I didn’t chose to run silverstone half – I promised I would run it with a friend who later dropped out! But I have to say that on race day I was glad I had! Some of my friends were up at the crack of dawn to get to reading but the late start (midday) and the fact that Silverstone is 15 minutes from my house meant I could have half of a lie in! Plenty of time to get up, porridged up, dressed and ready to rock!
When I woke up the day looked promising! I swear the birds were singing and it seemed the sun had its hat on!! Well…. as you can see from the photo above …. It all disappeared! It was FREEZING!! After this pic was taken I run off to get ready and hated taking my warm layer off! It was windy cold and threatening to rain! I then said to hubby “well the weather ain’t too great for a PB day but if I can get 2:05 ill be happy”!
The startline ….
I am a HUGE motorbike fan and couldn’t wait to get onto the track! I was a bit late getting ready so started a bit further back than I wanted … But I was right on the grid and felt excited. There was a great atmosphere and buzz – got chatting to a few people and my nerves started to disappear.
I can only really tolerate SiS gels (I will review them properly later) but I do t normally start my nutrition until about 60 minutes into a race! BUT …. in a recent runners world article I read about a nutrition strategy! So I decided to start with a gel at the start …. And then every 40 minutes! Im no expert but it worked a treat! I had the caffeine one at mile 10 and really felt the lift it gave me!
THE COURSE …..
Many people told me “be prepared to be bored” …. but … I have to say bored was not an emotion I felt during the race! Like I said …. Big bike fan … Loved running through the pits, starting on the grid, blah blah blah I loved it!! Spectators were at approx miles 3, 7 and 11 … And I easily identified my gang cheering me on! When no spectators were around … The marshals stayed encouraging and kept my spirits up calling out my running club printed on my vest!
It includes 3 water stops and 2 lucazade stops (I didn’t have lucazade) which were perfectly placed! The bottles were small enough that I Could easily carry it on the go too!
Now one thing I have to say that chuckled me was ….. the racing line! this was the only down fall … Everyone followed the racing line … Which meant bunching up in the bends which meant slowing down a bit! It couldn’t be helped but when I tell you my finish time you can see where I could of made up those pesky few seconds!
Silverstone IS NOT FLAT!!! I agree it’s not undulating … But there are a couple of “steady inclines” ….. I wasn’t expecting them …. And coupled with the wind …. Another few seconds could of been Gained!!
THE FINISH ….
Well at that finish line I actually felt like Mo Farah or Paula Radcliffe! I sprint like I’d never sprint before ….. Just hoping I had scraped a PB! I was not expecting what I saw on the garmin!! 2:01:20 ….. 9.5 minutes off my PB! I was jumping for joy … I wanted to cry … Couldn’t believe I’d just run 13.1 miles at an average pace just over 9 min miles!! I am now planning my next strategy though to get that peaky 1:20 off the end!!! I still can’t believe a sub 2 hour half marathon is within reach when 3.5 years ago I did 10 miles in 1:55 at the great south run! I still amaze myself with how far I’ve come!!!
I found the family just as it started bucketing down!
RUNNERS HIGH ….
My runners high lasted all day! It lasted even longer when I clicked on the marathon photo link and noticed that I actually look half decent in my photos …. I didn’t look dead, old, in pain or wobbly!!! I might even buy one!!!
THE GOODIES …
The goody bag was just as good as the race!! It included An energy breakfast bar, peppermint tea pig tea bags which I’m now addicted to) an AWESOME medal shaped like a tyre and a cool t-shirt!!
In summary …. a great race! Well organised, good fun, great atmosphere, great marshals, all in all … A great day!!
Happy running xxxx