I also made a trip to the Jedburgh Running Festival, opting for the more amenable 1/2 marathon distance. 

I’d set myself the wee challenge of a sub-74 1/2 for this Autumn, tough but doable I thought. Did I succeed? Nope. Why? I’m not sure. Work/holidays/life had left a couple of holes in my training diary, but there was still a fair volume of work there. I was fit, not as fit as I wanted to be – fit enough though? More worryingly, I didn’t really know what I was doing. I’d hoped to get a practice half under my belt before Jedburgh, but hadn’t and fit’s one thing, but to race well I think you have to know your distance. It’s only after about a dozen 10ks in the last year or so that I feel like I know how to ‘do’ that distance. The longer the race, the more important this probably is. Up to about 45 minutes and the ‘go out hard and hang on’ approach will probably work, but after that it requires some more thought and practice. Less importantly, the course had some hills, but most were near the start and there was enough down to balance out the up. Ambiguously, it was a windy day, though I had no idea how that would play out on the course. Pathetically, I’d left my Garmin watch in Glasgow and after having it on for all my training runs, felt naked without it.

 
 
Let’s just see how it goes I thought on the start line. 
 
 
I went off with a pace that erred on the side of caution. I tried to ignore all the runners around me, I was here for a time not a place and if they wanted in front of me that was fine by me. This especially important as the 10k had set off at the same time and I didn’t want to be racing runners who only had half my distance to go. The hills went by quickly and didn’t seem to slow me down. I went through the first couple of miles at around 5.45, not bad I thought. My relaxed approach at the start paid off as I started to move up places from 5M onward. I went through 1/2 way just shy of 37-minutes – still feeling relaxed and comfortable. This might just work I thought. But then the wind, the wind, my word the wind. Miles 7-9 involved running straight in to an oncoming headwind, making for an odd ‘slow-motion’ feel that no amount of effort could overcome, which was frustrating but nothing to be done. It wasn’t a bad once we’d turned to a side-road, but the occasional gust still threw a spanner in the works. By this point things were getting tougher, but it’s what I expected, that’s the race right? From 11-miles onward it was just desperate, legs complaining and blood pumping. I didn’t slow down, but maintaining form and pace was a struggle. The last 800m in to Jedburgh were bloody murder and crossing the line was a relief.  
 
 
I was way off from my time and that was a disappointment. On the positive side I think I raced it well and got most things right on the day. The wind definitely made a difference, but I’m not sure by how much. Ho-hum. I enjoyed my 1/2 marathon debut, but I’m sure I can do better. Roll on next year! 
 
1) Patrick Gierjatowicz HBT 1:10:43
8) James Callender 1:19:28
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