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Sunday, 25 November 2012

Norwich Half Marathon 2012

It's been a big year for me, taking part in various events I'd never even contemplated doing a couple of years ago, let alone completing. Achieved goals i wouldn't have expected too a year ago. Today saw the conclusion to my 2012 campaign.

Training had been going well for my 1st standalone half marathon up until about a week ago, when i came down with the dreaded man flu. I had to cancel my final long run (10 miles) last Sunday due to illness. Still intended doing a couple of short runs during the week.

However, went to work on the Monday and felt so shite I had to come home around 2.30pm, spent the Tuesday & Wednesday under a duvet on the sofa feeling sorry for myself. The Movember tash was not looking great, but worked well as a sneeze catcher. Started to feel a bit better on Thursday when i woke up so ventured back to work for the last two days of the week, although couldn't bring myself to do any exercise.

Saturday morning i ran 1 mile off the back of some runners world advice to loosen up my muscles a tad, ready for Sundays big day. So not many miles completed but i had managed to consume around 30 sachets of lemsip & a few packs of ibuprofen since the previous Saturday. A PB on medication consumption.

Was looking forward to the Half Marathon but at the same time a bit apprehensive due to the preceding rubbish week. So, here's how it went:

Norwich Half Marathon 2012 -

Woke up around 5am to the sounds of howling winds, rain battering the bedroom window & the neighbourhoods wheelie bins being blown up and down the road. Forecast for race day, 28mph winds, 8 degrees and rain. Great.

So, dozed till 8am when i had to get up to take the wife to work, the weather was minging. Once home, 2.5 hours till race start,  time for pre-race breakfast. This consisted of a big bowl of sugar puffs, two slices of toast,  a couple of cups of coffee & yes, another lemsip & a couple of ibuprofen, as still felt a bit ropey.

Arrived at the Norfolk showground at 10.15am & headed for the sheds. Ate a frosties breakfast bar (Arleyas idea) & an energy gel.


Still cold, but happy. 10 mins to start time

Went to the start line & bumped into Stan from Trianglia who was stood in the 1hr 30min section. You may remember Stan for his unforgettable T1 speedo run at the National Club Triathlon Championships. Stan suggested i joined them but that would have only meant another 500+ runners would have to run round me so i headed back towards the 2hr+ section to find a mate Danny.

Found Danny who had only just made it to the start due to another friend falling off a boulder the previous day & landing on his leg.

So, my goal for today was to run the whole course without walking, this would be the furthest I'd ever ran non stop. Previous PB was 9.1 miles. I also wanted to complete it in sub 2hrs 15mins. My half marathon time in the Ely middle triathlon had been 2hrs 32mins.

& there off, Danny is number 1123. He soon left me for dust
Was a bit unsure what to wear as it was cold at this point, however, by the 1st mile i knew I'd worn exactly the right amount of clothing. Running from the start was a bit of a mare, it was so crowded & I couldn't really get going. You run a circuit of the showground on lap 1 & 2, one part involved running off path & across a very muddy, slippy section which was a pain.

Wind was blowing big time & we pretty much had a head wind for the first 3 miles. Some of the gusts were so strong they did give you a good battering. Anyway, shortened my stride and just took it steady.

Once past Easton we turned and at last had a nice downhill section with shelter from the wind, where i was able to open up my pace a bit more. I was feeling really good at mile 5 & 6 & was keeping a sub 9 min mile pace quite comfortably. This was a closed road event, we had distance markers every mile & drink stations i think were about every 3 miles. I missed one water stop as some clown who had his hand out to grab a cup as he ran past but just stopped dead, causing me to take sharp evasive action to avoid knocking him over the drinks tables.

Half way home

The Obligatory MoBot
So, i found miles 4-6 the easiest as they were the flattest & most wind free. We also had fantastic support running through the village of Marlingford. Running back in the showground i was further spurred on by the familiar sound of Paula Hall with her now famous clacker.

Passed the halfway point at around 58 minutes which was quicker than my Trowse 10k (58:40) earlier in the year. So first PB of the day  there with a 54 min 10K :-)

Sun had now come out & i think the wind was sort of dropping, although it was still a hard run out through Easton again with the headwind. I still felt strong until i hit 9 miles then my legs started to feel like lead.

At 10 miles was really starting to flag but the thought of maybe doing a sub 2hr time was spurring me on. Then i heard over my shoulder  "are you Andy?" It was a cyber friend Lewis (budgie) from runners world forum & Fatman too Ironman FB group. We had never met before so had a quick chat, shook hands & off he flew. I couldn't speak much more as i was more or less done.

At 11 miles i could feel the 2 hour time slipping away but my goal of not walking was going to happen no matter what. Coming into the last straight on the showground prior to the home straight you were hit by a beast of a head wind again. Just what wasn't needed, i was on 1hr 58mins so tried my best to push it on.
nearly there

nearly there

Big shout out from Vince Cox made me dig in a bit more & a few more shouts on the way to the finish by others that knew me (thanks), i made it over the line with a chip time of 1:59;40. Sub 2 hours, piece of piss, not.

You were then given your medal & filtered round to pick up your goody bag etc. Great event, good value for money, I really enjoyed it.

Nice medal

I would like to say thanks for all the support today, especially from my fellow club members at Tri Anglia, we are a great club.

Me, Danny & Stan

Training this week

Saturday - 1 mile run :-)

Another job I've completed this week is too add my Finkesq Ironamn training plan into my ipad/iphone calendar. Thought I'd make sure i had the time booked out in advance then it will ensure i do the training.

Changed a few bits round. I've swapped Tuesdays with Wednesdays round so i can do the swim at the same time Arleya does Karate. I'm also not going to do the Friday runs, instead i will do park runs on a Saturday with Arleya. I've also moved the Thursday swim to the Sunday, again, so it ties in with my daughters karate lesson.

As mentioned last week i was looking at doing the Slateman in Snowdonia as my Olympic Tri. This is a definite now & will book it in January along with one of the hotels. Although may go for a rental cottage instead, need to have a look. I'll go down there on the Friday morning & come back on the Monday. Make it mini family vacation.

So, to incorporate Slateman into the training plan I've had to swap training weeks 18 & 19 round.

My half ironman distance triathlon next year will be The Grafman which falls just right in the plan.
Cant think of anything else for this week. Will start doing a bit more cycling but the general plan is to overindulge for the next month.

Happy Training

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