Sunday was the Inverness half marathon. It was the 15th time I had done it in the last 16 years, and probably the worst in terms of the weather. It was definitely the worst in terms of my time. I crossed the line in a chip time of 1.29.38, a full 2 minutes slower than my previous worst for the course. Still, at least I scraped under the hour and a half, which I think was one of my targets for the year. Phil T was 3 minutes ahead in 1.26; Thomas set a new PB of 1.18; and Silke also set a PB of 1.51. Well done to them all. It's just a bit depressing when I look back on some of my previous Inverness times and see two 1.19s, two 1.21s, a 1.22, a 1.23 and five 1.24s.
Despite the weather I really enjoyed the run. We set off in a blizzard, but as the wind was behind for the first mile it didn't have much effect. I was a bit disappointed to look at my watch at the 1 mile marker and see I was around 6.30 - I had thought I was running a bit faster than that. The wind hit us full on when we turned at the bridge over the River Ness, and it was hard work for the next 4 miles or so. Just after the 5 mile mark I had to empty my bladder - the last coffee was definitely a poor idea - and I realised then I would have to work to stay under the hour and a half.
So work hard I did. Despite my hamstring tightening over the last few miles, I took advantage of the wind being behind for most of the way in, and crossed the line with 20 seconds or so in hand. My coughing at the end was a phenominal, record breaking performance, even by more own high standards, and attracted the attention of most of the first aid people who had been milling around in the hope of finding someone like me who needed their services. They were quite disappointed when I told them (cough) that I (cough) was always like that (cough) (cough) at the end of (cough) a race and (cough) there was really nothing (cough) to worry (cough) (cough) about. Then I topped it all by being sick.
As we were leaving Inverness we received news that the A9 was closed at Dalwhinnie. A choice had to be made: chance it and hope it wil have opened by the time we get to there, or go the long route along the A96 to Aberdeen, then down the A90 to Perth. Overruling allybea, we went for the long route which, with the benefit of hindsight, was the wrong decision. It added at least 2 hours and 100 extra miles to our journey, but at least we got home and weren't stuck in a car for the night in one of the most remote parts of Scotland.
I now need to recover in time for the Glasgow to Edinburgh 54 mile race along the canal on Saturday. My legs were quite stiff this morning, but I went out a very easy run at lunchtime and they felt a bit better after that. I'll do another easy run tomorrow, then rest on Thursday and Friday.