Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Reading Half Marathon

On Sunday the 20th March I ran the Reading Half Marathon. Actually, "ran" is an overstatement. I did traverse much of the course at a speed greater than that of a walk but I did resort to walking pace at intervals to prevent injury (damn that right knee). The day was dry, with occasional sunshine (I'm still sporting short tan lines) and a slightly chilly breeze. The parking was not well signposted and the shuttle bus from our carpark dropped us so far from the race village we may as well have walked from the carpark instead. Likewise the walk to the Green starting area was stupidly long. In summary the start was a bit of a shambles, the warm-up was just about visible but there was no space to actually carry out the moves and there was such a long wait to start that I'd all but cooled down again. However once we were off the race was great. I was surprised at how many people lined the course all the way round. There were bands playing at ontervals and the water stations well manned. I do so hate the waste associated with them though. The course was relatively easy going although I totaly lost my sense of direction throguh town. I got cheered on at mile 6 by a friend, also supporting his other half, and by my own OH and parents between miles 11 and 13. My mother, bless her, even ran a small portion with me when I was flagging. I'm not sure she was meant to but it did help. I think my performance was hampered a little by a general lack of enthusiasm. I'd not trained as much as I'd wanted to and I knew my knee wasn't strong. Adrenaline was virtually nowhere to be found. The highlight, obviously, was finishing in the stadium. My father gave accounts of a few people taking a tumble down the slope and some heartwarming reports of other receiving huge applause and somehow managing to cross the line when it seemed there was nothing left in the tank. It was amazing. I got my first ever foil blanket and a well stocked goody bag. My time wasn't anywhere near a PB but I didn't really mind, for once. I could have done without the limp/trudge back to the bus and car but a slap up meal of eggs, chips, beans and sausages with a glass of bubbly back home quickly soothed the muscles. I'm very glad that I finally managed to run the Reading HM but I won't be tempted to do it again. Out of all the HM's I've run so far, overall it was my least favourite.

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