Inaugural success

Today was another race day. This time, it was the inaugural Scottish Half Marathon near Edinburgh.

The course follows part of the Edinburgh Marathon course, so I had some familiar views along the way. And I’m pleased to say that I really enjoyed the entire experience. (Well, except for my slow time.)

Frustratingly, I ran the race about 7 minutes slower than I’d hoped. (Goal was 2.15; final was 2.22.) I had enough training for my goal – despite not having run the week before – but I don’t think I had enough fuel in my system.

As you do, I began evaluating my performance as I was running the race. And what I realised early on was that I was hungry and that my legs didn’t feel up to the challenge. So I started to think about my PB half marathon in Inverness and the differences between that race and this one.

And that’s when it dawned on me that despite having more training miles in for today’s race, I didn’t have the diet.

For the Inverness Half Marathon, I had arrived at my friends’ house two nights before and was fed lots and lots of good, healthy carbs. And I ran the Inverness parkrun the day before. And I ate a big bowl of oatmeal in addition to my bananas.

For this race, I spent a week at a conference in Leeds where I got little rest and arrived home the day before the race, worn out and exhausted. I also didn’t have a good, carb-friendly dinner the night before nor did I have a big bowl of oatmeal for breakfast.

Now, I know that the key to success is training, but as I was actually in better overall shape and had many, many more miles in for today’s race, I should have been better.

All I can think of is that the lack of rest and carbs (and hearty breakfast) had an impact.

So, for the Loch Ness Marathon in three weeks, I will do better. I will keep training at the gym and with road runs around my home. I will also give up booze for the two weeks before the race and will really work to ensure my diet is as healthy as possible for the next three weeks.

Importantly, I will also make sure to have a more suitable breakfast the day of the race and I will carry some jelly beans with me in case I need a wee sugar hit along the course.

And I guess the good thing about a slower than desired time for the inaugural race just means I have a great opportunity for a PB next year!

Oh! As for the race itself, the course (as I said) was lovely and I felt the event was well organised. The starting pens at the beginning worked really well and meant there wasn’t a big push at the start. I suppose the only problem was the crowds leaving the car park at the end. But that’s bound to happen at an event like this.

You can see my race shirt and bib from today’s race and other race photos here.

[Photo credits to my friend David, who ran today’s race with me. He beat me again, too. But I think that will always be the case!]

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