Brass Monkey Half Marathon Report – January 2012
What can I say, I’m writing this the day after my first attempt at a Half Marathon and I truly feel like I have been hit by a train. My hips are so sore and out of alignment that it’s not funny, and I am waddling around like a drunken cowboy who’s been in the saddle for weeks. But I don’t care cos I bleeding well did it!
Yesterday morning after a rather sleepless night I woke to pouring rain, I wasn’t overly concerned, I can run in the rain if needed but am happier if it stays dry. The good news is the rain stayed away come race time, unfortunately it was replaced by the most brutal wind I have ever known.
It never seemed to blow behind us, but was either so strong as a side wind it was actually forcing us aside or was straight ahead of us and felt like we were pushing against one of those American Football training machines that they physically push across the field.
Thanks to what was left of the lurgy I couldn’t breathe through my nose, unless it was adjacent to the fields where the farmer had kindly recently deposited fresh slurry, and my face was on fire with sinus pain. In hindsight I probably wasn’t fit enough to have run, all things considered, but once out there I couldn’t stop. This could in part be down to my amazing running partner who spent ten miles telling me I couldn’t quit, that I could do this, and generally mentally dragging me along with her, she wouldn’t give in.
The wind was so strong I couldn’t even bawl my eyes out, much as I wanted to, the tears were stolen from me before they’d fully formed and I couldn’t catch my breath long enough to bawl, although I did manage some rather choice swear words at the wind on occasion, leaving me with a rather sore throat this morning.
The only part of the whole experience I enjoyed was the look of pride on my Daughters face as she hugged me at the finish, oh and beating the time I thought it would take.
I think that as strong willed as I am I would have quit yesterday had it not being for my running buddy, I remember thinking it was a good thing the marshall telling me we had hit the half way mark was on the other side of the road, if he’d been on my side I’d seriously have blacked his eye for him and his cheery message. Half way wasn’t something to celebrate, it meant I had that whole torture to endure yet again, and by then I wasn’t quite sure I had it in me. I did actually stop and think – no – I can’t go on, till Cathy told me off – again!
I finally persuaded Cathy at mile ten that she should go ahead, I was at the point where I wasn’t keeping up and it was going to damage her race time, which wasn’t fair on her, and she was running really well. By this time my right ankle was sprained, my left foot hurt every time I put it down and both hips felt like they were in a vice. What a fun experience. I started to limp/walk and thought a short break from running would help, it felt like it hurt more to walk than to run, so I found this kind of limp/walk pace that kept me going, and certainly didn’t lose me any ground against the run/walker ahead of me.
By this point there was no way I could quit, I’ve limped further than that in the past, and for some reason, being on my own the determination kicked in big time. I started a little mantra on the last hill, ‘I can, I will’, it helped me get up it anyway, not sure what the passing motorists made of the mad yorkshire lass talking to herself as she limped along the road though.
I couldn’t really tell you what the route was like, I’m sure many of the other runners found it attractive, I found it open and exposed and no matter where we went the wind fought against us. Yes its a flat course apart from two bridges that cross roads and are fairly steep, to me anyway, but you do them on the way back as well.
The marshalls along the course were excellent, but best not tell me how far I’ve gone when I am in that state as I then work out how far it means I still have to go, but they were in plentiful supply, as were the supporters from my running club, York Postal Harriers, their support and encouragement out on the course meant a lot.
Yesterday was a horrible, horrible experience, and I really felt I let myself down, more mentally than physically, I blame the wind for the injuries!
As bad as it was I am over the moon with my time 2:43:23. I beat the cut off time despite being injured and running into a gusting headwind. Wow! What could I have achieved without that.
So I have picked myself up, liberally applied ice spray and dosed up on ibuprofen and am now looking towards the next race, I think I’m entered in the Snake 10 next month, just need the entry pack to arrive to confirm my place.
I’m hopeful that yesterday was as bad as a race can get, and hope that future races are more like Dalby where I really started to enjoy the race, we’ll see, I don’t want to tempt fate after all.
And the good news is that between Cathy, Shawn and I we raised over £200 from yesterdays run for Martin House.
So what’s your worst race experience and did you let it put you off?