And I am terrified!
Entering a half marathon with a 2:45 cut off didn’t seem a problem in June 2016, when I’d just run a half in 2:35 and naively assumed that my times would continue to improve. A month later I had a stress fracture. I completed my next half marathon (the first half of the Dublin Marathon) in about 3:15 and I haven’t done one since. I delayed my entry for the Barcelona Half from 2017 to 2018 (they don’t allow deferrals, so I had to rebook and pay again), assuming that by 2018 I’d be all better and able to do it.
And now I am all better. But am I able to do it? It’s going to be tight, that’s for certain. I have a pretty good idea of my own abilities. On a good day, I would be able to run a half in around 2:40. On a bad day, I would have to walk some of it, and my time would be closer to three hours. Will tomorrow be a good day or a bad day? That is what I just don’t know.
I have never not finished a race – but every other race I have entered has had the safety buffer of a generous cut off, meaning that if I have a problem, I can finish off walking. Given enough time, I am pretty confident of my ability to cover any distance. I am not at all confident of my ability to outrun the “coche de cierre” (Spanish equivalent of a sweep up coach, except I don’t think it is a coach at all – I imagine it to be a car that plunges through the route telling slow runners to go home in Spanish). I hope I will be going home with a medal and not a red face. At least they were nice enough to give us our t-shirts at the expo. I wonder if this is because they have a lot of non-finishers?