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Liverpool Half Marathon 2012 Recap

March 19, 2012

Hello and welcome to another week! Yesterday I ran my second half marathon, so today is all about the 3 Rs – rest, recovery and relaxation. The half marathon went really well, for a start I was very lucky with the gorgeous weather, and I thought the course was pretty and varied.

I have to say thank you to my parents, particularly my Mum, who is not a morning person, but got up at 6.30am on Mothering Sunday to take me to Liverpool. When we woke up it was absolutely pouring down with rain, but by the time we got to Liverpool and parked up at the waterfront the sun had come out.

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It was a bit chilly though, hence the many layers and hat that I’m sporting. The start was by the docks, so I calmed my nerves by taking a stroll along the riverside path and looking at the ships in the yard across the river.

There were over 7000 runners lined up at the start in quite a narrow area, with no separate corrals, so it took 10 minutes to actually cross the start line. Once I crossed the start I managed to get into a decent pace quite quickly without tripping over people in front of me or feeling like I was in the way of faster runners. Last time I ran a half marathon I went off way too fast and ended up burning out at the end, so I tried to rein me pace in, which is always difficult at the start of a race. I was helped by the incline up towards the Anglican Cathedral. My pace did increase as I free-wheeled back down the hill, but I didn’t feel like I was expending too much energy.

While I was running I tasked my parents with taking some photos of Liverpool. I love the city and it looked so good in the sunshine.

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The Three Graces

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The Albert Dock

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One of the lamb-bananas (this is the slightly bonkers side of Liverpool, but I love it!)

Meanwhile, I was absolutely loving running through the parks, which were blooming with daffodils and sparkling in the sun. I felt so happy running in these surroundings and my pace was right on target. The elevation profile of the race was quite varied, but there weren’t many very steep inclines. I actually preferred that to the very flat Peterborough half because I felt that I could push up the hills and take the downhill sections as recovery.

I chewed on a Clif Shot Blok every two miles from mile four and stopped at a couple of water stations, and I felt energised at hydrated throughout the race. Just as we were leaving Sefton Park at about mile eight I could feel a blister forming on the end of my big toe. That’s exactly the same place where I got a blister that caused me problems at Peterborough. I never get blisters in training, so why during the races? The blister was so painful, but I tried to forget about it and keep a normal gait to avoid injury. From about mile ten my left leg started hurting again like it had in Peterborough, I think because of the blister. I tried not to get frustrated and concentrated on keeping running.

The last three miles were mostly along the waterfront and were very flat, so it wasn’t too hard to keep putting one foot in front of another. My pace did slow down quite a lot in the last two miles because of my leg, but by that time I knew that I could finish in under two hours. I had plenty of energy, so when I saw the finishing line I forgot about the pain and started sprinting. I finally finished in 1:58:30, which is 2.5 minutes faster than my first half.

I only have a couple of criticisms of the race. Some of the sections were very narrow, which slowed me down as it was impossible to pass people. I guess it would be a difficult to have such a scenic course if they took a wider route. The other tiny thing that annoyed be a bit was that the water bottles handed out didn’t have sport tops, so I got more water down my top and up my nose than in my mouth. These are small things though.

Never let it me said that I’m vain … this is what I looked like when I finished:

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I managed a smile to show off my T-shirt and medal

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I had a great time and ran most of the route with a big smile on my face. I was also really pleased that I had plenty of energy and finished very strong. I am a little bit frustrated that my legs let me down and I’m sure I’ve got a faster time in me somewhere. I think if I sort my blisters out it will be a good start and will help prevent injuries cause by altering my gait. My goals for yesterday were to run the whole way and finish in under two hours, so mission accomplished!

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16 Comments leave one →
  1. March 19, 2012 12:09 pm

    Congratulations Sarah! Amazing achievement and what a great time you did it in! Sounds like you had perfect conditions and lovely scenery to look at 🙂 I love your photos of Liverpool. It’s one English city that I’ve never visited, so I must go some time. It looks really interesting x

  2. March 19, 2012 12:25 pm

    Oh wow you are a super star, that is an amazing half and a strong finish as well … I have but one word for you CONGRATULATIONS xx

    Enjoy your well earned rest today and have a fab week off.

  3. March 19, 2012 12:42 pm

    Wow that is brilliant well done!
    That tapering must have been perfect, and it is fantastic that you achieved your goal 🙂
    Congratulations! And enjoy the r, r and r 🙂
    And hope your blister has gone now.

  4. March 19, 2012 12:46 pm

    Well done! That looks like a great race and on such a nice day too. Hope you have a lovely relaxing week off now to recover 🙂 x

  5. March 19, 2012 1:25 pm

    Congratulations on an awesome race. Looks like a beautiful day to run like that. 🙂

  6. March 19, 2012 2:54 pm

    The start of your race was indeed in the same place as the Liverbird Marathon I did – the first picture made me chuckle because I have an identical one of myself, except with horrible grey fog in the background.

    Well done on a great half marathon 😀

    Have you ever tried putting plasters on your toes when you run? I know it might sound strange but it’s really helped with the blisters I get on a weekly basis 😉 I get them on the end of my little toes, so I basically mummify them, and the toes next to them, with plasters.

    xxx

  7. March 19, 2012 4:08 pm

    Firstly congratulations again!! What a fantastic time 🙂

    And it also sounds like you really enjoyed yourself, I’m sure having a beautiful scenic route helped a lot!

    I really enjoyed reading this recap, it’s so wonderfully positive (minus your poor blister!) and the photos of Liverpool are gorgeous 🙂

  8. March 19, 2012 8:38 pm

    Well done, awesome effort – glad you had a good day of it! Hope you find a solution to your blisters soon!

  9. March 19, 2012 8:41 pm

    Well done Sarah!!! What a fabulous time and you most certainly deserve this 🙂 The route is so pretty and just such lovely pictures!

  10. March 20, 2012 12:24 pm

    Sarah, looks like you did a great job and above all, had a good time! Excellent!

  11. March 20, 2012 2:21 pm

    Congratulations on a great race! 🙂 I’d love to run the liverpool half next year; I love walking through the city centre, running through it sounds fantastic!

  12. March 20, 2012 9:43 pm

    Congratulations! That’s a brilliant achievement and like you say, I’m sure you’ll be able even to top that with the factors against you. The recurring blister must be annoying; would it help to put plasters round that one when you next race?
    This was such a great recap, I felt like I was there too 🙂

  13. Errign permalink
    March 21, 2012 12:30 pm

    Congrats – well done! 🙂

    Sorry to hear about the blisters – I wonder why you don’t get them during training as well…

  14. March 22, 2012 1:42 pm

    Brilliant Sarah! You must be so pleased to have got another PB despite the problems with your leg/blisters.
    It’s really weird how you don’t get them in training, do you think it’s a pace thing?

    I’ve just started getting one on my big toe. I think it’s because I got it on the 20 mile race and now keep irritating it again. I’ve just been and stocked up on compeed in a bid to stop it coming back this weekend

    Rosexx

  15. March 22, 2012 5:22 pm

    Well done with the half marathon! I am both impressed and envious 🙂

  16. March 26, 2012 9:00 am

    Nice recap! Well done Sarah, great time! Sounds like a good race!

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