Sunday, May 4, 2014

North Lincolnshire Half Marathon 2014

My partner Zoe ran this race last year and had a great experience.  A super well organised event on a flat and fast course, snagging herself a PB time and 4th in her age category. The race was voted 6th best half marathon in the UK by Runners World for 2013.  So it was a no brainer for me to sign up for the event on 2014.  

Our friends Jon and Sian Morgan were also running it, so we car shared and headed to sunny Scunny (a local term used for Scunthorpe:) with high hopesThe weather was perfect with cloud cover (not sunny Scunny today), cool and little wind.  Everything was set for a great race.

I was feeling quietly confident after a a good winter of training leading up to London Marathon.  I decided to to try to run at a controlled pace of approx 7 min per mile for the first few miles and see how I felt in the second half of the race. Hopefully pick up the pace if I felt good and push for a time close to 1hr 30min.  

Once underway, I kept checking my Garmin to ensure that I didn't go off too fast. Something that I am prone to doing. Not this time!  The first mile passed, 7.07. Second 7.05, third 7.05 and so it went on.  I was feeling good and running a disciplined race.  Everything was going well up to mile 9.  Then suddenly, without warning, my right calf tightened and pain ensued.  OK, don't panic, keep running and hopefully it will pass.  A few minutes passed and rather than subsiding, the pain increased and I started to struggle.  Shit!  At approx 9.5 miles, I was hobbling and in a lot of pain.  I had no choice but to stop and try to stretch out my calf to ease the pain.  I then carried on but it was still no good.

I struggled on and soon saw Zoe catching me up and I cheered her on.  Time to grit my teeth and I went into limp home mode.  I have never had a DNF and I pride myself on that fact.  Get to the end no matter what! The last 3 miles were painful, slow and rather unpleasant.  However, I got to the finish line on 1hr 42mins.  

On a more cheerful note, my three running companions all had a great race.  Hats off to Sian with a 1hr 31min PB and 1st in her age category. Jon ran 1hr 21mins and got 2nd in his age category.  Zoe ran 1hr 37min and bagged herself 2nd in her age category.  All received trophies and a podium place.  Huge congrats to them and a rather sore leg for me (which later proved to be a suspected pulled muscle and prevented me running for two weeks after).  Time to suck it up and move on #shithappens

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