Yesterday was my first race of the year and was my slowest ever half marathon. I am, to say the least, disappointed. Still, I finished the 31st annual Inverness Half Marathon and I feel good for having done so.
The race started great. I was keeping a steady pace of about 10 minutes per mile, and I thought I’d come in under 2:20 with ease. I even thought I might come close to last year’s record-breaking time of 2:12:02. But that wasn’t the case.
When I got to mile 6, however, I began to feel a little light-headed and then my nose started bleeding – a lot! I panicked and began to worry that it was a sign of a very low platelet count, so I crouched down along the side of the road until the bleeding stopped.
Whilst I sat there trying to stop the bleeding, I started to think through my options. I could carry on like normal, running at the same pace I’d been going. I could carry on with a slower pace – or even a walk. Or I could stop at the next aid station about half a mile up the road and get a lift back to town.
Obviously, the only rational option was to carry on at my 10-minute-a-mile pace.
But shortly after I got started again, the winds kicked up. And the winds were harsh! And then I started to worry that a running pace might not be the best for me at that moment in time. So I made the heart-breaking decision to finish the race with light, slow jogging and some fast walking.
In the end, I crossed the finish line at 2:38:35. I was so very upset with my time, but I knew that I’d made the right decision to slow down.
When I think about my finish time, I realise that I was always going to slow down once the winds kicked up, so I know it was never going to be a record-breaking run for me. And when I think that I took about 12 minutes out for my bloody nose, I realise that I actually had a decent(ish) time for the conditions.
So no, yesterday’s race wasn’t a good one. And it certainly isn’t something I want a repeat of! But at least I know that it was less about my physical abilities and more about the circumstances of the day.
My next scheduled race is the Edinburgh Half Marathon at the end of May and I’m hoping to finish in a reasonable time. With the weather improving, I am hoping that I’ll get a lot more training.
As for the bloody nose, it was pointed out that it could have been due to the cold air. But just in case, I’ll be checking in with my haematologist to make sure my platelet counts are not too low. Importantly, I feel OK (other than sore legs) and I don’t have any other symptoms to make me think my ITP is acting up.
As always, you can see more photos from my races here.