Training is improving although I have been suffering from the heat a little and pulled out of a few runs of late; I have however had a yearning to get the miles up and get some solid long runs in especially this week. Some of my Dear Readers will know that I had been invited to be a pacer at a 10km race in Greenwich, some 7 miles from where I live so decided to run there, run the race and then run back making it about 20 miles (32 km)...well it was a plan.
So leaving the house at about 7.40am I had a gentle run along the roads and was happy just enjoying a slow but steady pace under a cloudy sky, that is until they parted to show a hot and humid sun....boy, was it hot. However things were not quite right "down below" and at the four mile mark was doubled over in pain as I got an extreme stomach cramp and was soon walking hoping to get to a petrol station about 800 m down the road. Two more cramps and I made it to the station where I was quite ill but amazingly I felt instantly better but took the last miles very gently
As I approached the gates of the park I saw Ian, a mate from my sister running club waiting for me, and we both bemoaned a stomach ache but it was soon to business when we attended the start to collect a number, time chip and then the wonderful Andrea who threw me a running vest. Today I was running for The National Osteoporosis Society and by the looks of it they had a fantatstic turn out. Between you and me I was a little worried about being a 50 minute pacer and whilst confident that I could do it the sun, heat, humidity and the undulating course were going to be the deciding factors.
We were off, me and the Monkey Feet (and my Garmin GPS) and it was a matter of getting through the first 1km mark to get a feel of pace, we were through in exactly 5.00 mins, the first mile in 8:01 mins it was scarily on pace, mile 2 in 16:04, mile 3 in 24:46 not so good but that was where the hill was, time to adjust.
So with the pace adjusted I stepped up the pace on the second lap for now the small group of people who were tugging my shirt tail were ready for action as I called out the pace change and the need to stick with me and to overtake when they wanted to. By now the heat was just a little too much for me but I stuck to it, after all there was a cold drink waiting for me at the end.
Pleased to report I got through the Finish line in 49:49 (my watch) and 50:00 on the race clock but you can see by the picture above I was one big sweaty heap!
Pleased with the fact I was able to keep an average pace after 13 miles of running it was a matter of catching up with the other pacers who seemed to have also done some amazingly great consistent and timely runs.
The third half
Let's say that was definitely tougher, a little hotter and a big slog home reduced to as very gentle jog and a walk up a section of hill but I got there ready for a cool bath.
I have a feeling I am slowly getting back on track.