Catching up with Lil, who takes on her second Bath Half on 4 March

February 14, 2018 // Rachel Ellis

This week we have been catching up with Lil Morris. In March 2016 Lil began running with the intention of running the Sport Relief Mile and only 12 months later she ran 13.1miles at the Bath Half! Since then Lil’s running has continued to go from strength to strength and we are looking forward to welcoming her back to her second Bath Half in a couple of weeks’ time. We asked Lil how her training has been going and also how she’s feeling about race day…

How’s the training been going this month?

I’ve taken a different approach to my Bath Half training this January, as I have been doing the R.E.D (run every day) January challenge for the mental health charity, Mind. I was still incorporating my longer runs into the month but as I would usually rest the day after a long run I went shorter and at a slower pace than usual to give my legs a chance to recover. In total I ran 103 miles during the month, a new personal record, therefore my legs were getting quite tight and tired towards the end of the month. Sports massages and swimming have been my saviour!

It’s been a very soggy and windy few weeks. Do you always train outdoors, or do you sometimes head to the gym?

The weather has been predictable for January only in its total unpredictability! In the past I have always trained outdoors, however, with the shorter days, and at times icy conditions, I haven’t felt it’s safe to always be running outside. A few times I’ve gone to the gym and ran on the treadmill instead but I don’t enjoy it as much as being outside (running whilst staring at a plain wall is no fun). It does get the job done and I see it as character building! By being at the gym I could then take the opportunity to combine the running with some much-needed strength training in one session.

What’s your ideal training /race day weather?

Preferably dry and on the cooler side because when you get going you soon warm up. In the past I have mistakenly worn too many layers and then from mile one started to overheat. Now I dress for it being 10 degrees warmer so I am much more comfortable when I get going.

What keeps you motivated?

The biggest motivation for me is to be able to keep doing what I didn’t consider would ever be possible. As someone who didn’t run at all two years ago I’m still surprised at what I have achieved to date and this motivates me to keep pushing myself.

Have you had to cope with any injury or illness while you’ve been training for the Bath Half? 

Unfortunately, I have. During the first week of January I came down with the lurgy, it wasn’t flu but still a bad cold virus. As I was doing the R.E.D January challenge I kept going and for two days did half a mile on the treadmill. Usually I would have rested up with plenty of Lemsip but I didn’t want to give up. In hindsight I know I would have got better sooner if I had rested.

Are you planning on running all / some of the Bath Half course before race day?

I’m planning to run one lap of the course before race day if possible, I’m hoping I can rope in some of my friends to run it with me beforehand.

What’s your target in terms of the number of miles you would like to have completed comfortably before race day?

I’ve been running ten miles on my longer runs and I’m aiming to run 13.1 miles on one of my long runs before race day. Last year I trained up to ten miles but with a new PB [personal best] as my goal I want to go longer to gauge my times.

Are you taking on any other races before the big day?

I had my first race of the year, the Wiltshire 10, on Sunday 11th February. It’s a local ten-mile road race and therefore ideal as a training race for the Bath Half. It sells out every year with a lot of runners using this event to test out their race pace and fuelling in preparation for the Bath Half.

Any concerns about race day?

My biggest concern is pre-race nerves! Despite having ran the Bath Half before I know I will get nervous waiting to go to the start pen. I feel much more comfortable when I get going. I don’t want nerves to get the better of me and am fortunate to be doing the event with friends so we can all keep each other distracted beforehand.

What are you looking forward to about race day?

It’s not just one thing but if I could only name one I would say it’s crossing the finishing line knowing I have given it my all – it’s such a great feeling and last year I was on a high for days afterwards. Secondly the atmosphere and local support for this race is second to none, the crowds really do keep you motivated and helped to carry me through last year.

We would like to wish Lil all the best for the 2018 Bath Half. We’ve really enjoyed getting to know her a little via her blog posts and hope that she’ll keep blogging as her running journey continues through 2018.