Sunday, January 08, 2012

Determined To Run

My throat felt much better this morning. I felt more congested than throaty. If sense were to have prevailed I should probably have spent another day indoors - but fortunately sense did not prevail and I ran. I was going bloody stir crazy having ditched my plans for yesterday. I decided not to drive all the way to the mountains though and went for a run in the forest and having just entered the Forest of Dean Half Marathon I thought it might be good to give that a recce.

Apparently the course has changed a little from when I last ran it in 2009. The official website does not show the route but, while searching the Interweb, I managed to find what I think is the new route and apart from a slight cock up just after 19k (my run which started 800m away from the real start point, in the car park on the right when coming from Cinderford, off Speech House Road, so it would have been somewhere after 18k from the real start - if that makes any sense) I followed it fairly precisely - I think.

My mistake, just after 19k, was to keep on the main track as it bent to the right, the race route carries on straight which is actually turning off the main track. I corrected myself after I came to the junction I'd already been to earlier in the route. A quick left and left again and I was back on track all the way to the finish - 'cept I finished back at the main road by the car park and didn't turn left into the Speech House field. (You should be able to see where I went wrong from the map below).

As to the run itself, conditions were great. It was a lovely day and after a slow and steady start I managed to fair impress myself as I steadily turned up the gas. By the end I was going at a fair lick- and feeling pretty good. Glancing at the watch as I hit 21.1k I was through in 1 hour and 36 minutes and considering the initial pace was outside five minutes/kilometre - and I'm now officially an old fart - I am really quite pleased with myself. My throat and congestion weren't too much of a trouble although I was a bit 'Bob Fleming' now and then. Cue the coughing fit once I stopped back at the van. That was probably the worst bit. I must of sounded like I needed to be put down. In all I ran just under 23k with about 1,000 feet of ascent. Just hoping this damn cold gets gone before next weekend as I need to knuckle down to some training.

The route (barring the slight error) of the Forest of Dean Half Marathon, with slightly different start and finish points. Should be good for a recce of most of the route - just make sure you turn left off the path...