Sunday, October 20, 2013

Gone and done it...

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Distance covered on Friday: 21.097km (13.109miles) (effing far) in me: 2hrs38mins02sec (not VG) and him: 2hrs14mins53 secs (VG).

Current temperature:  31C

Today's orange pic:

Us with our excellent band of supporters, some of whom got up early enough to see us start the race and wave a cute baby at us, some of whom found the 9km spot and waved an orange banner at us encouragingly and jumped up and down, and others who provided excellent photography services, and more still who went to fetch cans of coke and cake after the race. Thanks, you all rule.

Having done the race, I would like to dispel a myth about running long distance races, particularly in heat. And it was hot, some of our supporters said they found it a bit hot standing there clapping us through the finish, let alone running 20-odd km.

Myth. "Wow, it will be hard work, but it will feel so amazing when you have completed it."

Myth bust: We did not feel amazing.

Him indoors puked and I had to lie down on the grass for half an hour to prevent myself from puking. I still did not feel amazing after that, I felt sore and nauseous. I certainly did not feel, as some claim to on completing their first half marathon, that they decide on the spot that they want to to do a full marathon. In truth, I might think about doing it one day, but not for a while. When we got home from the run, we looked at each and said: "Thank goodness we're not doing a full marathon, because we'd still be effin' well running now, probably with at least a half an hour still to go."

Two and a half days on, I am pleased that we did it, and quite determined to do a better time when we do the Dubai Creek Half in December, but my, it was a tough ole race. It was the first half marathon I've ever done, yes, but I had hoped to get round in a slightly quicker time, preferably in under two and a half hours, and I had dared to hope as the day approached that it might be closer to 2hrs 15. Sadly, it was not to be, I suspect I was slightly ill-prepared for the actual day as I felt nervous and a bit under the weather the day before and did not sleep well . And, I think I hit what is known as "the wall" at about km 18, which is shown by my split timings. I was at the half way mark by 1hr 6mins but it all went down hill from there. My fastest mile was my first - at an average speed of 6mph, whereas towards the end it got down to 3.7 when my legs were pretty much destroyed and I had to walk quite a bit. I think the key is that a comfortable distance for me now is about 15km, after that, it all starts to get a bit unnecessary. And despite everyone telling me not to start too fast, I obviously did just that. I honestly didn't feel like I was but I guess I was carried along by the enthusiasm of all the other runners.

I was placed 108 out of 122 women and him indoors was 267 out of 359 men. As you can see from those numbers, it is quite a small event, probably because there are not many nutcases willing to put in the necessary training through the summer.

Highlights for me were:

1. Our excellent supporters, whom I barely acknowledged coming towards the finish because I was so destroyed, and I pretty much grunted at for about half an hour after the race before getting up, insisting they be in a photograph then limping pathetically towards the car. Sorry about that, guys. I really did appreciate you being there, even if I nibbled just one bite out of the pastry you brought to me before lying down with my eyes closed again.

2. The point in the race where the podcast I was listening to finished, and I experienced a high as it coincided with the point at which I swallowed a Gu gel, and, Empire State of Mind came up on my half marathon playlist. At that point, I was screeching "New Yooooooooooooork, Concrete jungle where dreams are made, oh, there's nothing you can't do," and a Scottish bloke, who went on to beat me, the bugger, passed me at this point and said: "Like the singing, good going."

3. Being home, showered, eating toast and watching 30 Rock in bed.

I have just about regained my sense of humour about it now but there was a period of time yesterday when I was still feeling pretty grotty despite getting nowhere near the time I had hoped for, that it all felt a bit "what the hell was I thinking?". One of my chief running advisers will tell me off because I haven't been for my "recovery run", I've only been stretching my poor little legs in the pool, but I think it will be a few more days before I feel like putting on the trainers again. Still, with a total raised so far of 1451.73GBP raised, it has all been worth it.

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