

Last year, the Brighton Half was my favourite race in terms of performance - I ran it so well, got a massive PB and felt strong and prepared for the full marathon. This year is no different, except for the fact that I actually paced myself instead of hanging on to a pacer or running with the lovely RunningMorph.

I spent the night before the race excitedly (alright, stressfully) pacing the flat, chatting on social media, planning a pacing strategy, worrying about whether to go for a sub2, PB or just run it at marathon pace.



My favourite race


The thing is though, realistically there was no way I was gonna slow down to marathon pace for this half - it wouldn't have been humanly possible with such rested legs (I'd had the week off running), beautiful weather and great crowd support.

There are so many reasons it's my favourite race:

1) Brighton rocks, I love living and racing here

2) So many friends were running and supporting

3) Half marathons are the perfect distance - far enough to class as long distance but short enough to run fast(ish) and without training taking over your life

4) Amazing crowd support - the whole city comes out to cheer

5) Always brilliant weather - the Running Gods have shined for the past three years that I've ran the race, anyway. For the "2011 monsoon" I was too busy being fat, hungover and uninterested in any kind of exercise to notice.

6) Nice chunky bit of bling for the medal whores among us :)

7) PB every time. (So far for the last three years - if this ever changes I'll eat my words)



PaceyMcPacerson


This year was the first time me and the hubs had ran the race together - in fact, our first half marathon together, although of course we didn't start together as Mr Speedypants is far too (effortlessly) fast for me.

Some 11,000 runners lined up at Madeira Drive on Sunday and if you look at the photo below you can see the 2hr pacer flag who I was meant to be starting near. I, however, was about 100ft behind faffing with my earphones and trying to cram my iPhone back into my FleetfootII running belt so lost him from the start.

I don't necessarily think that's a bad thing though - as I said, this is the first race I managed to successfully pace myself for and that's great practice for the marathon.


Brighton Half Marathon 2015

I knew to get a PB I had to keep each mile under 9:45 which was surprisingly easy and I kept looking down at my watch and seeing between 9-9:30 min/mi pace, sometimes even in the 8s but I felt strong all the way through.Check out my stats here.

My legs started to tire at around mile 8 and I remember looking down at my watch and seeing there were more than five miles to go, but it wasn't an 'oh-shit-I-can't-do-this-anymore' kind of pain like the marathon, just a case of maintaining the controlled discomfort to keep the pace and come in with a PB.

I passed Becca for the second time on the home straight along the seafront and as she cheered me (yay thanks!) I yelled 'I've got a PB!' I didn't know how much by though, so was so, so happy to come in at 2:02:24 - not too far at all off a sub2. I'll bag that later this year.

Hubs did brilliantly too, coming in less than a minute away from his PB of 43:10 after having a shoulder op in December. SKILLZ.

Brighton Half Marathon 2015 - Tess Agnew

I wanted to finish this post with a comparison of the key elements for me - the time, the bling, and the post-race-refuel - sticky toffee pud all the way. 

On all occasions, 2015 has come out on top, I think you'll agree! 

Brighton Half Marathon 2014 vs 2015


Brighton Half Marathon 2014 vs 2015
                                            2014                                                       2015 25th Anniversary medal - check out the chunk on that!

Brighton Half Marathon 2014 vs 2015
             2014 sticky toffee pud                                                           2015 - this was the absolute sex

So many others had such a great Brighton Half this year, PBs a plenty! Annnnd, the rain and wind held off until we were sufficiently fed, rehydrated and sticky toffee pudding had been inserted. 

WIN. 

I've got North London Half next on 15th March and I'll probably add a few miles on beforehand and run this one at planned marathon pace. I promise. 

I will not go for sub2... I will not go for sub2... I will not go for sub2... 


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Did you race Brighton Half? How did it go for you? 


Do you find it difficult to rest or am I alone here? What are your strategies for beating maranoia in the final taper weeks? 



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