Challenge number 8 – to PB at the Cambridge Half Marathon.
Today was the first of my physical challenges which was to get a personal best time at the Cambridge Half Marathon. I hadn’t run a half marathon since 2012 and felt confident that I could get under the 2hours 3 minutes that I achieved last time. Everyone that had run Cambridge before told me what a lovely course it was and after an early start I felt optimistic as we drove down the A11 especially as the sunrise was beautiful and the weather was perfect. We got to the start area with plenty of time to spare and it was as if somebody had flicked a weather switch, the clouds came over, the drizzle started and the wind felt arctic. I had messaged Phil last night to ask him to get some bin bags to wear once we had handed in our bag so we looked especially glamerous in our pink bakery waste bags labelled ‘not for human consumption’! I wore my bag until the very last moment and reluctantly shred it just before crossing the start line. The first few miles were very congested and my average pace was over 9 minutes per mile which worried me a bit but I was running with a fellow Gazelle Andrew who told me not to worry as we would make the time up. I really enjoyed the first half of the half and felt really strong, I remembered why I love running and the encouragement from the crowds was fantastic. It started to hurt as I got towards mile 10 and I started to panic that I had gone too quickly but kept telling myself that it was just a parkrun to go and dug deep. Mile 12 was horrible, up over an overpass into a headwind and everything felt like lead but I knew that finish line was coming and the last half mile was flatter and I knew my support team of Jess, Eddie and Tom were in the crowd so pushed hard and crossed the line just before the clock ticked over to 1:55. I felt quite emotional as I collected my medal that I had achieved my PB and my chip time came in at 1:51:55 which gave me an 11 minute PB.
Worryingly this was the easiest of my physical challenges so I now need to get training hard and get out on my bike for next months’ duathlon!