Today I Ran My First Ever Sub 2 Hour Half Marathon (In Training).
Today I ran my first ever sub 2 hour half marathon. Sadly it was only in training, but after last night’s post about my aims for 2013, I knew I had to back up my ambitions with real shit.
I ran the half marathon around town in 1:58:35. That is over 6 minutes faster than the Lisburn Half Marathon on Wednesday night.
I don’t know what motivated me into this. I think it was being awoken by the Red Arrows flying over my house for the Armed Forces day here in Carrickfergus. The last time I’d seen the Red Arrows was during the Great North Run 2012 where I failed to record a time at all because of losing my chip at the start line.
Coming down into South Shields, hearing the Red Arrows buzzing overhead is still something which makes my stomach sink a little. At te time I was running without purpose as I wasn’t gonna record a time. It was quite humiliating.
Hearing them again but this time over my house made me think “That’s fucking it!!!”.
I knew from the 1st mile I was gonna do it.
I did the first mile in 9:58. Not an impressive start by any means but I knew I had much more in me.
In my 12.5 mile run last week I knew that I could run a sub 2 hour half marathon, but the thought of trying and failing was too much for me at the time.
It was the first time the thought ever came to me in training and I guess it was important.
It showed intention.
It showed I was open to the possibility of actually doing it.
On Wednesday, I tried and failed for the sub 2 hours in Lisburn but still survived and even enjoyed the experience.
There’s nothing wrong with failing. Failing is the first step to success if you don’t sulk and learn from it and then move on.
I’ve been a big, big loser.
The fact is that I’ve failed at running a half marathon 30 times before this.
It took until this, my 31st attempt to actually fucking succeed at hitting the sub 2 hour half marathon target. Here is a list of my last 15 or so last half marathon attempts.
My 31st and last chance to do this
I knew I had to do it on this run otherwise I could end up never attaining the goal.
The problem with goals is that you can tend to see them as unattainable the more you have fail to meet them. Striving for the goal makes it even harder to achieve as your held back by your frustration.
So instead of panicing or doubting myself, I broke what I was gonna do down into it’s component parts.
To run a sub 2 hour marathon, run 13.1 miles with an average pace of 9:09.
By 5 miles I’d picked up the pace a bit but was still running just over 9 minute miles. My average pace was 9:25 at this time and I still felt strong.
I didn’t think about failing or succeeding. I worried more about running at a sustainable pace. I wasn’t worried about slowing down as I knew I was in a position where I could up my pace at any time.
At this point I knew that I was capable of running a half marathon. From my previous half marathon attempts and speed runs I also knew I was capable of running at around a 9:00 minute/mile.
It took until mile 10 to knew I’d achieved it.
By then I’d ran 10 miles at an average 9:09 minute/mile pace and I still had a major downhill section to run through mile 11.
I completed it in 8:24, leaving me with 2.1 miles to run in 21 minutes. A 10 minute mile for the rest of the run would see me through, but I kept going at the same pace and finished on 1:58:35 for 13.14 miles.
So there you go. I did it. Now I’ve just to actually record a sub 2 hour finish in a race.
I’m thinking of the Ards half marathon next Friday.
Who knows, it might actually fucking happen!