Royal Parks Half

For the second time in two weeks I’m left confused, bewildered, shocked, and over the moon all at the same time.

I went into the Royal Parks Half marathon today with one goal: to have fun. This week my legs were still feeling the effects of the Berlin marathon, and I didn’t want to put extra pressure on myself to try and achieve a decent time in a race I quite honestly kept forgetting I was even running. Training for Berlin took the front seat this summer.

On the start line I was absolutely freezing. All I wanted to do was get going and make it to mile 12 where I knew the AR cheer squad would be waiting to give me a much needed boost.

The first half of the route was pretty cool, taking us out of Hyde Park, through Green Park, past Buckingham Palace (hey Queenie), along The Strand and around Trafalgar Square before heading back up to Hyde Park. The last 6 miles weren’t the best. What felt like endless loops of Hyde Park it started to get a bit repetitive.

Somehow, I made it to mile 12 and was met with the energy and enthusiasm I had imagined. Cheers and high 5s from the AR squad. Massive respect to them for coming out and supporting in the cold!

My least favourite part of the race was the last 800m. I told myself “only twice around track.” Then 400m “one lap to go”. Then the clock came into view. I calculated a sub-1:40. Cue the tears.

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Annoyingly Strava failed to track my run (#runnerproblems – keeping the log for comical purposes!) but thanks to the Royal Parks app I was able to see some stats. Like Berlin, by some miracle, I managed a fairly even pace. Coming in 89th woman I think it questionable, but that’s provisional, we’ll see what the “actual” results have to say.

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That completes my year of road races. When I think back I’m amazed by what I’ve achieved. Breaking my half marathon PB twice now, and setting a marathon PB. Having set the bar high, I know next year will take a lot of hard work. But I’m ready for that. First, though…some Autumn/Winter trail runs and cross country. Watch this space.

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