MK Marathon & Half
My first ever Half!!!
by Lisa Bowyer
I ran the MK 10k in March in 54 minutes and needed a new challenge, I wanted to up my distance. I had always wanted to run a half marathon but didn’t know if I could actually do it. So I signed up to the MK Half on the 4th May and thought let’s start training! Why did I pick this run, because it finishes in the MK stadium of course, that’s the only reason and a good enough reason!!!!
My training was very hit and miss due to work commitments but I felt I had done just enough to get me through it but wasn’t sure if I had done enough to actually get a good time. For me, a good first time that I was aiming for was around the 2 hours or just under.
Race day arrives and I am so nervous! I was excited but worrying about everything. What to wear, was it going to be hot/cold, what to have for breakfast….this was all new to me!!
On the starting line there was a great atmosphere which made me feel a little more relaxed. I kept checking my watch and “map my run” were ready for when we started. I have had a few problems with my watch so we are currently learning to trust each other again, so I now track myself on two devices!!! I promised myself I wouldn’t set off too fast because I was aware it was a steady incline for the first 5 miles and didn’t want to burn out too quickly. 9min/mile pace would be fine, but the first few miles were 8.30/8.40 min/miles and no matter how hard I told myself to slow down I was in the zone and just powered on.
I found the course itself mentally draining. It seemed like an up and down, back and forth off the same long road! I was running down another side road off the long road around the 8 mile mark and saw people coming round the roundabout on the other side, at this point I was starting to hit my wall and thought good this isn’t a long up and down side road, but when I get round to the other side of the roundabout I found that I am not actually going round the roundabout but going another mile down the same road to run back up it again!!
As I hit mile 10 it was another steady incline which I could see people were walking, as I got there I was mentally telling myself that I was not to stop and walk. Luckily, I then saw Andy from the club cheering people on and he gave me a real boost! I was then telling myself there is no way you are going to walk up this steady incline (mentally a hill at this stage!) with Andy watching you! So up I went, back round the roundabout and by the time I was on the flat running back pass the stadium at mile 11 I was back in the zone and pleased with the time I was doing!
Mile 12 was running around a lake, which was a welcomed mile as it had broken up the up and down running of the MK roads! It was finally something nice to look at and took my mind off the watch watching!
The last half a mile was back up pass the McDonald’s/KFC, into the car park, back down around the car park and into the stadium, it was like I was never going to find the finish!
When running into the stadium, lots of people were cheering and the atmosphere was great!! Over the finish line I went with a chip time of 1 hour 57 minutes and 55 seconds. A time which I am very pleased with.
My problem now is I have set myself a PB challenge! But the big decision now is what race to do next!
Also running with Lisa in the Half marathon was Amy Inchley who finished with a time of 1:39:44 and Fred Watt in 1:50:43.
We also had a lone representative of the club in the full marathon. Here’s Katie Stanton’s take on the day.
by Katie Stanton
On May 4 2015, I ran my second marathon in Milton Keynes. My first marathon – also in MK – didn’t go so well, and I was hoping to run a time under five hours. I only joined LBAC two months ago, but in that time I was able to benefit from some speedy weekly sessions (even Wednesdays, which mostly involve me trying to keep up with everyone else!).
On marathon day, I set out with the 4:45 pacer and two friends. I had planned to run at 10:52 pace, but the pacer started unexpectedly fast (A few 10:30 minute miles, and even a 10:07!). This meant I spent a lot of the first few miles worrying but eventually forced myself to trust the pacer and relax.
The first 13 miles flew by and I was still with my friends at halfway, crossing the timing pad in 2.15 – seven minutes ahead of schedule. We’d planned to speed up at halfway if we felt good, and as the pacer slowed we retained a sub-4:45 pace, leaving him behind us.
Miles 18-20 were my least favourite miles; both my friends had gone ahead so I was alone and the 4:45 pacer had caught up with me, chatted for a bit and then disappeared ahead of me. I’d slowed to 11:30 pace and started worrying about my time. I considered walking but didn’t want to until after mile 20, so onwards I went.
Literally the moment I crossed the 20 mile timing pad, my mood changed. I realised I’d never run this far before and suddenly I didn’t want to walk, so I resolved to run to 21 and then walk. I basically got through the rest of the race by fooling myself into running just one more mile.
I never thought I’d be the person to say this but, the last few miles were the best. By this point I knew I was going to finish so had no trouble running and had already started celebrating my sub-5 time.
The journey to the stadium is fantastic. Last year I felt so defeated that I was incapable of enjoying the final moments. I was embarrassed and wanted it over. First thing I did when entering the stadium was look for the clock. I knew we’d crossed the start line a few minutes after the timer started, but I still accelerated when I saw the clock said 4:58. I crossed the finish line and that was that, marathon done.
So nothing went to plan, but everything went okay. The pacer took us out faster than I wanted but it took the pressure off when we slowed at the end. I lost my friends, which was my biggest fear, but I caught up with Emily later on. Our final chip time was 4:50:48, which makes me the happiest person in the world.
My next marathon is Berlin in September, so I’m hoping I can improve on that time even further, with a little help from Monday night speed sessions!