Royal Parks Half Marathon – worst race ever

Well, OK, not an unmitigated disaster. I finished, but 19 minutes outside the 2hr mark I had been hoping for. A real catalogue of disasters, the least of which included needing to stop for a loo break T 4 miles and a new pain in my right foot appearing at about 6 miles. I could list all sorts of external reasons why things weren’t great, but what it boiled down to today was being tired, and stressed, and having absolutely no oomph in my leaden legs. And after about 3.5 miles my inner coach gave up and went for a pint, leaving me with my inner critic. “You’ll never catch the pacemaker now. You’re rubbish. You think you can help people run, but you can barely do it yourself. Who the hell do you think you are putting yourself out there for sponsorship? You shouldn’t have bothered. Look at that person overtaking you, they’re much better than you, and they’re older. Your knees are about to give in. You should have trained more.”

All that, and to the earworm of Dolly Parton’s Working 9 to 5, bearing in mind I only know half the chorus…

So it turned from ‘let’s do this in 2hr’ to ‘just-get-round-the-course.’ A shame; a lovely sunny day to be in the arks. It did have nice bits, running across London streets is always interesting, and the other Christian Aid runners were relentlessly cheerful and encouraging as they all overtook me (bloody Christians).

At 8 miles I was never running again. By the time I was halfway home, I’d set myself the target of finding a way to train for Great Bentley in February – it would be nice to just have one sub-2hr half to my credit.

If you’ve seen the Runkeeper mile splits, they’re less dramatic than the watch times I have. They show the full extent of the post-loo break failure:

1 9.09 (bang on pace!)
2 8.37
3 9.37
4 9.44
5 11.47
6 10.18
7 11.29
8 10.40
9 10.45
10 12.52
11 10.30
12 11.48
13 11.41

One comment

  1. I could have run with you at that pace (bar the first 4). My half Marathon was 2:21 (I’ve only done one). I love the picture of the inner critic and coach, very apt, I’ll remember that…

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