For the past two years I have done the full marathon in Tralee so this year was a completely new for me as I decided to do the half marathon instead. I have the Paris full marathon on April 12th so I didn't want to do two marathons in a month. Never did I think when I started this blog that I would be going abroad to even run a marathon. In fact I only ever intended to do one marathon not actually take up running and join the Tralee Triathlon club. How life changes!
For me the half was much easier psychologically as it was only 13 miles versus 26 miles which at least in my mind was a way easier. It kind of felt like I wasn't really doing anything because I wasn't doing the full. Sure what could go wrong with 13 miles. However part of me wishes I had braved the full as at least I have the excuse of being slow because it is 26 miles.
Apparently half marathons are about speed - and I don’t do speed. But nonetheless I managed a respectable time of 2.09.59 - not to be confused with the much slower 2.10!
It was very weird starting out and realising I only had to do 13 and not 26 miles as in previous years.
This was only my second ever half marathon distance race, so I don’t have much to compare it to but I know one thing: it was tough.
That hill after Barrow cross before you reach the Spa is just hell - it goes on forever, and up forever. And it really, really slows you down. How am I supposed to get fast times with this hill in my way.
I also have decided I do not like The Kerries, that is another back breaking hill, and right at the end of the race - really not fair!
For me of course it was only mile 12 - for the full runners it was mile 24, so it must have been pure torture. That thought did keep me going all the way up to the top of The Kerries. Thankfully the last mile of the marathon was fast and I made good use of the downhill to cross the line in 2.09.59. I had paced myself to do 2.10 and I did it. My previous half was 2.15 so 5 minutes shaved off since last October is an improvement I am proud of. It's weird to think that over the past three years that I have come on so much. I am by no means a fast runner but I am improving and that's what it is all about for me. It is what keeps me coming back for more. So what will my next half be?!