Another half you say...... you bet ya bottom dollar......entering a race that you cycle to before running is, in my book, a great ironman training incentive. We missed out on cycling to Yeovil previously because of this rubbish weather. I had organised to cycle in with Cookie, just like old times, but he was late and after 10 minutes of waiting I decided to go on. There goes my free air!!!!! I've never actually cycled to Taunton and I saw it as a little adventure. The ride in was actually quite undulating!!!!
I arrived in Taunton,25 miles later, feeling quite good and ready to race. I had thought the race was starting at 10 and that's why I made the decision to leave without waiting for Cookie BUT it started at 10.30.... DOH!!!!! I went to put my bag away and for some strange reason decided I needed to know where my keys were. I couldn't find them and frantically throwing the contents of my bag all over the place. I knew I wouldn't be able to race unless I found them so back tracked and luckily I had left them at the information desk. Phew now I could relax.
When you race regularly you recognise the same old faces and it was good to see so many people so I spent a while catching up until the race started. Now people always ask if you have a time in mind, I did, I wanted to get a sub 1.50. If I had driven I would have said a sub 1.45.
So we were off, the wind was not our friend today and I feel most of the race was ran running into that cold wind. As usual I didn't really warm up until mile 7 . I started near the front and slowly I was overtaken constantly whereas at Yeovil we started at the back and we worked our way through the rabble. Mentally I think starting at the back is a better option. When I got to mile 12 I started to regret that I had cycled in. I was getting tired, I tried a GU gel at mile 8 but one mouth full I felt my stomach cramping. I have learnt to take little amounts of something and wait 10 mins to see if I would react. I did start to react so binned the idea of a gel which is much better than shitting yourself or getting heart palpitations half way through a race. This does of course bring worries of nutrition for ironman that I need to address.
The wind on the last mile was horrid...... I was so glad I was doing the half as I had flashback memories from last year where you pass the finish line and know you have to go around the second time for the marathon. Soul destroying!!!!
So across the line in 1.49.26. I got the time I wanted and was happy with that. I just checked the stats and I was 17th in my age group out of 71 and 84th women in out of 389. I am well chuffed with that, there was 1000 runners and the fact I cycled there to!!!!! KAPOW!!!!!!!
After refuelling with coffee, chips and a burger I made the decision to head back. Cookie did give me the opportunity to get a lift home but I was going to see it through. The ride home was so emotional the head wind was a nightmare. I knew I had ran a half marathon when I hit the hills. Half way home and every time I passed a pub I was so tempted to throw a paddy, dump the bike in the nearest ditch and head to the bar. In fact by the time I got home I was shattered. On reflection if they had been no headwind I probably would have enjoyed the ride home. Bad arse Blackmore was on the edge to quite possibly being broken but not quite!!!!