Saturday, 8 August 2015
Haddington Half Marathon 2015 - a race report of two halves
It's such a long drum roll to the start of the race I thought I might write my report this morning and get it out the way. I'd write something like this. Aileen hared off but I caught her at about 9 miles. She'd decided to ease up to preserve her ropey hamstring. I gave her a pat on the back and stormed home to victory. 10 points! Ya beauty. Don't get me wrong, this wasn't what I thought would happen. It was just one plausible sketch. A likelier scenario was that Aileen would hare off at the start. I'd stay behind her all the way but not be all that far behind at the end. Just a couple of minutes or so.
So how did it play out?
Well, us super-vet ladies had a warm up. We were all quite stiff. That was reassuring for me. Thursday and Friday are my longest days at work and I spend quite a lot of time sitting down and Saturdays I'm always creaky, at least to start with. There was the usual too long waiting for the race to start and we were off in the afternoon heat. My mouth was dry as the Sahara and my throat felt dusty. My first mile was sub-8 because it was mostly downhill but then I slowed down a good bit. My legs were stiff and I wasn't loving it but it was okay. After 4 and a half miles and the first water, however, my tummy started to cramp. At first it was just a minor irritation but it grew and grew in intensity.
Aileen was long gone ahead and at about 7 or 8 miles? (Not really sure) Anne Rutherford came past too, relegating me to 3rd in the Porty Super-Vet ladies race with-in a race for championship points. I couldn't do much about it, so I just had to accept it. Well to celebrate, actually, I accidentally self-harmed and put one arm in a very thorny bush that I never even saw. I only know because I saw the thorns and the blood afterwards.
At Bolton (For a minute when I saw Bolton I thought we were coming into Haddington and I was so relieved. I've come across races that were short, but never that short) my tummy gave me some decisive and unmistakeable signals. I broke out in a cold sweat and slowed to a walk. At the end of the road there was a convenient place where you could go behind some bushes for some privacy. It was nice and peaceful in the field. I'm sorry to say I had to sacrifice my favourite pants to this endeavour. I know I know, TMI. It was the navy ones. I KNOW, they were nice pants. There is a little corner of that field which will be forever mypantsland.
After this there didn't seem to be much of a hurry, really. I'd "run" a 14 minute mile. It's nice and quiet that far back in the field, for those of you who don't know, and I could hear the wind swooshing in the crops. I saw a hedgeful full of lovely little birds too, and I wished I had a camera. Sadly, my tummy had not quite given over with its complaining for the day and I had to be a bit careful. I had no more pants to sacrifice.
When I finally got over the line in 2hrs04mins there were some people still left out there. I tried to be cheerful about it. I wasn't looking forwards to Peter's "What happened???"
I saw Aileen and Anne and then there came Peter and a plate of cakes. "What happened???" he blurted out. He assumed I'd been rescuing someone, but had in fact been rescuing myself. I found the thought of cakes peculiarly off-putting but needed something to eat so I had a burger. An odd choice I know. And I was hoping it would be salty but it wasn't.
We'd been planning to go for a swim after but I still felt a bit iffy and in the end decided not to. It was just as well as my tummy had not yet finished its shenanigans. There were a couple more episodes. I don't know what was up. One possibility is I've developed a near obsessional love of the Co-ops baby gherkins and ate two jars of them over the past two days for lunch. Maybe it was the heat. I feel fine now, although a little delicate and I am 2 lbs lighter than I was this morning.
Anyway, I have just been remembering that Haddington Half was the reason I joined PRC. The reason being, the first time I ran it, the PRC ladies won the team prize and my time had been faster than the third counting lady. Realising I'd diddled myself out of a bottle of wine I signed up. Not the most noble of reasons, I'll give you that. Peter had been at me to do it for ages. Obviously when I joined the club there were all kinds of other benefits like the lovely people and pounding the prom... :-)
Okay, I'm off to do something else. Goodbye!