Worthing Half Marathon

Rob says I have to start updating this blog again. You’d have thought I’d have grown out of doing things suggested by Rob by now, yet here I am. I suppose Worthing is as good a place to start as any.

Part of the reason I haven’t written much lately is because everything I try to come out as a big whinge and isn’t funny. I think whinging is fine if you can be funny in the process but endless misery dumps aren’t. Therefore I shall confine my update on my leg to as few words as possible: it’s still fucked, but I have got used to running with a fucked leg and have found some methods of dealing with it such as taking enough codeine not to be able to feel either of my legs and losing weight (my least favourite method of getting faster but the only one open to me at present). Sadly, I have just had to stop taking the high effectively anti-inflammatory Etoricoxib as it gave me unsuitable blood pressure and I was forced to concede that having a stroke and dropping dead would be worse than a painful leg.

So. Worthing Half is one I’ve had my eye on for a few years and when I signed up this time last year I did so with the full belief that this would be the occasion on which I finally beat my half marathon PB (which was seven years old in February and is now anticipating eternal life). Having deferred two of my half marathons from this season and run/walked the undeferrable Brighton Half in 2:56 (and actually being PLEASED with that time, despite the fact that this time last year it would have had me reaching for the Tequila of Shame) obviously all thoughts of PB have gone out the window. Now I just try to beat the times I’ve got since the injury and do my best to forget the old ones ever existed.

I was a bit nervy about the course because it’s three laps and it’s not easy to make head or tail of the course map. It was simpler than it looked though, the first lap is 5k ish up and down the prom (not far off the Worthing parkrun route, but making use of the road as well as the seafront), the second lap starts the same but then heads out toward Goring and does a nice lap of some Countryside and up and down a Suburban Road for a total of 10k is, and the last lap is the same as the first but all on the road.

At Brighton I had used a run/walk timer for the entire race but at Worthing I decided I was going to at least attempt to run the whole thing, with little or no faith that I actually would (I have not run more than 10k without walk breaks for over a year). I was correct, I lasted a total of 13.5km before I had to concede defeat and switch to 3 mins run, 1 min walk, but my pace was still not completely shameful and I overtook a lot of people on the last lap, although sadly not the man who was wearing a full minion costume.

Just as I was nearing the finish, I heard the pitter patter of tiny feet behind me and realised the “Family Mile” had just started. One thing I have learned from volunteering at Junior parkrun is that races for children are always presented as being fun and friendly but are actually full of extremely focused athletes who are raring to go and extremely fast (in contrast to us adults, who have to cattle prod ourselves into a slow jog and spend the whole time moaning, even though we actually choose to do this and moan even more when we can’t). I didn’t mind this sudden impingement on my personal space, in fact it gave me a bit of a lift to be surrounded by enthusiastic people who had only been on their feet for a few minutes, but there was nearly a catastrophe as I rounded the final corner – one boy had clearly been too focused on impersonating Mo Farah to do his shoe up properly and it bounced right off his foot to the opposite side of the path. For some reason I credited the child with enough sense to wait until I’d passed to cross to retrieve it, as I was at least twice his size and moving the fastest I had all day (admittedly still not that fast). Of course, he didn’t even look before stepping into my path. I’ll pretend for the sake of this blog entry that I hurdled over him to the rapturous applause of onlookers and won the race. If I were telling the truth I’d admit that I only just managed to avoid a full-on collision by lumbering to the side, said some words not suitable for small ears, and finished in 2:49:12 about 950th of 1000. And I was still really happy about it.

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