About Me

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Wife (to Shaun), Mother (to Danni), Dog walker of Archie the JRX, improving cyclist, reformed gym bunny, broken runner Collector of exercise DVDs & equipment. Cake is my weakness together with cider (Westons only thanks)and brandy. Noisy spectator of running & cycling events. Owner of Tribby the campervan

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Brighton Half Marathon - Or The Day I Beat Batman!

What a fantastic day it's been - not only did I run most of the 13.1 mile course, but the weather was more than perfect and I got to spend some time with my family and some great friends!

Yesterday I went for a little 2 mile jog just to make sure my legs didn't forget what to do.  A lovely little jog down to the West Beach (yes the one that's been closed for years) and back via the Marina - one of my favourite little runs.  The rest of the day was spent getting bits of food shopping done and a dog walk in the afternoon with a nice chicken and pasta tea to finish things off.

We didn't get to bed particularly early but that didn't seem to matter - we had a new mattress delivered on Friday and both nights I've had a lovely sleep.   Shaun got up at 5am (stoopid o'clock) to walk the dog and I got up a few minutes later to sort myself out some porridge & banana.  Danni and her friend Lucy were volunteering at the bag drop and needed to be in at 7 - hence the ridiculously early start for a local race!

It was a horribly dark, foggy & icy morning so lots of layers & the choice to wear a long sleeve top with a vest base layer underneath.  Luckily Shaun told me to pick up my sunglasses!

We dropped the girls off at Dukes Mound so that they could sign in and then drove on to my works car park in town. Being there so early we managed to see the sun come up - it was an amazing sunrise!

Managed to say a quick hi to my physio Matt - I needed to keep moving to stay warm so we headed to where I'd arranged to meet my parents who were bringing Steve, Jo and Amy down.  It wasn't long before we were walking back to the Steve Ovett statue where I'd arranged to meet Team Bosh (a facebook page for runners)
I had a bit of a trek down to the Green start pen (the last one!) and had arranged to meet up with Alma and another Bosh runner, Liz.  Michelle and I made our way down, it was very busy and the queue for the loos was horrendous.  Decided at that point to ignore the impending feeling in my bladder and get to the start (bad idea).  The race started at 9am sharp!

I was pretty pleased with myself at not stopping to walk up that horrible slope out of town and along to Roedean, I'd always thought I would never manage it!   At mile 3 I couldn't ignore my bladder any longer, luckily there were some portaloos and we agreed to stop for a quick comfort break, and to pick up some water from the water station!   As we turned back to the Sea Life Centre it was becoming more apparent that it was becoming warmer.  I decided it was time to remove the baselayer and be ready to throw it at the support team as we ran past.  Hopefully I didn't offend too many spectators whilst the undressing was occurring !

The bit between 6 and 10 miles is horrible, a long stretch where you can see the faster runners coming back to the finish line.  We took advantage of a couple of walk breaks between miles 9 and 11 - the stretch where the beach huts are is horrible too - they seem to go on forever and the promenade is full of people completely unaware that runners are behind them.   From mile 11 we ran the whole way and it was great to see the 1km to go marker and then count down and see the finish.

It was great to do the finish straight, lots of people clapping and cheering and encouraging runners on.  I spotted a chap in a batman outfit in front of us and was determined he wasn't going to finish before us - I like to make targets so we sped up as much as my legs would allow.

Alma and I crossed the line in 2 hours 41 mins (official chip time) - Alma's garmin said 2 hours 38 as she'd stopped it for the loo break.  Mine for some unknown reason had stopped at 6 miles - probably during the undressing saga! Here's the link to us crossing the line

All in all a good days running.  I had originally predicted 2 hrs 30 mins before the injury and having decided to run it I was aiming for less than 2 hrs 45, so I can't really complain.   I'm not sure that Half Mara's are for me but I'm sure with some good training I could come to enjoy them.  There is absolutely no way I will ever attempt a full marathon, and you all have permission to remind me of that in the future!   I'm pretty sure I will be back to give Brighton HM another go!

What have I learned today ?

1 To run in short sleeved tops whatever the weather!
2 Wear SPF moisturiser - having looked in the mirror tonight I have a sunburnt face.
3 Make sure I go to the loo however long the queue at the start is.
4 Wear more bodyglide or similar on the soles of my feet - no blisters but my god they were sore at about
    9 miles!
5 Check gel stocks a few days before the race, not the night before!

Thanks have to go to Shaun - he's had to put up with a lot over the last few weeks (including tears & being shouted at!)  I love him more than he will ever know.   To daughter Danni - sorry for abandoning you when you needed help with your A Level studies because I HAD to go for a run and well done for the volunteering, I hope you enjoyed it & make sure it goes on your CV! I love you lots and lots too and I am more proud of you every day x

Thanks also to Matt the physio at Studio 57 - without your magic hands, knowledge and the ability to read me like a book I would NEVER have attempted today.

Also thanks to Alma for offering to run with me - lots of encouragement and help in focussing on getting to the next mile - a perfect running partner!

Thanks to Steve & Jo for the emergency gel - and well done on good running!


  1. What a fabulous day! Loved reading every word of this & am so glad your back was fine (tho sore feet, but of course!). Your photos were great too! I smiled especially at the end, when you said that half-marathons might be your top end (no full marathons). I feel that same way already & I've yet to do my first half! I also grinned at how the hubby has tolerated tears & being yelled at. They do get it all, don't they? ;-) CONGRATULATIONS on a job well done!

  2. Was great running with you! When are we doing the next one :)

  3. Congratulations! A very well deserved medal!

    My calves started aching in sympathy reading about that slope out of town - I remember it only too well! I also got sunburned during Brighton Half last year, it's a really deceptive course. I remember slathering on extra sunblock when I turned up for the marathon a couple of months later.