HILLS – where we’re going…there will be hills.
And so it was that I had signed up for the Haweswater Half Marathon on Sunday March 5th.
I’d never ran Haweswater before but I’d been assured by other runners who had attended previously that it was pretty hilly in the first half of the race with the second half of the race being a little more downhill.
Plenty of DH Runners attended this one as well as friends and acquaintances from other local running clubs.
In the past hills were not my friend and I’ve openly avoided many races with big climbs but, with a year’s worth of core work behind me, I felt confident that I could tackle this race and still do pretty well time-wise at the same time. I’d also been doing plenty of hill work in January and February so it’s safe to say I’ve been covering all bases in terms of battling hills.
We were soon on the heavily congested start line and ready to get going.
Upon starting I ended up with a pack of runners who set off at some pace. I kind of got carried along for the ride for the first mile or so in fear of being trampled by the group of runners behind. The first mile was a 7:06 minute pace.
The climbs kind of started not long after mile 1 with a fairly hefty climb beginning around mile 5. The only good thing about that climb was that I’d figured we were coming up to the turning point soon so I knew we’d end up going back down it in the not too distant future.
It was nice to start seeing some runners on the other side heading to the finish as that meant the turnaround point wasn’t too far away.
Once turned around there was still a fair bit of work left to do but it was nice to know that I was heading back in the other direction and there were some fairly substantial down-hills ahead of me.
The back end of the race was a bit of a blur to be honest and the last five miles saw times of 7:00, 7:24, 7:07, 7:14 and 6:51.
The last push for the finish saw me get a time of 1:37.04 overall.
I must say I was pretty pleased with that given the undulating nature of the course.
If I’d attempted that a year or two ago it probably would’ve ended in disaster so it’s yet another marker of how far I’ve come over the past twelve months.
With my commemorative mug secured and full of coffee I went out to cheer the rest of the DH Runners in while drinking my coffee and eating my flapjack. Lovely scenery and after run coffee and flapjack it just doesn’t get any better than this.
A week later I posted my final big week of running in the build-up to Manchester and knocked out my final 20 miler. It went well and it’s been a lot better than the runs before Manchester at any other period. I’m hoping for good things at Manchester Marathon. The signs look good and I’ve just got to believe in myself a bit more.
Wilmslow Half Marathon is up-coming for me next on 19th March. I’m still working out the best way to approach it at the moment but either way it should be a good outing.
Fingers crossed for a good few weeks of running. All the best to everyone whatever you’re training for.
(Many thanks to the many people out taking photos of runners during the Haweswater Half. I’m not entirely sure who to credit for the ones I’ve added here as they were forwarded to me).
Follow me on Strava: