Hilly Hogmanay Half Marathon

Following my catastrophic chaffing from a turbo trainer session the other day I haven’t really been able to sit on the bike, so yesterday I went for an early run instead. It was blowing a gale and pouring with rain and barely light when I headed out, but I had it ion my mind to go for a longer run than usual.

My usually long runs are about 8 miles and take me just over an hour thanks to a few hills here and there. I think the longest I have ever run is just over 10 miles, but I only do runs of this length once or twice a year. However, for some reason today I had the half marathon target of 13.1 miles in my head. I don’t know why really as that is quite a bit further than I usually run, but the thought was there so that was what I was aiming for.

I set off at a nice steady (slow) pace out towards Tre-Ddol. The chaffing was a little sore and I was feeling fat and unfit, but I kept plodding on and didn’t feel too bad. At Llancynfelyn I headed up over the hill past Gwynfryn Hall and then on to Taliesin. I then took the back road up over the big hill through Staylittle and on towards Dolybont. It was still raining but from here I could see out across Borth Bog to Borth and Ynyslas and see the route that I had already run, and how far I still had to go. It’s quite impressive just how much distance you can cover though as things certainly looked a long way away.

I didn’t feel too tired though, despite having just climbed the big hill, so I headed onwards now determined to do the full half marathon. It wasn’t going to be fast and my planned route was going to be a little short so I started hatching ideas to lengthen it a little. By the time I got back into Borth it looked as though I might be able to finish the half marathon distance in 1h4 45mins, but to do so I would have to pick up the pace just a tiny bit. I did so as I ran through Borth and decided that I would have to run out and around the Boat Yard Loop in order to add on a couple more miles to take it to the full distance. It still wasn’t quite enough as I’d only covered 12.9 miles by the time I made it home, so continued up the road a little way just to stretch it out to the full 13.1 miles for  a Half Marathon.

I’d done it! My first ever half-marathon and my time was 1:45:30. Not fast, but not too bad either, especially considering I was taking it easy, there were some big hills and the weather wasn’t great. I managed to go for a hilly walk whilst geocaching with Anna and Morgan afterwards as well, although my legs were a little tired after that. They are a little sore today, but nothing worse than usual, in fact the chaffing is still kore uncomfortable than any muscle pain from the longer run. I don’t know how often I’ll do a longer run like that, but I guess if I’m going to step up to doing some standard distance triathlons rather than Sprints, then some longer distance training sessions will be needed.


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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.

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