Saturday, 24 May 2014

Update: A thousand and one ways to worry about your first half marathon


That's pretty much all that's going through my mind now that the Liverpool Rock'n'Roll Half Marathon is almost here.

Looks like this is really happening.

That and a whole list of worries including:

  • What if I just can't do it?
  • What if my knee gives out (it's been giving me a bit of gip)?
  • What if I fall over?
  • What if I have a wardrobe malfunction?
  • What if I have an explicable need to go to the toilet?
  • What if I somehow miss a route marker and get completely lost?
And the list gets longer and longer the closer I get.

The first is definitely the most prominent - what if I just can't do it? I've done just over 15km in training and a half marathon is 21k. Maybe I'm woefully underprepared. Maybe I was lazy and slapdash with my training. Maybe I haven't thought nearly enough about my nutrition (last night's Domino's counts as good carbo-loading right?). Maybe I should have got my knee properly looked at. Maybe it's all going to go totally tits-up.

But enough of the relentless worrying, it's too late to turn back now. I travel up to north Wales tonight to stay with a friend before tomorrow's painfully early start and trip over to Liverpool. The day is almost here and although my primary feeling right now is simply sheer terror,  I must admit I'm also incredibly excited. I've read so many race reports of half marathons and now it's finally my turn. I'm running a half marathon!

So maybe it will all go wrong. Or maybe, just maybe, it will work out. 

Please keep your fingers crossed for me!

Harris x

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Nike We Own The Night Women's 10k: 10th May 2013

This was my first race in a good while and my first one with my little sister Bex, so I was interested to see how we would handle it, but all in all I can safely say that the We Own The Night 10k was GREAT!

Looking a little chilly ahead of the race

I've heard mixed things about the various Nike events that have taken place in London and the one that sticks in my mind most was the problem-laden Run To The Beat half marathon. So I was intrigued to see how We Own The Night would measure up.

In my opinion, the whole thing was really well organised, with proper bag drops, staggered start times and clear instructions. My only criticism (and this probably wouldn't be avoidable) would be the way that the start/finish line was such a long walk from the station, as by the time we got back to Bethnal Green tube we were freezing.

Bex is much faster than me and so she decided to go for the Blue funnel (under 1hr), while I stuck with Green (under 1:10) since my PB for 10k so far was 1:09:09 - I'm definitely more of a tortoise than a hare. I was happy to have chosen Green as I didn't feel like I was dragging at the back or like I was trying hard to get past people. Not sure how people running in other groups found it, but there didn't seem to be much issue with congestion or anything.

Ready to go in the Green funnel

The run itself was good, with bits and pieces like light tunnels and live bands along the way to make things a little more interesting. I was particularly loving the brass band that was playing and wish I could have found out what they were called. It's really nice to have stuff along the way to liven things up (it would have been even better if there were more live acts along the route).

Light tunnel (turns out I CANNOT take pics while running)

I felt strong all the way through the race and decided to push myself to see if I could PB and boy I was not disappointed - I SMASHED by PB time by nearly seven minutes, coming in at 1:02:14. It was nothing next to my speedy little sis' 54:49 but I'm so pleased.

I definitely feel like taking someone else along with you to the race is the way to go. Even though Bex and I didn't run together it was so nice to have someone there with you at the beginning and end. Bex even tried to get a shot of me finishing but it was too dark to get a decent shot - one day I'll get a snap of me running!

Lovely Alex Monroe finishers necklace in a Liberty Print box (credit)

Another huge plus was the finishers necklace, which we were given instead of a medal. Don't get me wrong, I love some race bling as much as the next runner but as someone who doesn't really own much nice dainty jewellery, it was really nice to get something that I feel like I could wear everyday. Well done Nike and Alex Monroe!

All in all this was a fab race, definitely worth a race price (which initially did seem a bit steep), considering the organisation on the day itself, Nike t-shirt, finishers necklace and goody bag. I'll definitely be taking part next time!

Did you take part in We Own The Night? Are you tempted to in future?

Harris x