This was a slow one – but I made it!
Three days before it was doubtful. I came down with a chest infection on the Wednesday evening (probably not helped by cycling 100 miles that day when I was at the sneezy stage) and spent Thursday and Friday flat out on the sofa, dozing between coughing bouts. Throw in a couple of terrible nights with more coughing and I wasn’t sure if I could walk round the block let alone run a HM.
However, on Saturday I woke up feeling much better, still coughing but at least able to stay awake all day. I also managed to get dressed and leave the house a couple of times – progress!!
I certainly wasn’t 100% on Sunday, but if I put in walking breaks I thought I could make it round the half marathon course. I drove to my friend Tara’s house to park my car. Tara and her dog Des were going to walk me to the start and look after my stuff while I ran. Tara was meeting her fellow Samaritans, who were running for their charity, to get a group photo.
As it was a local race I thought I would bump into a few people I knew and within minutes I the saw the lovely Juliette, one of my tri club/running club buddies. While I looked like death warmed up, Juliette was glowing with a lovely tan from Lanzarote. Really must get me some winter sun training next year. We had a nice chat while Tara nipped off to get her group photo.
After a few more “hellos” with other friends I joined the back of the start queue. The weather was great, so for the first time this year I started an event with BARE ARMS – yay!!!
As we trotted off through the streets of Taunton I knew this was going to be a tough race. My legs felt good and my breathing wasn’t as bad as I feared but I had zero energy. Three days of barely eating, although great for weight loss, had left me drained. I had managed to force my porridge down pre-race but I felt like I was running on empty from the start.
I managed to run the first 8km which took us out of Taunton and along a very busy road. The roads were not closed and because of the traffic we were running in the gutter, one behind each other, which meant going at the pace of the runner in front or risk getting run over to overtake. At one point three police cars, an ambulance and a fire engine needed to get past – it was chaos.
I was slightly faster than the woman in front of me but I couldn’t summon up the energy for the burst of power required to speed up and overtake. After a while this stopped mattering as I needed to walk and for the second half of the race I walked/ran/walked/walked/ran… you get the idea – it was tough going. My km times were getting very slow, even for me. But it was all I had.
It was also starting to get quite warm – which was a shock to the system. An event with sunshine! It was nice to feel the sun but quite draining on my tired body. There seemed to be a headwind for a quite a long stretch ….but really I’m complaining too much, the conditions were perfect it was me that was below par.
Just before the last 5k there a long uphill…just what I needed to finally finish me off. I staggered over the finish line with a last little burst of running (Tara was taking a photo) in 2.37.42 – not my best effort but pleased to have made it round.
The marshalling, water stops and sponge stations were all well manned – often by young children cheering wildly, and the general support around the the course was good – although by the end I was sick of all the encouragement, I just wanted to walk in peace 🙂
Tara was waiting for me at the end and I was so grateful to see her. She walked me back to her house and made me a nice cup of tea.
I’m glad I gave it a go – another one done.
17 down – 33 to go!