A Hot and Hilly Half

When you read the description of a half marathon and it’s says undulating, that just means hilly, as I found out yesterday. When the Reading Half was cancelled I decided I couldn’t let my training go to waste and within an hour I had booked Southampton! I didn’t think much of it when it gave that description, I don’t know Southampton very well, well that was until I ran 13miles around it!!

Not only did I sign up for Southampton I set myself this next challenge, two events a month. This half was my second event in April and the 4th so far. I was really lucky to be going with our neighbour and we decided to stay down on the Saturday night to be able to have a little more sleep rather than leaving early Sunday morning. The hotel was lovely and a 5min walk to the start, brilliant, the hail, thunder and lightening before we went to sleep wasn’t so great! Nonetheless I still managed a good few hours though when the alarm went off it was a bit of a shock. I was so nervous going into this one, more so than any others. It may not have been helped by the fact I had my heart monitor fitted Tuesday in hospital and needless to say it’s caused a bit of pain, they said I could still run but I wouldn’t advise it!!

Breakfast consumed and off we went to the start, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and the atmosphere in the race village was buzzing. My amazing parents had left Reading at 6am to come and support me which was just fantastic and so much appreciated. Having found them we sorted our bits and set off for the start. There were marathon runners mixed in with us half runners, I got talking to a fellow RMR (Run Mummy Run) member and it’s such a small world she was from Reading and went to Little Heath! Before we knew it the race started. 3mins to get over the start line and then we were off.

Well the hills started from 0.5km and they continued throughout the course, it also got hotter and hotter, I look like a beetroot in seconds anyway so this wasn’t the best temperature for me!!! As for the course who on earth built the Itchen Bridge?? Anyone who knows this particular bridge will know what I mean, it just seemed to go up and up, thank goodness for Jude and John to cheer us on half way along.

I was in quite a lot of pain at the beginning and did worry if this would continue but thankfully it eased after a few miles. I got into my stride and felt much better than I thought I would, we saw mum and Dad again at mile 6 which was so encouraging.

The best bits were the people outside their houses with hose pipes spraying at us and of course those with jelly babies and wine gums! The downside was the heat and the fact the water bottles had tops on! That wasn’t easy to open when running!! Looking at timings I was hoping to come in about 2hr 22 and I could see the end in sight, mum and dad were on the home stretch and I finished in 2hr 21

I was so relieved it was over as the heat was too much, the non alcoholic beer at the end was so welcome and of course the medal! Super happy with my time for this one.

The journey home did consist of an ice pack, chocolate buttons and squashies which was perfect. Time for a shower then Andy suggested walking to the pub to finish off the afternoon which I think was actually a nice warm down!

Pleased to report I can still walk this morning and feel really good. I will confess that even though it was hot and hilly I loved it, it’s such a buzz running in these events and I really enjoy them. Roll on number 5.

I was so pleased to be running in my ICP Support vest as that’s also the reason I’m doing this crazy challenge so if anyone would like to add to my page then please do. Thank you.