Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Just Swimming In The Rain

(What a Glorious Feeling, I'm Happy Again)

My main target for the Stonehaven Half Marathon was to get round in a decent time, quicker than last year, hopefully quicker than my 2008 Clova time, and definitely ahead of any really old blokes. And I almost succeeded!

In fact, I felt like I had a really good run and paced it well. I ran quite a bit with Jonathan whose company helped eat up the miles. Like with Finlay from Livingstone on the club run on Thursday, it was good to be reminded by someone from further afield how nice the countryside around Stonehaven is to run in - even in the dismal weather.

Nice to see Fiona and Annie at the Fetchpoint and to be able to ditch hat and gloves (I want them back at some point, though).

We hit the 8 mile marker (just as the long downhill starts) at about 1h15 which meant roughly 9mm to the finish would do for a sub 2 hour. The previous mile had been 9:20 ish but that felt distinctly doable so we pushed on. The next couple of miles went well, but I felt I was slowing slightly so urged J to push on himself and gradually watched him pass other runners and disappear into the distance (great run by him, especially when he'd done 11 miles the day before). I felt that I was still going at a decent enough pace and passed a few groups of runners myself (not generally something I'm used to at the end of a race). I was raging at the wind a bit, worried that it was slowing me down so I was going to miss the 2 hour mark, and it sapped my strength a bit.

The last mile back through the town felt tough but it was good to see some familiar faces, marshalling or out spectating in the rain. As I swung into the park, someone confirmed that I was just about 2 hours so I gave it a last push to get over the line and into the welcome seats to get my chip sorted out. Just over 2 hours by my watch but I hadn't stopped it immediately so I wasn't sure but the timing screen was showing 2:00:18 against my name. Damn. Still, not a bad time and better than I'd dared hope so I was actually quite chuffed.

Regrouped with mrs s who'd smashed her PB, then spent a little time catching up with a few other runners - great PBs from Conor, Mike, Jo and Jonathan, club standard for Jane (who also won her age group), and probably others but my memory isn't great - before heading home through the increasingly heavy drizzle.

Later on we took L and C for a swim in the outdoor pool - we could hear thunder and the rain was stotting off the surface of the water but it was fun and not too cold as long as you kept moving.

The day ended with the traditional trip to the Marine for drinks and a blether. Good times were had by all, despite the spilling of drinks and mrs s almost coming to blows with our youngest drinking companion :)

I also found out that my chip time was 1:59:56, so I had sneaked under 2 hours :) although not quite good enough for a PB (not that I really care that much about such things). Sadly I think that I was again beaten by the oldest man in the race - I might be wrong but we think the oldest runner finished in 1:27:58 taking the 60+ prize and ahead of most of the field!
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