Off last years time! Stunning. I was pretty gob smacked to run so well. My legs didn't feel fresh but neither did they feel dead. I covered the 13.1 miles in 1 hour 31 minutes and 47 seconds and placed towards the top thirty, probably mid thirties in reality. Pleased with that on the hilly course that has somewhere in the region of 1,500 feet of ascent. Best of all there wasn't a huge deluge of the fast Chepstow runners present so I even managed to place third Chepstovian, scoring myself an excellent 98 points in the Champs - a great way to start my campaign. All in all it's been a fantastic weekend of training. Long run and a great race. Whoop Whoop, pop pickers.
So to the race. My game plan of start slow and build was, well, thrown out the window before it even started. Stood on the front line of the grid, as surely an idiot like myself does, I legged it with the best of 'em as the gun sounded. After that rush off blood I feared for the last few miles... Those thoughts brought me back to earth and I steadied the ship and eased back into steady running. Minimising the effort - my new fad - as much as possible. If people want to go past on a climb I just let them. I was playing the long game - and it worked. As the race progressed I slowly but surely - don't call me Shirley - caught runner after runner. I stopped to walk on the two steepest ascents to eat an energy gel. Both times runners slowly 'ran' past my 'walk' but once on the flat, with my fresh batteries I soon got them back with profit.
After my efforts yesterday I was honestly expecting to fade over the run in but I didn't. I just kept pumping out the miles at the same rate. There wasn't a hint of flagging. I finished the last mile as strongly as I started the first and even now, a few hours later - and an hour's bike done - my legs still feel good. I could almost go run another half marathon - maybe not.