I wasn’t last – but not by a lot. Still, I was still ahead of the other 50million people who spent Sunday morning not running 13 miles… Times aren’t up on the club website yet, but I expect to be something like 670th out of 700 runners. Do I mind? I would if I had been training for months, doing lots of carefully planned sessions. But as it’s only nine weeks since I started and I couldn’t run two miles without a breather, I think I can be pleased with myself. I’ve got a good solid background to work from, knowing I can do the distance and it’s ‘just’ a matter of getting better.
I think this was also a really valuable learning experience (sorry if that sounds glib and cheesey). But I didn’t have that ‘extra’ banana scheduled for 10am, I didn’t drink much before – and I had trained with sports drink, I need a pocket in my running shorts, my hat is too warm – and a hundred other things!
At the start of the race I was feeling really competitive and minding a lot about being right at the back of the runners. By mile five I was out of that mood and more realistic about what I could achieve – after all I was racing me, myself and I and not the top club runners using the flat course to set a PB. I overtook a few people, was overtaken in turn by a few more. Including a speed walker which I would have minded about if he hadn’t been so encouraging. My family were at the halfway point to cheer us on, and had been encouraging runners for half an hour before I appeared so had given plenty of people a boost. I could hear Mark’s family shouting me on at the finish even though I couldn’t see them, head was well down into the wind and not looking at the finish.
Mark beat me by a good five minutes – I had to stop and walk three times in the last three miles and couldn’t catch him after that. And now I am going for a little lie down until it’s time for church this evening.