Sunday, June 01, 2014

I Made It

How tough was that! My first road half marathon distance for close to four years but I survived - despite the best efforts of the sun to melt me with its laser rays. Why pick today of all days to make an appearance?

As we stood waiting for the off, stage 8 of the rack raid relay, V mentioned we were the leading A team and B team - I was running for the B team. No pressure then. I was glad of the support along route from Sam, Matthew and Dick not to mention all the other teams. Never have I accepted more water on route.

Anyway, I set off back in the pack. The early pace was almost too fast but as it was pretty much the only flat bit I decided to get a bit of time in the bag. All to soon the first climb was upon us and I went okay. It wasn't pretty but I dug in.

By about the 10k point I have to admit I was feeling it but Matthew was keen for me to catch the runner ahead, running for team Dracula I think he said. If I'm honest I was pretty keen too. The old road running was coming back to me..

As I approached the top of the third and final climb we were neck and neck and with an almighty, some might say, herculean effort - okay, it wasn't herculean - I pushed past and kept on going. Never looking back - a sign of weakness - but pushing on to the point where I felt a bit sick and had to ease off. Fortunately I hit a down hill section and was able to relax and ease away.

Then, in the distance, maybe 200m ahead, on the approach to Trelleck Grange, I spotted another runner. The mist of war descended and I put in my charge... I managed to catch him by the time we reached the pond on the final road section to Tintern but despite catching him I was spent and he was able to hold me off building back a 20m gap which he kept through to the finish.

It wasn't a fast time, 1:45. In fact, I'm almost ashamed how slow I ran - but I honestly couldn't have gone any quicker. I'm just happy I was able to put in the effort and my back held up to the strain - it's aching a little now, mind, but didn't affect my running.

You know what's the worst part of today's race? I think I rather enjoyed it!!! It was my first 'trying to be' competitive road race for a long long time - and, yes, I do believe I did enjoy it...