23rd February 2014
1:41:42 (8.85 miles)
4 of the Henfield 8 (BHR that is) that started the Henfield 9
I think any race a week after the Brighton Half was going to have to be a pretty special race to trump the highs of the week before, but with another Half Marathon (yes 2 in 2 weeks) looming, i figured this would be a good little warm up! It was off road too although i do believe the course had to be changed quite drastically at the last minute as the previous route was very heavily waterlogged!
At the start…James looking for some inspiration!
It was only a small race and very reasonably priced and we had signed up on the day. 8 Burgess Hill Runners arrived at the start and I immediately got nervous as i had a feeling i would be very near the back if not right at the back! This is something i battle with every time i run with people and something i have to stop worrying about! Jay gets frustrated with me and i know deep down it doesn’t matter, but it is something i am working on lets just say…
After a short race de-brief we were off. Everyone appeared to speed off but i stuck to my normal pace and let them all shoot past. I knew going off too quick was never going to do me any favours. I think my head let me down a lot in this race as i never got comfortable. I kept adjusting my t-shirt, my waist pack, my earphone kept falling out and my playlist i had set up on my iPod wasn’t working! I was cold and de-motivated. I had one person behind me who i did manage to pull away from but it was a constant battle with my inner voice.
What i did enjoy was the lead runners coming back past which gave me something to focus on. The wind was strong and biting and i was seriously struggling, so it was brilliant to see one of my fellow BHR flying past in 2nd and then the rest of them came streaming through and we cheered each other along. Jay was doing really well and looked so comfortable and it always gives me a boost when i see him. My buddy Hannah was a little way ahead of me so i just focused on her and as we approached the turnaround point, she wasn’t too far away.
Unfortunately, things went downhill fast after this. At around 5 miles, my knee started giving me jip and feeling like it was going to give way each time i put weight on it. My hamstring decided to join in the party too and so from about 5-8 miles, i was getting mightily frustrated with my music, hated everyone, hurt like hell and Hannah had by now disappeared way into the distance! I knew i had about 4 people behind me and there was no way i was going to let them pass! I plodded on cursing everything and focusing on getting round. The last mile we encountered a very sticky muddy field which did my knee no good at all and by this point, plodding was replaced by walking and negotiating mud. I was totally fed up and by the time i got through this and saw Jay and Sharona waiting for me and cheering, i was fuming and muttered something about my knee and hating the world! The wind hit me as i entered the final part of the race over a field to the finish and i walked over the line in a bit of a sulk and was given my medal. I was cold, fed up and hurting. Not my finest moment shall we say…
However, i think if my head had been right, the wind had been less chilling and slightly less pain in my leg, this would have been a reasonable off roader to do. I would have loved to have seen the original course which i believe was along the river, so who knows..maybe next year!