Sunday, 7 December 2008

Water of Leith Half Marathon

Yesterday was the Water of Leith half marathon. The event for me was coloured by it having been the Portobello Running Club xmas night out the night before. I thought about not drinking, but not for very long. I managed to stick to only Guinness and wine, with mineral water at times. I have no idea how much I had. It really was a good night out. Its amazing how having been running with people makes you feel at ease with them even if you've never had a proper conversation.
So we were in bed just before 2 am and alarm clocks set for 7 am.
7 am did not feel very promising. I had a headache and could still taste wine. It never occurred to me not to run though.
We were meeting in Leith to get a bus up to Balerno. Peter and I did the best job we could to improve our physical state and walk jogged down to the bus, there to meet Richard and Ben who were in similar condition. Also there were many familiar faces from Heb3 races. Peter and Ben knew more of them than me.
The W.O.L half is a small invitational affair which keeps the organisational hassle to a minimum. Its run as a handicap race so that there are not too many runners all charging down the water of Leith at the same time as this route is also littered with dog-walkers, mountain bikers, and families with small children.
At Balerno we set off on a sheet of ice and there were stretches of ice for the whole route making the going very hairy and slow at times. Some people managed to clock good times despite the surface conditions. Maybe a different style of running or a different mind-set.
I kept a close eye on my condition as I ran, the challenge being to push as hard as I could without getting into hangover trouble - particularly gastric trouble. As it was I was scared to drink any of the juice I had brought in case it upset the fragile balance within. By the end my legs were crampy but otherwise I was alright. Slower than I would want to be.
Its not really a half-marathon. Varying Garmins give it as somewhere between 13.5 and 13.8 miles.
The sunny, icy cold weather was enjoyable to run in. Its been a nice time for running this last week. Today we're back to warmer, darker, windier weather.
The photos below were sent to us by Lynn Hanley, who thought my blurriness might be as a result of my drinking the night before. I sharpened them up in a way not approved by Peter, but I quite like them. I think the light in the trees looks like a Turner painting.

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