Struggling with motivation to train and push outside my comfort, I decided to enter another last minute race. I missed the online registration for the Palace Half Marathon at Hampton Court Palace, but found out that they were taking on the day registration. I know I need to be training harder, and I needed some encouragement to get out, so I decided to sign up on the day. So, on 20th March 2022, I took part in the Palace Half Marathon at Hampton Court Palace.
It was a beautiful day, and the event village and start was within the grounds of Hampton Court Palace. I’ve taken part in many events around this area, all sharing parts of the course, and starting in various locations, but this is the only one that goes inside the grounds of Hampton Court Palace.
We were not sure if dogs would be allowed in the grounds, so my family went and explored Bushy Park, and had a lovely time playing in the sun. It turns out that they could have taken the dog in the grounds and I saw many at the end with their dog. It would have been nice to relax in the gardens, but my family had a nice time, so it really didn’t matter.
The process of signing up on the day was easy, so I signed up and dropped my bag, making my way to the start line in front of the Palace. A couple of weeks ago, I finished Surrey Half Marathon in 1:29. This course is flatter, so I had hoped to finish as fast, or slightly faster, ideally. I am marathon training, so I do not want to push too hard for the half, but that doesn’t stop me wanting to improve. The start went well, and I held a good pace for the first mile, but I started to feel heavy and slow after the first mile. Honestly, all the beer and food I’ve been having lately probably doesn’t help, but that aside, the reason for wanting to enter today is I know my training has been poor. There is no way to sugarcoat it; you get out what you put in, and I need to put more in. It’s hard pushing when you know you have done better, but that’s the only way to improve, and we all have ups and downs.
The course is a mixed bag. As I said before, I’ve probably ran half a dozen different events around the same route, so I’m used to it. Mostly, you stick to pavements, with the road still open. It can make it narrow in places, and there is more chance of pedestrians crossing in front of you. I do prefer when you have the wide roads to run on, but it is not always possible or necessary. I didn’t have any issues today, and enjoyed the route. I did slow a few times because it was narrow, with people walking one side and runners the other. The course is mostly flat, but there is a lot of turning in places. You run along the towpath, over the bridge into Kingston, then back along the river.
I liked that we finished in the gardens of Hampton Court Palace. But this did mean that the last 2 and a bit miles were on grass or rough terrain. It was not bad in this weather, but if it was still muddy, then it would have been a bit messy. It was around mile 9 or 10 that I started to slow. It wasn’t even really too much tiredness in my legs, when I started showing I didn’t have the drive to push harder, and I was happy enough with how I was doing. I would like to blame the last 2 miles on the grass, but it wasn’t the course, the course was great. Today I did my best and fell short of my target. The medal at the finish, and Run Through Kit tee were both great quality, with lots of goodies at the finish line.
Ultimately, I’m happy with 1:32:17. About 3 minutes slower than I want, and clearly not where I need to be for a sub 3 marathon attempt. However, it was a solid training run, a great event, and I’m more than happy with my performance. I’ve got more to do, but know what I need to do to achieve it.
Who was running this weekend? And how did you get on? How is your training going at the moment, are you where you want to be, or struggling at the moment. It’s funny, my garmin said I was detraining the other day, let’s see if we can turn that around.
AD I wore the adidas Boston 10 today, which are the trainers I’ve been training in lately. These were gifted to me by adidas.