Monday, 16 March 2009

Fleet Half: Race Report

Well I did it. Carrying an approx 3kg of extra snot, I completed it in 2:02:08. Overall pace of 9:18 m/m. Revised target time was 2:05:00 because of the Man Flu and on Saturday night, I still wasn't planning to run so overall, I'm happy. Not ecstatic. But happy. And at least I've done the distance now 2 weeks prior to Prague.

As myself and eatingtrees wandered to the start (in the middle of a housing estate), we looked up to see the estimated finishing time sign saying 1:30. Oh no, lets head to the back. The back just said 2 hours. No 2 hours + so we settled near the back and stood around like lemons for a bit. First thing I noticed... It was full of proper runners. This wasn't an any shape, any size event like the Royal Parks that I enjoyed so much in Oct. This had proper runners that were going to completely embarrass me in a couple of hours time. I put that to the back of my mind and focus on my own race. My target. Completion, staying alive and not eating concrete! After babbling on about negative splits for the last couple of weeks, this was my sole intention. To take it easy at the start. Bugger. Took it too easy. 9:30, 9:30, 9:15. So after 3 miles, a minute and 15 seconds down on where I wanted to be in an ideal and me feeling 100% world. Oops. Never mind, I wasn't about to blitz it and ruin myself so we just picked up the pace a bit and carried on plodding along.

Now I want to mention something here. The word I heard a lot of in the build up to this, from people who have completed was flat. Flat! WHERE WAS THE EFFING FLAT BIT???? Now I admit that if you added all the 'up' slopes and took away all the 'down' slopes then it may end up pretty even but running along a country road going up and down over the hills is not what I call flat! ARGHHH!!! Anyway, we plodded along at roughly the same pace and got to the 7 mile mark (time was approx 1:06:00). Time for the music playlist!! On it went and I picked up my pace instantly. I knew I wouldn't beat it to the finish in my current state but I wanted to give it a good go. I started weaving through a few people and felt pretty good. Ticked the miles off and compared to my music, I was around a minute down on my 'perfect time' from 7 to 10 miles. That's good. 10 to 11 was OK but I felt myself slowing and then 11-12 was just one long meandering uphill in which you kept being able to see other runners in the distance (not fair!). Now that was slow! 12-13 was very tough and wasn't helped by numerous breaks/bumps of concrete where the tree roots had had their way. I tripped and nearly fell 2 or 3 times in that mile. The last time was VERY close and the thoughts running through my mind were, do I have the energy to put my arms out and stop my face and glasses becoming my airbag. Luckily, I kept my feet and to the relief of the onlookers I reckon as I don't think any of them fancied trying to revive a 14 stone, snotty bloke who was looking like he'd run 100 miles and not just 12.5! I hobbled on (there's no way I can describe it as running by now) and went over the final speed bumps without any falls and finally crossed the line.

I've worked out an average and I believe I ran the first half in approx 1:01:40 and the second in 1:00:28 so happy days with the negative split theory. It works, I will never doubt you again.

I left eatingtrees at the 7 mile mark so for the rest of his race, he'll need to tell you himself.

So good decision to run? I think so but I'm suffering for it now. Usually after 10 mile training runs, I feel good the next day but I seemed to have made the cold worse and made every single muscle ache a lot at the same time. Needless to say, sleep last night was non-existent. Moan, moan, bitch, bitch!! My lovely girlfriend really does have to put up with a lot and not once did she say well it's your own fault so thank you. You're a star!

Now a bit of rest this week, to attempt to kill this cold and then it's back to getting ready for Prague but I'm looking forward to it even more now. BRING IT ON!!! I want that PB!


  1. Considering you were crippled with man-flu, you ran a blinder. And here's to a pb in Prague!

  2. I can cope with your moaning... but I'm so glad you ended up running - if the 'Man Flu' had beaten you, you would have been unbearable... I think the best thing for me would have been to go away (maybe to the other side of the world!!) and wait for you to calm down! But well done you! You did brilliantly! I'm very proud

  3. best of luck in prague!

  4. Ah, well done! Man flu, pah. Does you good to clear the snot out ;)

  5. Amen to that. And an "undulating" (I think that's what they call hilly runs these days...) is so good for the legs, the next one will fly by! Fair play to you!