After six weeks of Dublin Marathon training, I am starting to find the pace coming back in to the legs, however I didnt expect to run as good a time in the Groomsport Half Marathon of 1hr 30mins 12secs.  I have ran a sub or close to 1hr30min half marathon since the beginning of the season and before Rosie was born, and to be honest didnt expect one as early as this, but these are the nice surprises that make training worthwhile.

I didnt go out to run a 1hr30, if anything I went out to run a 1hr33, and show a bit of progress since Cookstown.  At the start of the race I set my pace for around 7:10 min miles, and that was to be my approach.   The weather was perfect, and not like the races in the series so far where the temperatures have been very hot and humid.  Groomsport is on the cost, so a nice breeze was coming off the water helping to keep it cool.  If anything it was perfect running conditions.

Lovely evening for #groomsporthalfmarathon

A post shared by Paul Quinn (@paulquinn_pq) on

The race started and I went off a bit quicker than expected.  After three miles I was tracking well below sub 7min miles, and very much regarding each mile marker as separate goals to try and keep the pace up.  This went very well until around mile 10 where I started to feel the legs a bit heavy, more than likely after the longer run than expected the night before.  I decided to try and keep pushing.  As I entered the last 100 metres, there was a steep slope, which caused me to run past the bend, on to the beach and lose a good bit of time, which was really frustrating as I think if that hadn’t happened I would have been sub 1hr30.

However, big positives, the pace is coming back but not getting too excited. This is the ninth out of ten half marathons now completed, only one more to go in Derry.

Just before the race I listened to Mo Farah becoming double World and Olympic 5,000 and 10,000 metre champion and I must admit this did prove some inspiration!

After the race a good couple of pints of Guinness, but only three, which was a great decision given Rosie was up at 7am this morning!

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