Cambridge Half Mararthon Review

camhalf

After doing the Bath half I had the week off recovering taking the advice of one of the running club members. I only had slight soreness in my thighs for a couple of days but the main niggle was a very sore Achilles. I made sure I iced and stretched it and had some hot baths to help relax my leg muscles. Cambridge half marathon weekend was here and after recovering from my previous shin splint injury my main worry now was a bruised Achilles. The last thing I wanted to do was completely rupture it and spend the next two months or more recovering. The Bath half had been fairly cold with a frosty start. In comparison Cambridge was absolutely freezing with the wind blowing and a small amount of snow in the air. A bad ankle and bad weather didn’t really make for a good race. My only thought for the day was to take it easy and I would be happy not to drop out part way around and complete the race still able to run. At the off I set of at a sensible easy pace to give my ankle a chance to warm up and stretch a bit. Other running club members had left me behind and others were passing me where I had not set off at my expected original pace. Cambridge has the good advantage of being a very flat course so no hills to put anything under a great strain. Once I was three miles or so into the run I could still feel the ankle aching on every step but it wasn’t as painful as expected so I tried to increase the pace a little. Cambridge is a two lap course of the city so in the early stages my thoughts were to complete the first lap and then start thinking about racing and running a bit harder. There are quite a few twists and turns to the Cambridge course where it winds its way around the city so although flat it could be faster without all the turns involved. The end of the first lap was in sight, I waited until mile nine where I had a powerbar energy gel, blackcurrant with added caffeine. Shortly after I grabbed an isotonic drink from one of the drink stations and was feeling good. The next section I then concentrated on was the out section; I knew that once we arrived at the Fitzwilliam Museum we were getting close to the end. After cramping in Bath I made sure I took on more drink as I ran on and again at mile twelve I started to get a few twitches in my calves. The finish was in view and now was the time to dig in and push on my legs were holding up well and I still had energy to burn. Running around the edge of the common and toward the finish straight I felt good enough to do my usual final push and managed to pass two or three people and all without cramping up. Over the finish line and I had made it in one piece. To my surprise expecting to run a slow race because of my ankle I had done it in 1 hour and 42 minutes which was only 1 minute 18 seconds slower than Bath, a fantastic time. I walked on and received my medal and goodie bag and met up with a couple of other Striders that had finished a few minutes ahead of me. It was still really cold and I was mindful to keep moving not only to keep warm but to stop the legs from cramping as well. I was really pleased with the race but in hindsight I may not run half marathons a week apart in the future. My Achilles is still bruised but healing very slowly. Next race up is St Claire Hospice 10k on 17th March in Hastingwood near Harlow. Let’s hope no new injuries are on the horizon, and a bit of warm weather would be nice too!

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