Sunday, 20 February 2011

Brighton Half Marathon 2011: NEW PB - 1:49:22

What a great day! New PB for half marathon of 1:49:22, but also my 8 yrd old son Oli ran the kid's 1-mile race in 6min35sec - which I think is a far cooler achievement.
So, today was the Brighton Half Marathon, not particularly warm, slight breeze and generally a grey day (but hey, this is England in February, so what do you expect? Oz it ain't). But, as far as running is concerned it was a great day for a race. Not too warm, not to cold, breeze never picked up to being a wind, so a good day for getting your head down and going for it.

Plan was to get close to my previous half training best of 1hr55, but all of a sudden at the 11-mile mark I realised I was well within the 1:55 mark and then as I drifted past 12-miles I realised I had 10 minutes within which to finish the race and squeeze inside the 1hr50 mark, so it was a final case of digging in and going for it. Well chuffed when I went over the line inside that mark, hadn't expected it, so over the moon.  With the family all there to cheer me on, what more could you want...
Yes, I know some people go faster, but its not about anyone else, its all about me, trying to go faster than I did yesterday and trying to become a better runner. I ran my first half marathon distance in October 2010 in around 2hrs15, so to finish today's race at 1:49:22 smashing 25-minutes of that time in the course of 4-months is something I'm genuinely proud of.  And yes I know I've done the miles and been diligent about my training etc, but I couldn't have done today without DailyMile.

I joined DailyMile as a side-thought, and god am I glad I did.  The network of runners, triathletes, cyclists etc that I have grown across the globe, has rapidly become an inspirational group of people who make me get up go running, but more importantly make me strive to be better, not better than them, just better than myself and for that I thank them all.

Yes I trained hard for today's half marathon, but without DailyMile I probably wouldn't have pushed myself in the same way over the past couple of months, realising I can run a bit faster than I thought, then reacting to everyone's encouragement, motivation and inspirational comments to maintain that pace, and push to go even faster.

That's why I ran 1:49:22 today.

A few months ago I wanted to run this at 10-min pace as part of my Marathon training, through the encouragement of others I pushed myself to realise, then be comfortable with the fact, that I can run faster and I have the resources to push myself further than I thought I could before....if you could now all teach me how to look cool on the home straight I'd be away...
So, to all my friends on Daily Mile I say thank you.  And to everyone else running races this weekend, and there were a lot of racers and PB'ers, I say congratulations and I look forward to hearing about your simple uneventful training runs next week.  Yes, its great to hear about the glory of the race, but its the support for the 4-mile training run in the rain when you feel crap that means more, and again is one of the reasons why DM is so special.

So back to was a great race, atmosphere was really nice, a very calm relaxed bunch of runners, my one stress was realising the baggage drop was about 1/2 mile further than the start point which meant I should have left home a tad earlier to avoid the sudden dash to the start to get there in time for the off and not get stuck at the back, but you can't complain about that.  Support on the streets was in clumps with a thick gathering around the obvious points in the race, but nice none the less, and the steel bands gave the grey day a Brighton Calypso lift.

Was thrown a bit by my Garmin pausing for no reason at around 7.5miles (second time this has happened) and I only realised after about another 3/4 mile, but thankfully I had a second watch so could keep track of time if not distance.  Hitting the 10-mile mark and turning back onto the seafront could have been hard, but the high tide and listening to the surf crashing into the beach plus running for 2-miles past brightly coloured beach huts is a nice way to push towards the end of a Half-Mary.

So, overjoyed with my performance today, was just hoping to go a tad faster than 1:55, didn't expect this, but very happy to take it.  Only way to finish the day was a couple of beers and a fabulous banquet at the local Chinese...
...just don't expect me to race Oliver, coz at a 6:35 pace he'll kick my arse!!!


  1. Looks like you tore it up! And what a way to celebrate. I agree, DM is where it's at :) Awesome blog!

  2. Really made a big leap in performance Stephen! Campion in the making I reckon! Just don't get any injuries and train smart and the PBs will keep coming.

    I don't know what is better, Yum Cha or PBs or family participation, looks like a great day!