Leeds Half Marathon – 8th May 2016

On Sunday I took part it the Plusnet Leeds Half Marathon 

This was the first time I had run this race, and yet again my training had been slightly lacking, however my overall fitness felt good enough to go the distance. I was not expecting to get a PB, and I didn’t. 

I lived in Leeds for a few years, despite that I still had no idea where the course went, even when looking at the course map. I put that down to the fact that the years I lived in Leeds I was in fact drunk for much of the time – student life of course!

So the run was to be a mystery tour, luckily I didn’t need any nav skills!

Sunday was promising to be a scorcher, so I delved deep into my sports drawer and dug out my running vest and shorter running tights. As this was of course a road race I ditched the fell running shoes and relied on my faithful Mizuno Wave Rider 9s. I finished compiling my running playlist on Spotify and I even charged up my running watch! I felt nicely prepared equipment wise. 

A last minute puppy poo crisis meant that phill had to stay at home just in case Bob exploded, so I had no cheering squad – I was on my own as I knew the girls from work would have mega hangovers and not make it into town, and I don’t blame them – spectating can be pretty boring! 

I got there in plenty of time so killed time taking selfies and warming up. 


It was a lovely sunny morning, a little too hot for running 13.1 miles, but better sunny than rainy any day. 

I started well, if a little fast as usual. There were a few sneaky hills, but all runable and nothing like running on the fells. At the halfway point I was feeling good, if a little warm. Support along the course was great, with a few people out with hoses to cool the runners down, which was appreciated. 

By mile 10 I was starting to tire and get very hot. Especially my feet – my socks were a little too thick.

At this point you hit Kirkstall Abbey and whilst this road seems flat it has a slight incline and is a bit of a drag, then for good measure you have an incline to get back into town, and the finish line was also on a slope – cheeky. 

Secretly I’d hoped I could get close to 2hrs, but I finished in 2hrs 7mins (Strava link here). Initially I was a little disappointed, but I hadn’t trained properly and this was actually my 3rd fastest half marathon, so in the end I’m pretty chuffed. 

Phill thinks with decent training I should be able to do a 1hr 50mins half – we’ll see. 

This was a very well organised race, plenty of water stations (I was worried they may run out in the heat), good staggered starts and nice medal and finishers t-shirt. I’d give this one another bash!


Recovery was fine, even managed a nice walk out in the afternoon with the dogs. And of course a few celebratory beers. 

 

Leeds Abbey Dash – 10K owned!

The 18th November saw me compete in the Leeds 10K Abbey Dash. My 1st ever 10k competitive distance!

As you may have seen from my previous post, I practiced this distance just ONCE! I am so committed! I had set myself a target time of around 56 minutes based on my 5K times, and my ONE practice 10K!

I will admit that I got quite jittery, particularly the night before, as I was trying to calculate the pace time needed and the maths wouldn’t work, it seemed a lot faster than I originally thought! I kept denying that I was nervous only to need to wee about 5 times in one morning!

We got to the start with plenty of time for a good warm up…me stretching a little bit, Mr B running up and down, getting in the zone etc…whatever!

Out of the 9000+ people running I managed to locate my mate Danny, as seasoned runner, and we hung out as they tried to filter us through to the start. He had lovely intentions to run with me for a bit, but the excitement got to him, and he decided he would go for it. Especially after I told him Mr B was in the sub 45 section (we were in the sub 60 section!).

The 1st half of the run was great, and I was overtaking loads of people. I was nicely distracted when I started to see the Elite & faster runners coming the other way, and I began to look out for Mr B. I thought I would see him pretty easily but didn’t. but trying to spot him made the 1st 5K go really easily, as I was distracted pretty much for 2K.

At the half way point I decided to pick up a energy gel, YUCK, it was like someone had melted a handful of Haribo, nasty ones! Too sweet even for me!

Going back into town was harder, but it wasn’t until the last 1K that it was starting to hurt. I managed to spot the parents in law as I was getting to the finish, and my face was possibly a right picture, as I remember trying to smile, and that nearly made me cry.

I tried a little spurt at the end, but I was spent. Crossed the line in over 56mins I knew from my Map my run app, but wanted to wait until my official time came through, as this was my 1st race with a chip.

The finish was bottle necked quite a bit, and it took around 15mins to grab water & t-shirt. As I made my way over to find Mr B (who finished sub 43mins!) my time came through and I managed to do it in 56.43, which I was extremely happy about.

As a reward we went to Malmaison for a 3 course sunday lunch – well deserved I say!