I've been doing the Inverness Half Marathon every year (with one exception) since 1994. Today was the day for the 2010 edition of the event. My thoughts on it are set out below.
I knew this was going to be a busy weekend. Sportsman's dinner on Friday night; Scotland v England rugby yesterday, with full hospitality; followed by the Inverness half marathon today. I decided to forego alcohol both at the dinner and at the rugby to give myself a fighting chance of surviving it all, although it was incredibly difficult to sit through a lunch at Murrayfield with the wine/beer/champagne flowing and restrict myself to a few glasses of still water. I managed, and at least it was a decent game - although it would have been even more decent if Scotland had won rather than hold on for a 15-15 draw.
Anyway, back to the half marathon. I just wasn't up for it at all, either when I woke up this morning with a nose that refused to stop running or when I arrived at the sports centre. I registered, collected my chip and number and went out a warm up - and still felt no better. To be honest I felt crap. My legs were heavy and I didn't want to run the race. I went back to the car and tears ran down my face. Should I go home? I just wasn't up for this at all. Fortunately at that moment I saw Adrian Stott walking towards his car and gave him a shout (having wiped my tears away first). He came over and we had a decent chat. After that I felt a bit better, got changed, and felt more ready for the race having changed into my shorts and club vest. Adrian, you have no idea how much I appreciated seeing you. It made a big difference.
Even when the race started, however, I wasn't sure I wanted to be doing it. I saw a lady with 2 black labradors near the start and felt hugely jealous: I wanted to be the person at the side with the dogs, rather than the one taking part in this shitty race. But I settled down, found myself going through 3 miles in slightly better than 7 minute mile pace, and felt ok. I was around the same pace at 6 miles, the same at 9 miles, and pretty much the same to the end. I finished in a time of 1 hour 31 minutes and 28 seconds - my worst time at Inverness by almost 2 minutes, but not too bad a performance considering the way I felt before the race. On the whole I ran quite well and kept going at a steady pace, but had no speed at all and could not pick it up. Note to self: that's what happens when you bash out mileage as part of your training, but don't really hurt yourself by running fast for long periods. If I want to get back below 1.30 I need to address this and do some harder training. The problem is I'm not really sure I want to.
So, what else has been happening in the months since I last blogged? I was planning to do a review of February but never quite managed it, so here is an abridged version:
* February was a weird month: 13 miles one week, 70 the next, the 50 something the next then 20 something in the last week. Very up and down. In effect I ended up with 2 good weeks running and 2 bad weeks, and a total of 159 miles (360 for the first 2 months for those who are interested in that sort of thing). I suppose it wasn't too bad a total for February considering the crap weather - for those that don't know we had more than 2 feet of snow around our area, as allybea explained on her blog, along with posting a few photos: http://whwracebackup.blogspot.com/2010/03/snow-joke.html
* I did one race (the National Cross Country, which I have already mentioned on my blog) and a great 36 mile run on the West Highland Way. The 36 mile was a struggle but I managed to hold on, got there, and made it in time for the 17.35 train from Fort William back to Bridge of Orchy.
* For the second month in a row I succeeded in my 'alcohol challenge' (which is to have more non-alcohol days each month than alcohol days). I think it was 15-13 but will need to check - it might have been 16-12... Who cares? A pass is a pass...
(Ps - At the moment I am 8-6 ahead in the March alcohol challenge so looking good :) )
And that's it. Next weekend is a biggie - a 42 mile run on the WHW with the Glee Club on Saturday, followed by the Alloa half marathon on Sunday. If I am not too tired to climb the stairs to my computer I'll try and write an update of how it all went.