I'd planned to do a half marathon this year to give me the motivation to increase my miles and keep me running in preparation for a doing a triathlon in the summer. I'd done the Surrey half a couple of years before and thought it was well organised, relatively flat and because it was local I signed up, but unfortunately I only had about 6 weeks to train. I also decided that because I'd completed it in 1 hour 46 in 2014 that I'd try to do it in under 1 hour 45 this year.
I spoke to Steve and he wrote me a training plan that I could follow on training peaks. The plan included 4 runs a week which I could move around and allowed me to train flexibly around work and family commitments.
Steve followed up the plan with me by email and made changes to make sure the pace and miles were challenging and that I understood and was able to follow the different training drills.
I followed the plan and enjoyed the different runs and before I knew it was race day. I wasn't confident that I'd meet the target I'd set myself but I turned up confident that I could complete the 13.1 miles and that I'd give it my best.
All race documents were sent out beforehand so on race day I just needed to turn up (queue for the toilet) and then get into the pens. I stood between the 1:40 and 1:50 pace setters and planned to try to keep the 1:40 flags within view. The first mile was quick and so I slowed up and tried to keep my pace steady. The first 10 miles went relatively well, there were a few gentle hills but nothing too steep. There were spectators around the course but not too many and at times it was quite quiet. After 10 miles my legs started to feel tired and the hills seemed steeper but I remembered the tips Steve had given me about running technique and this helped me to feel stronger. At 12 miles the crowds got bigger and the cheering helped me to keep going and focus on getting to the end, I remember smiling all the way along the last mile as people cheered me on. I crossed the line and checked my watch, I thought here must be a mistake when it said 1:41, five minutes off my pb, I was over the moon!
I definitely couldn't have done that time without the technique tips, training plan or motivational emails from Steve, it all kept me focused and got me me out of bed on cold, wet February mornings to run through the mud, wind and rain. I don't know how he did it but the plan worked - thank you Steve.
I missed out the fact that when I was ready to leave yesterday morning I'd planned my timings so I could drop Maisie to my mother in laws then get to the car park and walk to the start, I went to get the car keys and there weren't any there. I rang Jay and he'd taken both sets of keys to work with him and he was in redhill! You can imagine the rage! Anyway I got sorted in the end and got a lift to the start and now Jay is claiming the anger made me run faster so he helped me out! He's still not forgiven!