I finished it! It was a hard race, really hard race. I struggled a lot - it was a bad day to get the hottest day of the year so far!! I don't have the chip time yet but the garmin time was 2.13 miles in 2.24.30 which means 11 minute miles. I was a bit sad about my time but the weather really got to me and I struggled
Mile 1 - 8.39
Maybe set off a bit fast.. not according to my plan but it didn't seem to work for me today! I got quite caught up in the excitement of the start!
Mile 2 - 9.44
Made a consious effort to take it a bit slower on the hill as I was afraid of burning out too quickly
Mile 3 - 9.44
I wanted to pick up some speed on the flat bridge but I just couldn't, everything felt laboured and the sun felt so hot, it was a bit dizzying being that high up and running with so many people I felt a bit overwhelmed... I saw people start dropping out of the race which was really sad, I guess the heat had got to them too..
Mile 4 - 9.10
I managed to pick up a bit of speed coming off the bridge but the sun was really getting to me, kudos to all those Florida runners I do not know how you do it! I think a large reason as to why I got a second wind here was the two cups of water I poured over myself at the aid station, I did this at every water station after!
Mile 5 - 12.17
I took my first walking break. I felt really defeated as in all my training I haven't took a single walking break. I just thought about what Mike had said to me the night before, he was really concerned about me pushing it too hard and getting myself into danger.
Mile 6 - 11.01
This was where I realised I was definately not going to get my sub 2 hour time.. I was a bit sad but it just made me decide I'll have to do it again next year! Running through Barton was great though, there were loads of spectators in their gardens spraying you with hosepipes as you ran past. Some had even set up their own water stations and some were giving out gummy bears and wet sponges, I didn't actually use any of these but I thought it was really great that people had bought the stuff to give out to runners who they didn't know... I totally would have took a wet sponge but there were none left by the time I got there, Mike was lucky enough to bag one though!
Mile 7 - 10.52
At the halfway point I thought ahh if I keep up this pace I can do it in under 2.14 which was my one and only other try at the half marathon distance. I felt like that would be quite good given the walking breaks
Mile 8 - 11.07
At this point I saw the bridge again and I thought ahhh we must be getting close (turns out we ran right past it haha oh well!)
Mile 9 - 11.37
I started to get nervous here as I knew there was a killer hill coming in the next mile and I just didn't know how I was going to tackle it...
Mile 10 - 13.54
The hill apeared after a corner. I actually put my hand over my mouth when I saw it. It was not something you want to see after struggling for almost the entire race before it!
Mile 11 - 11.15
I tried to pick up the pace a bit here as we got a bit of semi flat land I started to think maybe I could finish strong after all...
Mile 12 - 12.30
I saw a man who had collapsed and was surrounded my the St John's Ambulance workers here. It really got to me and I felt really upset, I got into a bit of a panic because I started to think about Mike and I thought he might not have had enough water and I didn't know he was ok and I felt so sad for the man who couldn't finish the race and might have been seriously ill. I stopped because I couldn't catch a breath my airways completely blocked up, it's happened before once when I got upset whilst running it's not a nice feeling at all. Thankfully two men who were running for Help For Heroes stopped to see if I was ok and I walked with them for a while which took my mind off it and I managed to regulate my breathing. I was really grateful for them stopping cause I think I would have been struggling a lot longer if they had carried on running! When I'd pulled myself together I decided last two miles, lets finish strong! I thanked the men again for making sure I was ok and took off at a steady jog.
Mile 13 - 11.27
Last mile.. phew! I decided there was no way I was walking anymore, no matter how slow I had to jog, it's only one more mile and a tiny little bit right.... I didn't manage to pick the pace up much but I'm glad I kept going! I had another moment when I saw another collapsed runner, I think the sun gave a lot of people problems. I also counted four ambulances blaring past with sirens on during this mile, it was really upsetting. I hope everyone who needed medical assistance was ok.
Mile 0.1 - 9.28 pace
I could see the finish line so I really tried to sprint it! I heard my mum shout my name and cheer but it took me ages to spot her in the croud. When I crossed the finish line Mike was right there waiting for me, he gave me a massive hug and poured water all over me! I don't think I'd ever been so happy to see him I pretty much just flopped onto him cause I was so tired!
Mike at the finish
Mike again, I wish I'd got this background with both of us!
This picture pretty much sums up how I felt at the finish!
I was a lot happier than I look...
Even though I was so far off the time I'd hoped to get and was a bit upset about that I had a great race. It was tough and gruelling but I was so happy to finish. When I realised I wasn't going to get my time I just thought about my charity and thought I don't have to finish it in a certain time to get my sponsors, I just have to finish it. I'm so glad I got to the end!
Mike finished 101st overall with a chip time of 1.38.57, he was overtook right at the end! I came 1246 with a chip time of 2.25.21 which is a bit slower than my garmin time so something must have gone a bit wrong there! I came 275th out of 434 women and 119 out of 204 women aged 19-34. Around 1500 people finished and there was somewhere between 2000 and 2500 people who entered, I can't believe how bad the sun affected people, it should really be a spring race, I don't think us Brits are used to running in such heat!
I told you I had some big news in the title... Once I'd caught my breath had some water and fruit and said hello to my parents Mike and I went for a walk for some more fruit... After I'd got some more fruit he walked me over to a quiet spot aaaaaaaaaaaaaand got down on one knee!!!!! Of course I said yes! I'm so excited haha I thought he picked a perfect way to ask me :-)