Monday, 7 March 2011

Meadows (half) Marathon - Race Report

Hello Fudgey Friends,

How are you all? Again apologies for lack of blog action - things are just so busy right now but it's all good. Training is going well & I'm working hard as usual both at work & outside work. This is my race report but there will be a weekly round up from last week too - soon I hope.

This weekend saw the second running event of 2011 for me & my Bliss vest. It was kind of bizarre as it seems ages ago I signed up for this & then suddenly it was here - In a strange way I felt like I'd not trained for it as my main focus is the marathon and I was approaching this as a training run rather than a race.

Last year I ran the 5k race & really enjoyed it & thought it was a really well organised little event.It's cheap & cheerful and organised by Edinburgh Students Charities Appeal. This year my 2 amazing friends Kmac & Smurfy signed up for the 5k whilst I signed myself up for the half marathon - 11 weeks before the big one seemed perfect.
This year my gym was one of the event sponsors so there was a good contingent from there signed up too.
This year the registration process was changed and you had to pay through virgin money giving which wasn't as easy as it sounds & myself and a few friends really weren't happy about the whole registration process & then all the chaser emails from the organisers about had we paid, were we running for charity & if so which one etc. Hopefully they will iron out these issues for next year based on the feedback they've had. They did update the website with guidance on the registration process and were very friendly & helpful even when I complained a bit.

Pre Race
Really wasn't in the best of form on Saturday & was munching the pain killers like they were sweets - very severe abdominal pains of the female kind made me uncomfortable and grumpy. I also hadn't slept at all well on Friday night so was shattered but couldn't manage to get a nap in the afternoon even though I wanted to. I was also a little apprehensive about the day itself due to the registration issues - I hoped the actual event would run more smoothly (and it did). Having had ankle pain after the previous long run I was also worrying how it would hold out over 13.1 miles, but I took some good advice & decided I'd zip up my man suit & just get on with it!
Dinner on Saturday night was yummy pasta with garlic, onion, chicken, chilli, broccoli & mushrooms.

I 'checked' my garmin was charged. Took the battery out of my camera to charge, made sure I had extra safety pins for race numbers, a banana, a lucozade recovery flapjack, lucozade recovery powder & put lucozade light and lucozade body fuel into the fridge. Then it was off to bed as though the half marathon wasn't till 12.15 I was going to support my friends in the 5k & had made them these banners

Race Day
Up early & fuelled up on my traditional Marks & Spencer apple & cinnamon porridge - this is now race day ritual, small cup of tea, plenty of water & more painkillers.
Mr Fudgey & I arrived around 10.30 to meet the rest of the gang and for me to pick up my race pack.
The registration was painless - really well organised & the girl I got my pack from was really friendly. The pack contained race number. timing chip, safety pins & finishers certificate. I love that we got our certificate before we ran!
I was going to take some pre race photos only to discover that I had packed my camera but hadn't put the battery back in - I also realised I'd left the lucozade drinks in the fridge - blond? who me??
At 11am the 5k warm began. 11.15 was the start of the 5k. We cheered KMac & Smurfy off - I hope they liked their banners, then we all went across the road to a cafe. Lorna, Rob & Hubby were ordering breakfast, but I wouldn't eat anything now till after the run & didn't actually drink anymore either - just in case. The smell & sight of the food made me feel really nauseous so I had to go outside - so decided to run the last 200m of the 5k with the girls. They did brilliantly & ran it in 30minutes. Once they were finished we headed back to the cafe - I used their loo! & then I went out for the half marathon warm up only to discover my garmin wouldn't switch on - I was pretty certain I'd charged it - but now I'm questioning if I did or not - I am seriously losing the plot.

12.15 and off we went. The half marathon was 8 laps round the meadows. The benefits of this are that it's quite good for pacing and for supporters it means they can see you several times. There were 2 parts of the course I didn't much like - same as the 5k last year - the cobbles - though I handled them really well this year - now getting an expert at running on them! & the slow incline up quartermile - not so bad the first few times round but after 4 laps not so much fun. On the plus side as it was laps & I had no garmin I was able to check my pace on the race clock each time round & I think I ran good consistent lap splits - still waiting for chip time - that's a small negative - still no official time.
On the positive side I was able to just switch of my mind & run as the laps were the same & there was no looking ahead to see where the course went next, where were the runners in front turning etc, but I have to admit after 4 or 5 laps it became quite tedious. Some of the marshalls on the course were brilliant - there was guy on the bottom corner before the turn back up towards town who was really great as were the group of marshalls on the next section. It was quite cold too so Thanks to them for standing out there for hours at least we were running to keep warm. Another downside of the laps was that it was inevitable that the really fast runners would lap me - I actually found this quite demoralising especially when some of them passed me about 3 or 4 times. In a bigger event where you from A to B at least the fast guys are out front & I don't see them! At Bristo square it was great to have people cheering us through each lap.
The water station again this year was plastic cups which I still haven't mastered so again ended up wearing the first cup, so then didn't have anything for another 3 laps when I managed to drink about half a cup & then didn't bother again till the end. I did take on 2 gels though as I was conscious I hadn't eaten since 8.30am
When I came through the 7th lap I saw Mum & Dad Smith who had come to run us home they cheered for me so I waved & shouted I had one more lap. Had enough left in the legs for a sprint finish though didn't quite manage to catch Chris from my gym who was just ahead of me. I came across the line in 2 hours 9 mins 56 seconds I think as I say still waiting for the official times.

Post Race
Felt really dehydrated & a bit shaky but got my banana from my bag & my running jacket on. I collected my goody bag which again this year I didn't expect and to be honest most of it is in the recycling bucket. There was a bottle of powerade, a bag for life & a load of leaflets for student discounts - no use to me :-( I think the girls who did the 5k also got either a lip balm or a pen but my bag didn't have.
either. I'd have been happy just being handed the powerade and no bag. Into the car & got my lucozade recovery drink & then home and into an ice bath. I was back at work this morning -first time I haven't taken the day off after a half marathon. I was a little tired & grumpy this morning as I'm not sleeping well again - too much in my little fudgey brain I think.

So would I do this race again? I don't think I'd do the half marathon to be honest as it was quite tedious after about 4 or 5 laps and the lunchtime start meant it took up pretty much the whole day by the time we got there & got home. I would do the 5k again though & I would recommend the event. Given the budget that the guys have they put on a really good fun event and the organisation on the day was really good - everything seemed to run really smoothly and it's a fantastic charity fund raiser too.

Thank you
Mr Fudgey took fabulous photos as always & was the best support crew a girl could have & he wore his Bliss t-shirt. I must get a picture of the support team in their Bliss tshirts for the next race report. It was fabulous to see KMac & Smurfy run & to see Rob, Lorna, Jane & Graham & all the Bannatyne's crew - it was quite a wee social outing. Thanks to Mum & Dad Smith for coming to get us - that certainly saved us a long journey home very very very much appreciated.

Well I think I've babble on long enough - I 'll say good night for now.

Take Care everyone

lots of love


  1. You were swindled..... demand a pen and lip balm!!! lol Great report.