Worksop half marathon

Worksop half marathon was another bucket list race.  One I had heard plenty about and one I always wanted to give it a go.  I had put a plan of action in place for the race, a clear split time and times, knowing exactly what needed to be done and when.  

Little Man hadn't got the clock changing memo so I had a very early 4am start.  Giving me a total of 4 hours sleep, not the best preparation for a half marathon.  After demanding pointless on my phone for over an hour I finally got out of bed and started to get ready.  My split times were carefully written on my arm in biro and we were all ready on time to set off to Worksop.


It was the first time my Mum had accompanied me to a race, she was doing the fun run with the kids whilst I ran.  We all headed over to collect numbers, before the usual pre race preparation took place.  Am not sure why but I really wasn't 'feeling' it.  I had a plan, I knew what I was doing, but I just wasn't there.  Wasn't in the zone.  I blame the tiredness.

A 10minute delay on the start meant I really wasn't ready for the off, penned up and perhaps in the wrong pen who knows.  It was time to run and as I ran over the chip mats and metal grids I remember thinking this isn't going to go well.  The first mile is up, and purely up, as you wind out of Worksop and towards Clumber Park.  Roads that seem to go on forever, a sea of fluorescent colours are in front.  2000 runners.  The first mile was hard work, trying to settle into a much slower than comfortable pace.  The slower than usual effort up hill made it even harder, and I just could not get the pace right.  Second mile was too fast as I over compensated for the first, and the third too slow and so it continued.

The route continued down the road and all I could see was waves of people.  Bright colours in front and lots and lots of hills.  Plenty of ups but very little down.  I was singing songs in my head at this point.  Trying to read the biro on my arm and trying desperately to get the pace right.

The route felt really monotonous, tarmac and trees, lots of up hills.  My head started to play mind games, and it began to get really tough.  The heat and the low sun really wasn't helping, I refuelled at the 5k water station, which is something I don't normally do.  My head was a mess and I was just so tired.  I took on my flapjack earlier than I wanted to, around the 5mile mark, as a bid to combat the mental mind games that were going on inside my head.  It wasn't enough.  By mile 7 I was done.

I had no pain, nothing hurt but mentally I had lost it completely.  All I wanted to do was stop, sit down and go to sleep.  I just couldn't focus any more.  No longer cared about the split times on my arms, no longer interested in the overall finish time.  I just wanted to stop.  I dug deep, one foot in front of the other.  Thinking about the fact my kids would be at the end to see me finish for the first time.

It no longer mattered and by mile 8 the mental mind games won and I started to walk.  My friend got behind me and physically started dragging me around.  I just wanted to stop, I really wasn't wanting to run any more.  The route was the same old, same old.  I had seen it for the past 8 miles and I longed for a downhill.  

Mile 11 the scenery changed slightly but it still wasn't enough to shift the mental doubts and the flapjack hadn't kicked in so I felt empty.  Mile 12 came, it had dragged to get there.  Dragged to see that 12 mile marker but there was only a mile left so I put my big girl pants on and, much to the delight of my friend, ran.  I needed the race to end, I had had enough.  As we ran down that road I was looking for the right turn back to the finish, it seemed to take forever.  My head still asking me to stop, but this time I just needed to finish.  To push that last little bit and end the race.

Finish time 2hr 08min.  Planned time 2hr 06mins.  I know if I hadn't have lost the plot that I would have smashed my planned time.  I had achieved a half marathon PB but it didn't feel good.  I feel like I cheated a PB, that I didn't really earn it, I didn't work hard enough for it and it just feels wrong.

I crossed that finish line and felt rubbish.  I was utterly disappointed in myself. I was cross and angry. For the first time I experienced a pure runners low, it didn't feel good.  This wasn't the way I wanted my kids to see me.  Brave face applied and they ran to greet me. I was tired, I wanted my t shirt and I wanted to go home.  

In honesty I have been on a pure low since Worksop.  I want to run but don't feel good enough.  I feel slow and I am letting my mind win when I do run.  It's not a lack of mojo more a lack of belief.  I think a feeling of not getting anywhere and not achieving my goals.  Am sure it will come back in time, I need to get rid of this dark cloud first and start focusing again.

Would I do Worksop again? Am not sure. A part of me wants to go back to do it right, but at the moment that route is just too fresh in my mind.  I think we shall wait and see.





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