Friday, 27 April 2012

Rock n Roll Edinburgh half marathon race report

finally - almost 2 weeks after the event...which I am still recovering from thanks to acute tendonitis:

This half-marathon was going to be my big one. Having done the Glasgow half-marathon twice, both times having suffered injuries and subsequent lost of training time and getting the same times of 2hours 15, I was determined this time to achieve a sub-2 hours. I had competed a full marathon last year and stayed injury free (though still managing to lose out to illness) and had a good training plan all ready and was sticking to it. 2 weeks before the big day I noticed soreness in my ankle but thought it was just routine tiredness from a 10k run, but it got worse. SO it was that I rolled up to the inaugural Edinburgh ‘Rock n Roll’ half-marathon with my ankle all taped up with fittingly goth-like kinesiology tape (winged skulls if you were wondering, no girly pink for me!!) and feeling more nervous than usual and not sure if I would get past mile 5 let alone finish.

I actually got off to a good start even managing around a 7mph pace and reached the 5km mark in 27 minutes. The sun was out and the music was suitably rock n roll. One of the draws of this event was the promise of local bands/DJs playing at every mile and I had left my iPod at home to enjoy the atmosphere – I wasn’t counting on running past the majority of the band stands when the bands were in-between songs – unlucky or what!!! At one of them the lead singer was ‘encouraging’ participants by shouting ‘run!’ and ‘faster’ I reciprocated by shouting back – ‘don’t shout, PLAY!’

Despite my good start the pain in my right ankle was starting to worsen by mile 7 and due to putting more weight on my other leg my left hip was beginning to ache severely. But I told myself – I am pretty much half-way, just the same again and I’m there! Popped two paracetamol and soldiered on! Unfortunately the second half of the run was harder – there were some tough hills which I could only walk through. The downhill was the worst and I was reduced to a pathetic limp. The crowd’s well-meaning shouts of ‘keep going – its downhill now!!’ were of no comfort at all but their encouragement really did help. Mile 8 was really hard – lots of downhill-uphill and the painkillers were not working and I had moments where I had to suppress tears.

I found I had to really concentrate on blanking out all thoughts of how far I still had to go and how much worse the pain would get (very difficult as it turned out!) The last 2 miles consisted off a long downhill stretch – coming down the mound into Princes Street – the very heart of Edinburgh. One other girl came to an abrupt stop with a cramp – I really felt for her being so near the end and having to surrender. I was determined not to.

Close-up I look very unhappy!
I limped past the finish line at 2hours 14 mins33 second, and broke down into tears…of pain, relief, amazement at actually finishing, and exhaustion.

Once I sat down, getting up turned out to be close to impossible and am even now walking with a crutch…I don’t regret running it when I really shouldn’t have. And perversely, despite the agony it was one of my best races. Runner are a strange bunch…I still plan on getting that sub 2 hour PB J

Actually looking happy with my medal (my mum in the background!)