I hope everyone has had a good week, enjoying the beautiful weather and met at least some of their running goals. As it turns out I didn’t spend last week attacking week one of my marathon training plan, instead I repeated the previous week. That meant two short 3 mile runs during the week and then another Half Marathon on Sunday. David suggested the idea to me as I wanted to do another Half that was flat after the South Downs hill fest, and the Torbay Half Marathon still had places Sunday, so I signed up – fool.
We went down to Paignton on Saturday and had a bit of fun along the sea front. A round of mini golf, fish and chips and an ice cream. Not exactly pre-race food, but very tasty nevertheless. We found a lovely little place to stay, the Devon House Guest House, a mere 5 minute walk to the start line on Paignton seafront. Richard and Clare, the proprietors were very kind, they started breakfast slightly earlier for the runners and they allowed us to return to our room after the race for a quick shower.
We collected our numbers from Race HQ, a bit of a queue, but it moved quickly, and visited the facilities before lining up for the start. The course was one lap of the green on the seafront, then run to the pavilion at Torquay turn and back to the pier on Paignton seafront, then repeat for a second lap. It was sunny and very warm, not my favourite running weather, but at least the course was going to be flat, or so I had been led to believe. As it turns out, the road between
Paignton and Torquay is not as flat as you might think.
David had decided that he was going to run with me rather than his usual much faster pace. He has a long run (very long) coming up soon and wanted to practice a slower pace whilst trying not to pick up an injury just before it, which often happens. Things weren’t too bad for the first 6 miles, but I struggled after that. A mixture of the heat, hills and still being tired from the Half Marathon the week before, meant the second lap was another walk/run mixture to get to the finish line. The hills were nowhere near as bad as the South Downs, but they were tough enough in the heat. There were plenty of water stations provided and I mostly used the water offered to tip over my head and cool slightly. A friendly garage employee washing cars also helped out with a spray of his hose pipe.
My finish time was 2:35:26 so I managed to knock 11 minutes off my previous Half Marathon time but still not as good as I would like it to be. The winner came in at 1:09:05 for the first man and 1:17:05 for the first female. They also had a race going on between a group of American Marines and a group of the Royal Navy. They were all near the front when they lapped me, but unfortunately I don’t know the outcome as the Marines were not listed as a club on the results page.
This was a lovely spot for the race and it was well run and well supported by friends, family and the people of the town. The roads were closed for the race, at least for three hours, so there was no worry about traffic. It is also clearly a quite popular event with some 1546 runners, I came in position 1365.
I need to work on my stamina at slightly higher mileage, if I am going to run more half marathons. I have run a lot of 4-6 mile runs and so now I have no problem being able to run 10K, but I can count on my hands the number of times I’ve run 8 miles or more. I need to build my strength to be able to run 10 miles strongly to tackle half marathons. Keep moving forward.
After the race and a quick shower back at the guest house, we headed up the coast to Sidmouth and a long awaited visit to the Donkey Sanctuary. Was lovely meeting the donkeys and walking the grounds and finished off with a much deserved ice cream.
Happy running, enjoy the sunshine.