The half marathon is is over. Over. Thank the Gods!
Having never really attempted anything like it, I decided to try to run 10-minute miles for the whole race. Being a 13.1 mile race, I should therefore finish in 2 hours and 11 minutes. If I managed to pull something out of my hat (we all wear running hats, right?), I might catch up a minute here or there and push to finish in 2 hours.
With hindsight – and considering my dubious training regime (running three times) – this was rather ambitious…
To be fair on myself, however, I covered 10 of the 13.1 miles within this rather ambitious time. After that, however, I was a goner!
The Art of Unpreparedness
Having no running shorts, I used my swimming shorts.
Having no running vest, I used a black t-shirt.
Having no running shoes, I used my gym trainers.
Having no watch, I used my grandma’s cooking timer – tied to me with a piece of string.
Having no idea where to go – we arrived 1 minute before the race was due to start.
Having no safety pins to attach my number to me – I had to borrow some from the St. John’s Ambulance people.
Having done no training…I burned out after 10 miles and practically crawled my way to the finish.
The Half Marathon
00:30:00 – 3 miles – not bad considering it’s all up one enormous hill.
00:58:00 – 6 miles – cutting down the time!
01:06:00 – 7 miles – taking advantage of the one downhill part (the winner of the race finished 2 mins later)
01:28:00 – 9 miles – losing time now
01:40:30 – 10 miles – the first time I dropped below my intended time 🙁
[I remember very little about this period, other than agony]
02:18:17 – 13.1 miles – FINISHED! Fall over. Drink beer. Go home.
“What happened between 10 miles and the finish line?” you may ask. The answer is simple: horrific pain and suffering. I don’t remember much at all about it, but somehow it took me 38 minutes to run 3 miles – which is not good going!
So, it is safe to say one should not attempt the Wycombe Half Marathon without any training. It is a horrible thing to experience.
Granted, this should be an obvious thing to say for any half marathon, but the Wycombe Half is, however, particularly horrible.
For one thing, despite starting and ending in the same place, it is uphill almost all the time!
“IMPOSSIBLE!” you may cry, in some Escher-induced rage. Yet hear this; after the enormous Marlow Hill, one runs vaguely uphill on the way to Flackwell Heath. After than, one is blessed with a ridiculous downhill surge between 6 and 7 miles which, welcome though it is, means that you are back running slightly uphill for mile upon mile upon mile upon mile…
OK, now I’m having flashbacks. Time to stop writing.