Once again Wimbledon Common marked the beginning of ‘proper’ marathon training. Last year it was for Berlin, this time for Yorkshire in October. Last summer the race had been rainy and the course ended up being a mudbath. This year had near-perfect conditions; dry, cool, overcast.
Unfortunately I’d had next to no sleep night before, so when I arrived at start (an hour early) I was slightly zombified. This translated into a particularly slow run, with a constant feeling that I was running through treacle.
About a mile in (and around the 7 mile mark on lap 2) there’s a long hill, which actually wasn’t as bad as I remembered. On reflection, this was probably a) because it wasn’t a mudbath this time around and b) I was running so slowly it was probably easier! For the first mile I was going at my usual pace, but then after the second mile I found myself feeling sluggish, with my pace already dipping. Not ideal. Accepting it was just one of those days, I trundled round and just tried to enjoy it. The womble high-fiving at the end of the first lap is always a welcome sight!
While I’m not a huge fan of lapped routes, I actually quite like the two-lap course of Wimbledon Common. This is partly due to the fact it’s a fairly nice route, but mainly due to the enthusiastic marshals, who are always on hand to cheer you on. I refused to walk at any point, but it did feel like I was on half speed, so I was grateful for the motivation!
I knew fairly early on that it wouldn’t be a good race for me, so I just took it easy and treated it as training run. In the end I didn’t actually see what time I finished in and didn’t bother checking the results – I know it wasn’t great though! On days like that I just try to remember that I have still managed to get up and run 13.1 miles before some people have even dragged themselves out of bed, and be grateful for the fact I’m able to get out and run at all.