Sunday, April 01, 2012


One who attempts to run a half marathon the day after a reasonably tough 15 mile fell race... Yes, by that definition - to be included in the next official edition of the OED - I am thoroughly wrecked or, more accurately, my legs are. They seem to have stopped functioning.

I got myself out of bed and ready for the race. The quads felt sore but the calves seemed OK which was a pleasant surprise. I drove over to Brierly, parked up and jogged the two miles over to Speech House for the start. The jog over seemed OK and I think it did ease my slightly stiff, aching legs a little. I timed it about right so there wasn't too much waiting around. Collected my chip, met up with my fellow Chepstovians and set about the business of running the Half Marathon.

I started way back from where I would normally start such a race. In fact, I was so far back it took me somewhere in the region of 75 seconds to get across the start line! But I wasn't unduly worried. The worst thing I could have done today would have been to have gone off too fast - I certainly didn't do that - in spades. As it was I set off on a workman-like pace of seven and a half minute miles and I surprised myself by keeping to that pretty consistently throughout. Because I wasn't on the edge of my cardiovascular capacity I was able to step up the effort on the hills to keep the pace constant.

Steadily, as the race progressed, I reeled in runner after runner which is always good for the focus and mental well being. There's nothing worse than being overtaken continually, all the while knowing you're fading. As it was I kept it together and almost managed to reel in Mr Stott at the death, he having overtaken me at about 2 miles out. I was closing him down in the last couple of miles but in the end, having closed him down from out of sight to just 15 metres, the finish just came a mile too soon for me...

All in all I'm please with my run, finishing in a gun time of 1 hour 37 minutes and 38 seconds with an expected chip timer nearer 1 hour 36 minutes. That would make it 7:15-20 mile pace and I can live with that. Oh, and as expected the Lawson's did the double with Mrs L thrashing me out of sight. Then after a bit of natter at the finish I jogged the two miles back to the car except it was more of a fast walk - and even that's possibly using a bit of poetic license...

Anyway, I can now confirm that my legs are now officially f*$%ed. I almost fell out of the car on arrival home. Having swung my legs out I leaned out the door only to discover that the legs had remained steadfastly within the car. I can, at best, manage a slow shuffle - and don't mention stairs. I'm off to look at bungalows...

Today's Forest of Dean Half Marathon

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