One Day To Go

It’s official.  I have made all the way through my half marathon training without sustaining a single injury!  (Unless I get hit by a bus on the way to the race.)  Other than the time I signed up for the Hackney Half with ten days to go, this is the first time I have ever managed to train for an event longer than 10k without some part of my body letting me down on way.  If it wasn’t for the dreaded lurgy that cost me ten days of training two weeks ago, I wouldn’t have missed a single run on the schedule.

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My face right now.

The cough hasn’t quite gone but the other symptoms have.  Until the middle of this week I was still extra tired and relying on an alarm to wake me even for a late shift (8:30am alarm) but I have managed to get up at my usual 6:30am these last two days with no ill effects.  The worst thing is that I have developed a massive revolting cold sore right in the middle of my face.  You may think a cold sore doesn’t affect your running (it’s not like it’s on your feet) but it is surprising how offputting it is having something painful and throbbing sticking out of your gob.  Even worse, it will totally ruin my race photos.  I will have to photoshop it out before I post my race review.  I might photoshop my time too.

I have been in a bit of a quandary about which time to go for.  I am definitely in the best form I have been since breaking my leg but probably not quite as good as when I got my HM PB in 2016.  My 5k times are faster now but I think that might just be because I didn’t bother running 5ks before I discovered parkrun!  I was really pleased to learn that Runthrough are employing slower pacers (every 5 mins through to 3 hours) so I think I might try to make use of the 2:30 or the 2:35 at the start and see how long I can cling on to them.

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I didn’t want to run the day before an important race, so it was volunteering at parkrun today.  The weather was horrendous with a very strong and very cold wind battering us on the side of a very muddy Finsbury Park hill.  We struggled to put the finish funnel up because of the wind and the fact that it’s usual spot was waterlogged, in fact the tape was still going up when the first finisher came through (16:53).  My role was Finish Token Support which meant I had to take the fiddly little tokens off a plastic hangar and hand them to the chap with the even more stressful job of handing them out.   What a palaver! My poor fingers froze and the tips shrivelled up like I had spent too long in the bath.  Token 21 decided to make a run for it and blew off in the direction of Manor Park.  I had to scramble in the mud to retrieve it.  The arrival of runners between 25 and 30 minutes is a complete onslaught and can easily turn into unmitigated chaos.  They have a tendency to stop dead as they cross the line, then they bump into each other and get into the wrong order, and some people refuse to take a token (instead of taking one and handing it in to a scanner as you are supposed to) or duck out of the funnel altogether and both these things can end up in everyone’s times going horribly wrong.  But if you stop to correct it, then the funnel stops moving and people start spilling out the end (and/or getting fed up with queuing and ducking out) so you basically just have to force tokens into people’s sweaty hands and send them packing before they start stacking up.  It is a little bit like Tetris and much harder than it looks, and gave me some insight into the weird and wonderful ways in which timing can go round and what effect it might have on the results.

I am now home thawing out my fingers and do not intend to leave the house again until tomorrow.  The weather forecast for tomorrow is EVEN WORSE!  The wind is going but being replaced with heavy rain.  I really wish they would stop having weather during these events, it really messes things up.  Although I suppose at least water on the camera might disguise my cold sore.

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