The morning of the Gosport Golden Mile started badly… The rain lapped at my window as I awoke feeling very sick (No hangover I promise) I was so tired after a week of broken sleep that I didn’t get up with enough time to eat anything, this did not help the sickness. With nothing more than a few sips of water in my belly I made the journey to Stokes Bay, the last time I was here for a race was for the Gosport Half Marathon, in equally as bad weather conditions. Not only was it rainy and grey, it was cold and man was it windy on the beach. Having converted from a fair-weather runner through my winter training with FCRC in all types of weather, I wasn’t particularly bothered by the rain, however, I hadn’t much considered the effects of the wind on this usually flat PB course. I had been really nervous about this run since I found out I was running as part of the Believe and Achieve Events team, I am very competitive with myself and I knew I had PBed a mile at 8.10 months ago so was hoping for a considerable improvement. Waking up feeling as rough as I did gave me little hope of achieving a sub 8 mile time.
I decided to give myself the best possible chance by doing something I have never done before, warming up. It may seem utterly ridiculous but I guess I usually use the first mile as a warm up, with this race though, I didn’t have the luxury. Off I set on my little warm up, it felt pretty good, I made a toilet stop on the way then was back for a little water, and at the start line ready to go. I opted for a middle of the crowd placement as I really wanted to get a good time and didn’t want to lose time battling through the steadier runners.
The race began and off we went, I over-took a few people then realised I was near the front with the faster runners, running at 6.30, I have no idea how long this lasted but I was surprised at how comfortable I felt at this speed, then it hit me, the sickness feeling was back with avengeance and it wasn’t the usual sicky sprint feeling you get when you do intervals, this felt like I was actually about to puke and for a split second I thought I might have to drop out. I managed to slow myself down a bit and the sick feeling subsided and I had already hit the half a mile point having run a 7.25 minute mile. I was so pleased, then I hit the beach front part of the route and had to contend with sea spray, heavier rain and wind which made it feel like I was running through water. As I watched my speed drop on my watch I began to give up any hope of beating my sub 8 mile time and as just before I crossed the finish line I took a final glance and realised I had made it in 8.13. As the first one over the line from our team in really bad weather conditions, I felt good and I couldn’t have done much better under the circumstances so I was happy and feel pretty confident that I can smash that time when I try again!
The second half may have been slower but knowing that I can sustain a sub 8 pace for half a mile made me feel pretty damn good. I was even up there with some super fast crusaders on our Strava board!
The official results came in and I completed the mile in 8.13, 12th place female from a field of 70 female runners and 59th out of 139 runners all in all! YIPPEE!!!! Happy with that!
Next week its the D-Day 10K, I cannot wait to smash my 10K time!!! EEK!