I ran in the Lancaster Half Marathon on Sunday, although at times it felt like an open water swim.
The course took us out from Salt Aire across the Millenium Bridge towards Condor Green. I’m very familiar with this route as myself and Andy H seem to spend most of our running lives avoide the puddles, dog walkers and cyclists along the coastal path. We then doubled back through Aldcliffe and back the way we came. It’s an almsot pancake flat course with a slight hill about mile 8.
The rain had been coming down all week, and we were warned that there would be some ‘puddles’ on the course. For puddles see ‘ stream’, ‘brook’ or ‘Lancaster’s answer to Ulswater’. I was really struggling through 3 miles and wasn’t enjoying myself at all, I’d pretty much been inactive since Ironman and 6 weeks sitting on my arse writing a back had stripped me off my fitness. But I was determined to continue and use this as a marker ahead of next season. Another incentive was that Lesley was chasing me, and I knew that if I slowed too much she’d pass me.
Coming down the hill from Aldcliffe to the Water Works the road disappeared under about 18 inches of ice cold muddy water, I thought I was doing Hellrunner or The Cross Bay again. I couldn’t feel my feet or ankles and any momentum and ‘second win’ I’d gained just disapeared. I later learn’t from some other runners that they’d lost the ‘will to live’ at that point which makes me feel better, as I wasn’t enjoying it.
I struggled on though and despite being passed in the last 3 miles by everyone and their Grandma I managed to finish in one piece in a time of 1:45:23 for 315th place. Not bad really considering 666 people finished the race. Lesley had a blinding run to finish in 345th place in a new PB time of 1:46:55. And that great performance was despite being full of cold and feeling sick. When she’s fully fit she’ll be much faster. It’ll be an interesting battle between the two of us when London comes around.
Full results can be found here : Lancaster Half Marathon Results
So yep it was slow, yep it was hard work but it’s a start, I don’t see it as the end of the 2009 season, I see it as the begining of the 2010 season, I want to record PB’s next year at every distance from 10k through to Ironman. Well you’ve got to dream big haven’t you ?