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Sunday, 4 May 2014

Everything Is Strained

So, how are all my injuries? I’m about to find out by running the Uttoxeter Half Marathon.

Most of my original ills have gone away, so naturally I have a new one which I think is a thigh strain. This gets even more strained when they send us up a hill immediately after the start.

In fact, this is a course with very little flat in it. Although, had I not been pre-injured I wouldn’t have worried unduly about the terrain, it was nothing too nasty. Everyone said to fear the big one between miles six and seven which also implied it was a mile long but it wasn’t. It was challenging although not horrendous.

My biggest problems were the downhills. I’m not good a downhills generally and some of the ones here were evil. Whilst everyone else was rejoicing at the last mile being ‘all downhill’ I was cursing it.

I maintain a decent eight minute mile pace for the first half of the race before it deteriorates sharply thereafter. I finish feeling shattered. How I’ll feel when that is the dessert course after a swim and a bike I’m not sure. My finish time of 1:51 is well outside my 1:45 target.

The race started and finished at Uttoxeter Racecourse, which meant the facilities were pretty good as apparently was the cake stall. T-shirts were picked up, unconventionally, before the start and drinks were in cups. This I would normally have objected to but it gave me chance to have a breather as I stopped at each one.

My parents have come to support, brought out possibly by the warm weather which isn’t ideal for running. We adjourn for a pint in a pub called the Dapple Grey afterwards. A rarity for a pub these days, and especially for a Marstons, was that they had no beers below 4.5%. They were serving Pedigree 4.5%, Old Empire 5.7%, and Snecklifter 5.1%. They must have known I was coming.

L and I are both celebrating two birthdays these days, just like the Queen. Tonight’s its L’s unofficial birthday ahead of her real one on Thursday. We have a few beers in the Falcon. Tuck mainly but we also try their 6% Big Ben mild. Then we go to the new Caribbean restaurant Turtle Bay in the Cornerhouse complex.

They are a growing chain and it is madly busy for a Sunday night. Well for any night actually. We have to go on a waiting list for a table and we are amazed when we get one, as it’s possibly the most disorganised place we’ve ever seen. I was convinced we’d be under or overcharged but amazingly they kept track of things. Somehow.

The food was excellent and I had my first ever pint of Red Stripe, which was really disgusting. They did have a bottle beer that was much more palatable and some nice rum too...

(Sunday 4th May)

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