A week to go, another race done!

WindyToday was the Rock'n'Roll Edinburgh half marathon and I ran this race for the first time last year and loved it - it's a bit more expensive than many other races I race but I feel it's worth it. 

At 5am this morning I was rudely awoken by the wind howling outside, I turned over and hoped that it would blow itself out by 7am. The alarm went off and it was even worse outside. Horizontal rain and 35mph winds! Today was going to be a tough race. 

I was treating this as a practice for London next weekend, eat the same things, drink the same things, wear the same things and after hearing the weather outside, try and run the same pace. 

So, 3 weetabix with a tablespoon of honey over the top and some dried fruit, a cup of coffee and a glass of apple juice later, I was fueled and ready to go. I had already decided what shorts and shoes I was going to wear as well. I usually race in my lightweight New Balance trainers but I only do half marathon distance in them and so decided to go with my bright orange Saucony trainers. I have trained in them for long runs and will be wearing them next week as well. 

About 7:45am some friends came round before the race as they were traveling from Fife and needed a car parking space. Our flat is 10min walk to the start line so it made sense for them to park at ours. I wanted to get to the start for about 8 as the start was scheduled for 9:10am. This would give me time to stretch and warm up. 

Headed out the door and was instantly pushed back in to the flat. It was wild! Got to the start line and everyone was trying to take shelter behind all the tents that were setup as the main arena for the concert at the finish.

A warm up was now out of the question, just staying dry was the aim. 

10mins before the start i got changed in to my club vest, dropped my bag off at the baggage tent and wrapped a silver foil blanket around me. The rain was still come in horizontal and one of the tents got lifted by a gust of wind! I later heard that a portoloo was also blown over while someone was in it! It really was wild. 

The start was then delayed due to the weather. Looking around I saw some familiar faces but later found out that the girl/women standing next to me on the start line was GB marathoner Holly Rush. 

We finally got started and I was running well and very comfortable. Mandy surprised me by being at the 2 mile marker as support team for Pitreavie AAC and then the course took us down to Portobello prom. Wind was slightly in our face but nothing too extreme until we turned back towards the city centre. The comfortable 6 min/mi pace was now a slog to get back up to Arthurs Seat. 35mph gusts soon knock the pace out of your legs so I eased off and just enjoyed the course as much as I could considering the conditions. 

Every uphill was in to the wind and usually raining at the same time!

I train on this course but what a difference it makes to have all the roads closed. It really is a great course, challenging but very rewarding to finish it and with a last mile which is down the Royal Mile, there are plenty of opportunities to claw back time where the uphill sections take it away. 

I wanted to see if I could run 13.1 miles in 6:30min/mi pace, the answer is yes and in very tough conditions. My plan is now to run that pace at London and see if I can hold on to that pace for another 13.1 miles. We will see! 

Even with the bad weather today was a Season's Best for me, beating Alloa which surprised me as I felt much slower! 1:25:38 was my official finish time and I finished 24th / 4361.

Well done to everyone who raced today, whether it was at Edinburgh or anywhere else around the UK. I think most of us had similar weather conditions!

Lets just hope London is a bit better!

Owain Williams

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