Liverpool Half Marathon 2012 Recap
Hello and welcome to another week! Yesterday I ran my second half marathon, so today is all about the 3 Rs – rest, recovery and relaxation. The half marathon went really well, for a start I was very lucky with the gorgeous weather, and I thought the course was pretty and varied.
I have to say thank you to my parents, particularly my Mum, who is not a morning person, but got up at 6.30am on Mothering Sunday to take me to Liverpool. When we woke up it was absolutely pouring down with rain, but by the time we got to Liverpool and parked up at the waterfront the sun had come out.
It was a bit chilly though, hence the many layers and hat that I’m sporting. The start was by the docks, so I calmed my nerves by taking a stroll along the riverside path and looking at the ships in the yard across the river.
There were over 7000 runners lined up at the start in quite a narrow area, with no separate corrals, so it took 10 minutes to actually cross the start line. Once I crossed the start I managed to get into a decent pace quite quickly without tripping over people in front of me or feeling like I was in the way of faster runners. Last time I ran a half marathon I went off way too fast and ended up burning out at the end, so I tried to rein me pace in, which is always difficult at the start of a race. I was helped by the incline up towards the Anglican Cathedral. My pace did increase as I free-wheeled back down the hill, but I didn’t feel like I was expending too much energy.
While I was running I tasked my parents with taking some photos of Liverpool. I love the city and it looked so good in the sunshine.
The Three Graces
The Albert Dock
One of the lamb-bananas (this is the slightly bonkers side of Liverpool, but I love it!)
Meanwhile, I was absolutely loving running through the parks, which were blooming with daffodils and sparkling in the sun. I felt so happy running in these surroundings and my pace was right on target. The elevation profile of the race was quite varied, but there weren’t many very steep inclines. I actually preferred that to the very flat Peterborough half because I felt that I could push up the hills and take the downhill sections as recovery.
I chewed on a Clif Shot Blok every two miles from mile four and stopped at a couple of water stations, and I felt energised at hydrated throughout the race. Just as we were leaving Sefton Park at about mile eight I could feel a blister forming on the end of my big toe. That’s exactly the same place where I got a blister that caused me problems at Peterborough. I never get blisters in training, so why during the races? The blister was so painful, but I tried to forget about it and keep a normal gait to avoid injury. From about mile ten my left leg started hurting again like it had in Peterborough, I think because of the blister. I tried not to get frustrated and concentrated on keeping running.
The last three miles were mostly along the waterfront and were very flat, so it wasn’t too hard to keep putting one foot in front of another. My pace did slow down quite a lot in the last two miles because of my leg, but by that time I knew that I could finish in under two hours. I had plenty of energy, so when I saw the finishing line I forgot about the pain and started sprinting. I finally finished in 1:58:30, which is 2.5 minutes faster than my first half.
I only have a couple of criticisms of the race. Some of the sections were very narrow, which slowed me down as it was impossible to pass people. I guess it would be a difficult to have such a scenic course if they took a wider route. The other tiny thing that annoyed be a bit was that the water bottles handed out didn’t have sport tops, so I got more water down my top and up my nose than in my mouth. These are small things though.
Never let it me said that I’m vain … this is what I looked like when I finished:
I managed a smile to show off my T-shirt and medal
I had a great time and ran most of the route with a big smile on my face. I was also really pleased that I had plenty of energy and finished very strong. I am a little bit frustrated that my legs let me down and I’m sure I’ve got a faster time in me somewhere. I think if I sort my blisters out it will be a good start and will help prevent injuries cause by altering my gait. My goals for yesterday were to run the whole way and finish in under two hours, so mission accomplished!