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My First Unofficial East Manchester Half Marathon! 13.1 miles in 2 hrs 14 mins 13 seconds

Posted on Aug 06, 2011 under Half Marathon, Long Runs, Milestones, Season's Best | 1 Comment

Well, I’ve been doing a lot to try to improve my speed lately, and have been struggling to maintain any pace, and have been struggling on quite a few runs of late, so I set off on this planned long run with the idea of just taking it easy and seeing how I got on. Fortunately it was quite overcast with a little rain in the air, so ideal for tackling a long run.

I set off at a gentle pace with a bottle of water at the ready, and felt good at first, then hit the usual 2-3k point where my lungs begin to work really hard. I didn’t have a route in mind until that point, but I started to think about doing ten miles, and thought going out along Ashton Old Road, through Beswick, then turning left along Pottery Lane, and getting home via Hyde Road through Gorton, should give me a good long run, as I sometimes find it helpful to have a circuit in mind, and I had my bus pass with me in case of blow ups or other disasters!

I stopped a couple of times just to take on water, and felt pretty good, even tackling the big hill near the Blue Pig (actually I don’t know if the Blue Pig is still there I think it closed down!) with confidence. It did amuse me to see the queues at the bus stops growing the further along Ashton Old Road I got, I felt like saying to them all that the bus would be a while. I had an idea of racing the bus right into town, but eventually it passed me!

The roads were relatively quiet, as I got near pottery Lane the Garmin ticked over the 5 miles mark and I still felt fresh and good, so I thought I might even try doing a little over 10 miles to make my longest ever run. I ran some way along pottery lane, and checked the Garmin as I felt I was nearing 9km – and to my shock the display had somehow jumped back to 7.56km. Which was totally wrong. I stopped and had a quick look, it seemed I had done 11.53 meters in 7 and a half minutes, which was total rubbish, I’d done the first 8k at around 6 mins per km, then it had gone haywire, so I quickly worked out that 7 and a half minutes was easily 1.2km, so I reset the Garmin and figured I needed to run another 7k ish to make my ten miles. As I got along Hyde Road I figured I might get near home too soon, so took a bit of a detour and got lost in the back streets of Gorton before coming out at Pottery Lane again, and by then I was off along Hyde Road feeling like I wanted to get home. I had run out of water long since and needed a boost, so stopped the Garmin on 5k and dashed in a shop for some Lucozade, then dashed out again and restarted the Garmin.

I had already figured that I would end up doing maybe 12 miles now if I ran all the way home (the bus was always an option, I told myself I could stop when I wanted), so I carried on and figured 12 miles would be enough. When I got to within spitting distance of my house I was on 10.5km of this part of the run, and I quickly worked out that if I ran 11.9km on the clock, and added it to the 9.2 from the first segment of the run, I would have 21.1km, or 13.1 miles! I had been slowing in the last few kms and was feeling a bit depleted, but wasn’t shattered by any means, in fact I felt confident I could run another 1.4km, so I just carried on, and on… and finally felt the relief of easing to a stop and hitting the stop button on the Garmin having completed 13.1 miles altogether!

My longest run before this was a bit over 10 miles, so I have surpassed my previous record by some distance, and have run for over 2 hours for the first time ever. The combined time on the Garmin was 2 hrs 14 minutes and 13 seconds – it would be interesting to see what I could do if I pushed the pace! Average pace was around 10 minute miles, or 6 mins per k, which is fine, the main thing is I got the distance in my legs – and it seems like even though I have struggled on some runs lately, they have been doing me some good on some level, as I felt pretty good and fresh through most of this run!

Hopefully this will help with my endurance and confidence on shorter runs, and maybe I will even find some speed again (I had to slow down on portions of the run as I was running sub 55 10k pace in places and not really noticing!)

In all a very good run – and what a difference a bit of cloud cover makes! The sprinkle of rain right at the end was a blessing! 😀