[Warning: more boring fitness-related content. This is the penultimate post on such, before moving the misc trivia over to wmconnolley.livejournal.com/. The science will stay here.]
Saturday-before-last James E said that the Grunty Fen half marathon was on the 12th; and being a little unsober I signed up online an hour later. Next morning I thought I’d better check that I could actually run the distance, and it turned out that I could. Or at least, nearly. I accidentally ran 20 km instead of 21.1, because I forgot the true distance. Oops. Anyway, that took me 1:51, which seemed fair enough (less than 2h) though it included one bit where I stopped to ask the way, and a couple of gates, and suchlike. The real thing took me 1:51 again, but with an extra 1.1 km thrown in. And here is the track. Notice corporate-man style running vest, but I had to pay for it.
Pix of other people I know:
Race thoughts: this was my first proper long race, so I was a bit unsure about pacing. I’d settled beforehand on 5:30 min/km as being good-enough on average, and managed to average 5:15, though it drifts up during the race. On the long straight there was a moderate/stiff wind against us; otherwise the weather was fine. The course is very flat. There were 3 or 4 water stations round the course. I hadn’t practiced drinking-while-running before, and as the books all say, you need to practice or it goes horribly wrong. So I’d guess I managed to drink about 1/3 of a cup at each station, which adds up to a near-negligible amount over the course (what was fun about the drinks stations was that they had kids holding out the cups, who were competing with each other to be the one that the runners actually picked). The sponges were nice too – next time, I’ll probably try drinking from those instead. Quite a few people actually stopped to drink, which seems quite wrong – I’d guess you lose more by doing that than you gain. I didn’t carry any food / gel / whatever and didn’t obviously lack it; I think the splits support that. Injuries: none, apart from a minor blister on one toe that I didn’t notice.
My top tip for enjoying running more, apart from finding someone to train with, is to get a GPS watch. At least for me, running is so much more fun if you get a pace out as you go along (one of the things that makes erging tolerable) and then you have something to pore over afterwards. Which throws up a serious shortcoming of the garmin connect website: you can’t compare two runs.
Photo original at elyrunners.org (second in that group) by Charlie Barker.