Croydon Half - race report

12 April 2019, 09:37

Last year I was ill for 5 months and needed chemo to get rid of the final viral infection. As a result I had to DNS The Big Half and defer my London marathon place due to being ill last year. It’s been two years since I’ve run half marathon distance.

I got ill again at the start of March this year and had to DNS The Big Half yet again…. So I signed up for the Croydon Half, hoping I’d feel better by the end of March (I was, but only just!).

I was back to feeling about 85% better on Sunday but I’d literally missed all of marathon training in March and had no idea how my lungs and legs would cope after a month of sinus and lung infections and three courses of antibiotics!

But I set out to run the first ten miles easy, then try to amp it up for the final three. I knew I’d be running this slower than my usual marathon pace but I settled in around 5:20/km which felt easy despite my elevated heart rate. This was an undulating, two lap course through suburban back streets and the other runners and marshals were super friendly and encouraging so the two times I had to walk short distances uphill to bring my HR down, people asked to make sure I was ok. :)

It turns out that not running for a month turns you into That Person, running with a massive grin and thanking every marshal! Things got hard about Mile 11 but I finished stronger than I was expecting in 1:56. This is a full 20min slower than my PB, but considering all my body has been through in the past 13 months, I’ll take this. London marathon is in 4 weeks and it will be slow, hard, and painful, but I need to say goodbye to spring marathons for a while so I intend to run it again with a huge grin on my face for as long as I can.

Croydon Half Marathon, 31 March 2019, 1:56:24

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