Wissey Half Marathon was the one I’d be training for. After completing Run Norwich in an Ok-ish 52 minutes, it was time to press on and go for the half.
It’s a nice event at Wissey. You start very near to Oxburgh Hall and it’s pretty flat.
Until mile 8 that is.
Setting off I’d placed myself in the two hour 10 bracket – well down from my PB of 1.48 of a few years ago.
But age has wearied him – or at least I’m not as fast as I used to be, largely on account of not running as intensively as I used to, and being a bit too generous these days with the sausages and mash etc.
I was running the Wissey Half Marathon quicker than my Run Norwich 10km pace
But guess what? It felt pretty steady – and glancing at the Tom Tom I soon realised that I was running just a bit quicker than my Run Norwich 10k pace – if it carried on as flat as this then we could be due to finish in under two hours.
Then Larry David turned up.
Not the real one of course, but someone who looked pretty much like him to me.
Larry and I got involved in a bit of cat and mouse near the first drink station. I knew he’d be quicker than me in the end, but I wasn’t prepared to make it easy for him to pass, so I’d just step up the pace a little bit – say for a few hundred yards or so – and then slow it down a bit. And so it went on for a mile or two.
But at mile 8 things went a bit amiss.
May be it was because I was running faster than I thought, but there was a drink stop, and ahead a bit of a hill.
I like hills normally – but actually this time around it was a bit of a killer, and enough to knock me out of my stride for the rest of the race.
I don’t think I was the only one.
In fact setting off again, I instinctively knew that the second half of the race, or what was left of it was going to see more people going past me, than me overtaking.
And for me that’s how I’ve always judged a race – have I finished stronger in the second half.? Am I overtaking people in the last mile of so?
That’s my definition of the a good run.
But the cat and mouse had curbed my enthusiasm.
And it was going to be harder for me from here on in.
On the plus side I kept running; reminding myself of the primary goal which I have every race – simply to finish.
And that’s what I did, picking up again as we passed Oxburgh Hall – through to the end where you get a half pint glass (instead of a medal) and a chance to try a local ale.
I was just outside 2 hours – which a couple of weeks before the race I’d have been happy with.
Time to join the National Trust
We even nipped over to Oxburgh Hall and joined the National Trust – so may be it’s a middle age thing..
So what did I learn?
That I was probably a couple of weeks off where I wanted to be, perhaps.
But within 24 hours I was thinking of signing up for another half in October – Lowestoft anybody?
With my mojo back I thought I’d head for another run the Tuesday after the Wissey Half Marathon.
But after a couple of strides I knew it was a mistake. The right knee felt gammy.
I knew straight away I’d come out running too soon.
So instead I walked to the nearby Rec I and walked a couple of laps.
I’ve only managed one run since, four laps round said Rec. And with all the rain and the dip in temperature, I’ve now caught a cold.
Wissey Half Marathon – and mile 8 – took more out of me than I thought.
But I know I will be back.