Crikey. I have completely surprised myself today. In church at 8am I would have paid you cold hard cash for a good reason to pull out of today’s race. Then I figured that of all outcomes, the worst would be to quit before I even made the start line. So I scoffed my bananas and currant buns (the latter probably not an official athletic option).
It’s windy today, but mild, so I wasn’t hugely bundled up and so was mildly bloomin’ cold at the start- not for long, though.
Maybe it was because I was a bit stressed about it, maybe because I’d decided to treat it like a long Sunday run, but the first mile marker arrived really soon. I’d covered the first mile in 8:59 – bearing in mind that last year, my flat-out mile times were 8:30ish that was a surprise. I was 45min at 5 miles… My planned take-it-easy run was coming in way quicker than 10min miles. I remember last year having really leaden legs in the last couple of miles, so knowing I had time to spare was a help. There were places with a headwind (mile 13) and places with just general blusteriness – but it was weaker and warmer than 2009 and didn’t trouble me. I just imagined the wind as air-conditioning or as a way of taking bigger breaths. What did trouble me was the earworm song – Musical Youth’s Pass the Duchy on the left hand side – I mean, where did that come from?
Just after mile 12 is a bridge over the railway. This was where the race walker overtook me in 2009 so it’s now a point of reference – how am I doing? I was looking out for the railway lines well in advance. Down the other side of the bridge, round a corner and straight into a headwind. At this point I distracted myself by naming and thanking God for as many parts of my body as I could remember (what *is* the name for the back of my knee?) I had only got as far as the spine when the 13 mile marker appeared and with it the finish line – across soggy grass, watching the clock at 2:04:xx and wondering how on earth I’d run so fast?
Checking the times I recorded for each mile I see I have a long way to go to get the hang of negative splits!