Sunday, February 10, 2013

I Am Pants At Running

At the moment at least... I think that was my worst Dursley Dozen - ever. Not unexpected mind but in my heart of heart it's disappointing to have declined so far. Still, it was fun of a sort and I like the new route from mile three to five removing most of the road section. Makes the course a tad slower but more in the spirit of the event. Conditions under foot were the muddiest I've encountered during my previous three outings. So muddy that I actually had to use the rope on the final climb for the first time. Normally you can gain a bit by foregoing the rope but I was struggling for traction today. I finished in a fairly lowly 76th place overall with a 15th place in the old fart category. And to think I once made the top twenty. Those were the days....

I set off towards the middle front of the field - or was it towards the front of the middle? I knew I wouldn't have the endurance to full on race 12 miles so I set off steady. I climbed up through the woods on the first climb up to the golf course in reasonable shape before picking up a few places in the muddy woodland section before once again emerging onto the golf course. At mile three I knew I was on for a very slow time but kept on plugging away anyway.

Then it was quickly back into the woods for the new route. Muddy, rugged going even in the shape I am - or is that, the shape I'm not - was still beneficial to me as I picked up a few more places. The next few miles were more of the same, muddy, slippy, wet woodland with a few ups and downs before finally reaching the last climb. In the mile or two before that climb I pretty much ran out of steam. I'd stopped gaining places, in fact I was losing them. Still, I was confident I was inside the top 100 which had been my humble target.

The final two miles across the top and then down through the woods to the finish were painfully slow. My mile splits must have been horrendous. I was running - questionable use of the word - on vapours as I eventually reached the finished in an awesome time - and no I'm not telling, if you're that interested you'll have to search out the results...

As I sit here typing, despite the slowness, despite knowing I'm capable of so much more, despite the encroaching years, I'm still glad I ran. I can honestly say I still enjoy the racing and so long as I continue to do so then I'll still be heading back for more...

Massive thanks to Dursley Athletic for a perfectly delivered race and all the marshals who braved the pretty horrid conditions, soaking themselves to the skin for our benefit. Thanks.