Things did not go to the plan. To be fair I really didn't think they would but that's not to say I didn't give it a shot. With it being a counter for the Chepstow Champs I want to run well.
The weather was uncharacteristically good - and total different to yesterday's forecast of rain - what a difference a day makes. Unfortunately a day was not enough to make much of a difference to my lack of build up for the race.
I set off near the front and raced on a sub 1:30 pace - it didn't last long. By mile five I knew I was in trouble. My legs didn't feel too bad but I just seemed to be lacking energy. I'd fuelled OK and was fully hydrated but I just didn't have it. I'm guessing I still had the effects of the cough and cold in my system. Although I'd stopped coughing yesterday (first time in ten days) I guess you don't instantly go from ill to well and there's a transitional phase where the symptoms are gone but you're not back to 100%.
Anyway, I was a bit all over the place from mile seven or eight - and slowing badly - but I perked up when I received some excellent spectation from Helen (and Brown Dog) at around about mile eleven. From there to the finish I just about held things together but it was not my greatest moment. Oh, well, I don't want to make any more excuses. I gave it a go but it wasn't meant to be.
I finished somewhere in the region of 140th to 150th place in a time of 1:33:50. Two weeks ago I was looking at sub 1:30 but having gps'ed the route this morning there was almost as much ascent (1,210ft) as the Hogweed Hilly Half - not to mention the muddier surface. So on the face of it my time wasn't a total disaster. I really need to get inside 1:30 now though. I've got 1:30 under my skin - and it's an itch I've got to relieve - before I come out in a rash...
And here's the route for those interested;