I've been really bad at blogging lately and this post should have gone up earlier on this week! I have a few posts in the pipeline so I will catch up soon!
Last monday I completed my 9th Womens Mini Marathon with 35,000 other women. I have so much love for this event! There is always such an amazing atmosphere on the day and along the course and this year it was no different. My one issue has always been the organisation of the starting pens. No matter what you always have people who insist on starting in the joggers, fast joggers (and even runners) section who have absolutely no intention of even attempting to jog. You also have people who decide they are going to start early to get a bit of a head start. All of these people just get in the way of the people attempting to run it and I think there needs to be something done to combat this. Not only is it frustrating for those trying to get a good time, its also dangerous for the walkers having people push past them to get on their way. If people could just start in the sections relevant to them and be conscious of people running it would make things a whole lot better.
Since qualifying as a runner this has not been as much of an issue for me, but even so this year I was surprised to see people in the running pen with yellow, blue and pink numbers, some clearly having no intention of running at all. Anyway, mini rant over, apart from this small issue it really is a wonderful event and fabulous day out!
Race morning started the same way as it does every year, a toasted wholemeal bagel with peanut butter and banana. Plenty of carbs to help fuel the run. The race doesn't start until 2pm so I had a very leisurely morning trying to keep myself hydrated and assessing the weather. I could feel the heat and heavyness in the air and I was not too happy about it. This year was the first year I was running on my own. Usually I have someone to meet at the start point so I wasn't sure this year when I should leave. Usually I'm there well in advance soaking up the atmosphere with someone else and I didn't want to hang around too long on my own.
In the end I probably left it a little bit late and was rushing to get to the starting pen by 1:30pm. I had seen some evidence of rain out in greystones and it looked torrential so I was pretty worried about the weather in the city centre and of course at about 1:15pm the rain started. It poured down for around 15 minutes and then it thankfully (or not) started to clear and the sun came out. There was a great buzz at the start as usual, and despite a short delay starting I was feeling pretty good.
The first 3km went really well, my pace was on point and despite the heat I was feeling really good. It was only at around the 4km point did the heat really start to hit me and I started to struggle a little. I took a short walk break to drink some water just before the UCD flyover and found it really hard to get going again. What followed was a really struggle until the next water point. I ran as much as I could but kept having to stop for walking breaks. Eventually when I hit the 7km mark I decided that if I wanted to keep it to under an hour I needed to buckle down and go for it. I put the head down and powered through. The heat and heaviness in the air was pretty intense but I put it out of my mind and kept going.
I knew I had crossed the start point at around 40 seconds on the clock, so when I rounded the corner at Leeson Street and saw the clock, i knew if I just sprinted the last bit I could get a personal best and went for it. The clock read 57:44 when I crossed the finish like so I guessed I had just managed a personal best. Official chip time was 57:05, knocking 28 seconds off last years time. Its not amazing improvement, but considering the conditions on the day I am super happy with it.
After the race it was time for my well deserved treats! After a beer in the sun we headed straight to Bison Bar for some well needed BBQ - pulled pork and brisket covered in BBQ Sauce and Mustard with a variety of sides all washed down with a couple more beers! Then onto the Vintage Cocktail club for a couple of delicious cocktails before heading home to chill out on the couch with a film and some ice cream. It was a fabulous day and I managed to raise over €300 for Mental Health Ireland. A huge thank you to everyone who contributed!
Straight into training for the Rock and Roll Half Marathon in August! No rest for the wicked as they say!