The Leeds Half 2016

Well I did it! As predicted it was a personal worst at 2.05 but I’m happy I got round…kind of.

It was a sizzling hot day reaching about 23 degrees celcius so the conditions were far from ideal. Saying that though, my husband (Si) got a PB of 1.35 so an amazing race for him. The winner, Mohammad Aburezeq, beat his time last year by four minutes to 67 minutes!!! So it could be done!

I was very excited about the race because the crowds are awesome in Leeds and they didn’t disappoint. Not only were there people cheering practically everywhere en route; eye of the tiger was booming half way up a steep climb (always a motivator), hose pipes were out spraying us with ice cold water, children were handing out jelly babies and the cheering after a tough 4 mile climb out of Leeds onto the ring road was amazing and one I’ll never forget! The crowds get you round and lift you so much on race day so thank you to every single person out there yesterday, you made the day very special!

My own personal race was the toughest I’ve ever done to be honest. It wasn’t just the heat, I’ve ran hotter in the Sheffield half, I just wasn’t fit enough. But the positive is that my body and mind were strong enough to get me round. I had no thigh or knee injuries after the race so all good there. Mind you going at that pace I’m not really surprised…

Anyway I had to dig deep from 0.67 miles (to be precise) because I ran over to a fellow Pudsey Pacer to say hello but as soon as I got next to her I tripped over my foot and went flat on my face. Lots of blood, stinging and swollen hands. I got straight up and didn’t stop running till the end like, but it was a distraction I didn’t need. It bloody hurt and I’d bent my thumb right back so it was like a balloon at the end. I wanted to stop there and then but told myself I don’t need hands to run. And if Scott Jurek can win the Hardrock 100 with a sprained ankle I can run 12 miles with a sore hand! I had to get lots of water on the run to rinse the blood and my shorts were used as a wipe so I desperately wanted to get a shower – you can imagine how elated I was when I saw those hose pipes!

For the first half I was on schedule for a 1.55 right up until mile 9 really. I was running near the pacer. But those last four miles suddenly went real slow. A sign of poor fitness and the heat getting to me I guess.

As I turned for the last half mile, struggling, my husband was in the crowds with a fellow Pudsey Pacer, Neil. Neil had been banging his steel bowl and cheering us all on throughout the course, he was ace. As Si ran with me to the end, believe it or not I took another tumble on a speed bump but somehow managed to stay off the deck. I was quite emotional as I got to the top of The Headrow. The amazing crowds and music were something else. Then as I saw the finish line I just couldn’t stop smiling. Pushed out a sprint finish (standard) and beamed for the rest if the day. You can’t beat the feeling of crossing a finishing line, you really can’t.

Here’s me and Si at the end.

IMG_4708

I learned a lot about myself during this race and I did enjoy a few miles thanks to the fabulous crowds. I’ve just booked the York 10k and Chester marathon so they’re my next goals. I’m totally going to catch Si with my times and clock some PBs now I’ve got a good foundation. I’ve also bought this book to kick start my training: Runner’s World Run Less, Run Faster. I’m excited to be starting a new training plan that’s just 3 days a week and meant to bag you a PB!

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2 responses to “The Leeds Half 2016

  1. Brought a tear to my eye Jo! That’s amazing, well done!! How’s your hand now?

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