21 October 2014
EDEN PROJECT HALF MARATHON 2014
On Sunday 19th October I ran my second half marathon. It was at the Eden Project in Cornwall and I really really enjoyed it. I had signed up with three weeks until race day, as a spur of the moment decision as I was craving running another half marathon. After looking at the hill profile I headed into the race with an aim of matching my first half marathon time. I knew the hills would be tough so I wasn't particularly expect a fast course. I was incredibly happy indeed when I noticed my pace throughout would mean I would actually achieve a PB!
I would highly recommend this course. Although the hills were tough (I actually ended up walking part of most of them) I very much fell in love with it. The scenery was lovely and I loved the trail aspect to it, running through the woods and past rivers. The weather definitely helped, it was beautifully sunny with no wind. These sorts of conditions would have meant a challenging hot race in the summer, but due to the cooler Autumn months it meant it was pretty much idea weather. Racing the last mile, pretty much all downhill, into the Eden Project itself was pretty spectacular. It was a fantastic setting for a finishing line and who doesn't love a downward hill to the finish?!
Signing up with three weeks to go until race day meant I was feeling fairly under prepared, with the furthest distance that I ran in "training" being 7.5 miles (just over half of the distance I would need to run on the day). Because of this and challenging looking course I was slightly worried about what my time would be. I wanted to beat my Plymouth time but knew that it realistically might not be possible.
Rather than going into the race worrying about the time, I decided to change my outlook on the it. Although I wanted to aim for a good time my main thought was that I wanted to enjoy it. If I beat my time, I beat it. If not then, I've still just ran a half marathon and had fun doing it. This attitude definitely helped. Sometimes forgetting about beating a time (though this definitely was still in my mind) and simply taking the time to enjoy the run can mean so much more. I don't know whether it was because I'm fitter now than I was in April or if it was the positive attitude I had (it was probably a mixture of both) but I came away with a personal best and a new time to beat.
Running for the fun of it and experiencing a new course, scenery and a new challenge is one of the best things, and something I love, about running. It also means when you do surprise yourself and achieve a great new result, that feeling is something completely amazing! I ran this race with such a high and it was a great feeling seeing my time progress so much since my first half marathon. I completed this half marathon in 2:09:35 a whole 17 minutes than my first attempt at this distance in April! My aim now is to hopefully match, if not potentially beat, this time when I race the Plymouth Half Marathon next year in April. If I do, I do and if I don't? I keep entering ones and improving my training, technique and speed until I do, and enjoy every minute of doing so.
I have definitely fallen in love with those 13.1 miles of running and can't wait for my next one.