On the 14th May, I ran the Stratford Half Marathon with the aim of finally breaking 2-hours. As you can probably guess from the post title, it didn’t quite go to plan.
If I am being entirely honest, I didn’t expect to break two-hours as I had spent the week beforehand dosing up every over-the-counter cold and flu medication known to man; to try and rid myself of the lurg which had set in on Wednesday. On Saturday 13th May, it was debatable if I was going to make the start line at all. However, by Saturday evening, I was at least starting to feel human.
Fast-forward to Sunday morning and I was nervous. Firstly, it was a lot warmer than I expected, and secondly (due to the cold) I hadn’t run for about a week beforehand. I met up with a few of my club mates on the start line (love the Striders), and there were a few that were aiming for a similar time. Therefore, I thought, as long as I could keep with them, I should be OK.
I won’t bore you with the minutiae of the first few miles, because, as it turned out, the pace was not an issue. I am clearly in better shape than I expected. At 3 miles, it looked like I was finally going to do it, I started to believe…
….and unfortunately, I took my eyes off the ball (or more importantly, the road) and completely missed an absolute crater of a pothole.
I tried to stop myself from falling, but was unsuccessful and hit the floor with a thud. Luckily I was picked up by a couple of runners and another person gathered my water & gels before someone stood on them. They were handed to me with an instruction to “keep going”, so I did.
The next 10 miles were a real struggle and I had to run/walk at times. It seemed fine when the adrenaline kicked in, but once that initial shock wore off I ended up walking a lot. I’m proud of myself for finishing and given the circumstances 2:13 doesn’t look too shabby, but it is not the race I wanted. My clubmates, however, were fantastic. The picture above was taken about mile 10, I had just seen one of my clubmates Ves who had shared her Cliff Shotblocks with me, and given me the biggest hug as she went passed. There are many benefits of being in a running club, of which in-race motivation is just one.
Until next time, happy running and watch out for those potholes folks!