Sunday, 5 October 2008

Bristol half

The twenty-four hours before this race was more eventful than the race itself. I came into this race with a fairly serious niggle in my left calf and my right calf was not feeling too clever either. The night before the race I took an anti-inflammatory. Unfortunately, it transpires that it contained aspirin, which I am allergic to. My eyes swelled up, such that I was doing a pretty good impression of the Elephant man. Additionally, it induced an asthma attack. Not surprisingly I did not have a great night's sleep, getting less than six hours. The following morning the swelling had gone down considerably and my asthma abated. Consequently, I decided to do the race. Kim, my better half, was not impressed but I was more worried about the aforementioned calf than the allergic reaction.
Before the race began I availed of the on-site physio. He was excellent and informed my that my soleus was 90 per cent strained. The massage was excellent and I proceeded to the start with a little less trepidation. We got off a little after nine-thirty. I was hoping to break the ninety minutes barrier in this race. First mile was a 06:51 split so spot on for a sub ninety minute run, a little fast if anything. Mile two 06:47, mile three 06:52, mile four 06:49. At this point I was confident of my race plan and how things were going. At this point we had passed under Brunel's famous Clifton suspension bridge. Mile five, 06:42, a little fast so decided I better ease off a little as I was not half way yet. Mile six 06:49, mile seven 06:48, mile eight 06:45, mile nine, 06:54. It was mile nine that things suddenly got very tough for me. I could feel my face was swelling up again and I did not feel great. The lack of sleep was also beginning to take its toll. The picture associated with this blog was taken by Kim at about mile nine and a half. Not a pretty sight! Mile ten, 06:50, it was grit your teeth time at this stage. Mile eleven, 06:49. Mile twelve, 06:54. I was suffering at this point and my running economy had gone to hell. The cobbles at this point made that pretty clear! Mile thirteen, 06:53.
I crossed the line in 1:30:33. My average mile splits read at 06:49, which should had me finishing under the ninety minute mark but as often with large events and courses you travel more than the 13.1. This is a result of weaving in and out between people and overtaking groups on the outside of a corner, thereby not taking the most distance efficient line. My Garmin 405 registered my run as 13.29 miles.
Needless, to say, I was just delighted to have completed the race and in still a pretty good time considering the preceding twenty-four hours!

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