I should have written this ages ago, it's now a couple of weeks since I ran in the half marathon, and the aches have been, and mostly gone again, and the memories are a bit less sharp than they were.
So, the big day arrived, and despite carrying a bit of a foot injury mostly kept in check with a carefully deployed roll of tape, and the makings of a cold, I'd decided I was going to run the race, and my objective was to get there in under 2 hours.
The day was pretty much perfect running weather, cool but not cold, and not too windy, I'd really no idea of the course, and it was the first time everyone racing would have done the route so that made things more fun. In reality the whole thing is a bit of a blur now, 2 hours passed more quickly than I imagined it would and I pretty much stuck to my sensible 9 minute 'get me round in under 2 hours' pace consistently, apart from taking advantage of any downhills.
The course wasn't all that exciting as things go, but it was (as promised) flat. The bits I remember are the tight and twisty corners early on, then a run out of town down a bit of dual carriageway (with an annoying loop down a random road halfway) followed by a bit of a trek across the boots site, which was mostly just like any large industrial estate. Once that bit is out of the way it got more scenic with a loop around the university campus (I'd say that was probably the best part of the race, especially the bit with the band.. (yes there was a band).. but the scenery was all over fairly quickly, from there it's back to town, then out across the Trent Bridge and round the meadows before a loop along the embankment and a narrow section that made overtaking tricky, followed by a couple of really treacherous turns right at the end, and all done..
The atmosphere and the people were great - along the way I chatted to a few random strangers and it seemed everyone was having fun, and generally the whole event was a really great time. I wasn't really sure I'd enjoy the half marathon, but I did.
By the end the pain killers had worn off somewhat and the limp came back about 2 miles before I crossed the line, but by then adrenaline was a pretty good substitute. I made it round under the 2 hours I'd set myself, with just a bit to spare. I know in hindsight I could probably have gone faster, maybe done a 1:50.. but that's for another time.. maybe.
So, would I recommend doing a half marathon? Absolutely. For all the moments I hated the training, and felt like I'd never find the time it's all worth it to do the distance on the day...
...and hopefully now I've built up the fitness I can keep hold of a lot of it and the next time. (what am I saying.. Next time? Honestly!)
Plus, as well as the glory, there's also the race bling!
Finally, although it's actually pretty unimportant, here's the numbers.
Chip Time: 01:56:15
So, there it is.. 13.1 miles. Done.