These last few weeks it’s been lovely seeing my social media feed full of runners posting race day photos again.
Not being able to do live races is something I’ve really missed and I can’t wait until I’m back standing at the start line of my next race. I have to admit that, although running through lockdown has massively helped my mental health, signing up and training for an actual, live race makes getting up for early morning runs much more motivating.
Last Saturday I signed up for what will be my first post-lockdown race – the Norwich Half Marathon, which is taking place in June. The Norwich Half is the fourth race I’ve now got in my 2021 diary and, although a few more races may fill up my calendar, at the moment I’m just focused on running and enjoying these races.
Norwich Half Marathon
Two main reasons why I’ve signed up for the Norwich Half Marathon are 1/ because I really want to race again and 2/ to help me do my longest ultra marathon training run. As this race is part of my ultra marathon training I’m aiming to take it slow and easy. This race will also be my first one since November 2019 when I ran the Hertfordshire Half Marathon, so I’m using it to get the experience of racing again – from pre-race prep, to pacing and remembering what it is like to run with so many other runners again.
Race to the Stones ultra marathon
The Race to the Stones ultra marathon is set to take place in July and I’m so excited to be running my first ultra marathon. Apart from getting a new distance PB, my main aim is to enjoy this race and have fun, which means I’m taking all the pressure off aiming to achieve a specific time. I still want to run well though, so at the moment I’m training hard so that I’m fully prepared for the race.
There are several options with how to run Race to the Stones, but I’ve chosen to run the longest distance of 100k, but spread over two days. This means that I’m going to be running 50k on one day, then another 50k the following day, camping overnight in between. My main hope is that the weather is good and doesn’t rain!
Cardiff Half Marathon
Before the coronavirus pandemic hit I had already signed up to run the Cardiff Half Marathon, which after several postponements is now due to take place this October. I’ve ran the Cardiff Half Marathon before and it is a race I really enjoy running so I’m looking forward to being able to run it again this year. Plus a trip to Cardiff is always fun. Originally I was hoping to aim for a half marathon PB with this race, but it will now be used as part of my training towards a marathon PB.
A few weeks after the Cardiff Half Marathon I’m going to be running the Liverpool Marathon. This is my main PB attempt this year and I’m really hoping to get a sub-4 hour time. Originally I was planning to use the Edinburgh Marathon as a PB attempt, but this year’s race has been cancelled (it was another race I had signed up for before the pandemic), and I’m now due to run it in 2022 instead. Although I was disappointed it had been cancelled, I’m excited to run the Liverpool Marathon as I’ve heard it has a great atmosphere and I get to explore Liverpool for the first time, plus I’m looking forward to seeing if I can achieve my PB goal.
Are you planning to race this year and, if so, what races have you got planned?