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Its always breezy Bus. That's the default for this bloody country.
Anyway - not much doing. Long Sunday run, was off Mon-Weds so did 2 x 5 milers around a trip to London with the other two on Monday, the 30 x 200 session Tuesday (the 10 with 10, 10 with 20 and 10 with 30 one) and then about 10 yesterday.
Nothing now until the National on Saturday.
Stopped raining when I finished.....
That's just the rules - how long have you been running for
nice to see you too Pete, sorry to drag you to your feet!! It seems we finished with identical chip times although I didn’t see you at all on the course. I’ve been injured and done next to nothing since running a good 10k race (for me) on NYD. Ran round pretty steadily with the hope of picking up the last few miles. All I did was pick up the effort for no obvious gain in pace. Not a fun experience, racing when not fit isn’t easy.
Those last few miles were tough Bus. Sorry that you’re feeling the after-effects so badly. 1st mile looks quite sharp on your Strava. Maybe run the sub 6 as your last mile next time?! Missed you when you were in the bogs pre-race. SG, sorry no banter, was in a bit of a hurry!!
I’ve always thought that Wokey was ‘tightly measured’ and so was interested to read in the race pack blurb that it’d been re-measured to ensure accuracy. The result? Well, a new teeny-tiny out-and-back added in and hey presto the course came up very, very slightly long. I’m sure everyone will he wiping off any PBs on the old course (I note that my own PB course is the Surrey HM that is constantly maligned by SG 😂).
Certainly a difficult set of conditions today! Glad you came along Bus after the doubt, as the road trip wouldn't be the same.
Pete, sorry not to see you at all. You both had difficult days to tough out, but like I've said to you, the wind was bad enough, but once you mentally feel you're slipping off, you subconsciously let go. It happens. And it won't be that windy that often!
Wool - top dibs for turning up despite your recent return from injury!
Not so much for the gentle cheek about the prevo distance Always came up on song for me. I see Twomers got today as 3.07! But a weird little section, but I expect there was a slight difference elsewhere, or this was unnecessary!
Best pump a report out quickly (ish)
I can't tell you how little I was looking forward to this weekend!
Learning a new job was keeping me busy this week, but I was slightly dreading leaving work on Friday.
A wedding in Derby, driving the parents as well (!), which turned out to be a 5 hour round trip, followed by my first road race in what is a ridiculous 6months! Not the combo the stuff of dreams is made of!
I was pretty nervous. Formal social stuff isn't my cup of tea at the best of times, but one of my oldest pals, from young teen years is one of the few people I'd make such a trip for. Sods law being as it is, it obviously clashed with both the only Wycombe home game for a month and dropped the day before a long distance race. You couldn't make this stuff up!
Luckily another guy was there to be best man, which meant a natural leaving point (having been on the road at 8.45am) was after the speeches which ended at about 6.30pm. 2hours 25 or so back, and getting in just before 9pm, ravenous for my usual stock grub, and the next hour was smashing loads back. Bed by 10pm!
(ED - get on with the bloody running, this ain't weddingworld.co.uk! )
Erm, anyway, obligatory adrenaline filled sleep, being semi awake way too early, cursing the hour being afoot already.
Glad to get no text from Bus, which meant the weather wasn't getting worse, so he was on board, after previously having doubts. Excellent, it's our finest tradition, the Wokingham road trip. Previously at times with Phil in the gang too, but missed this year.(Mate getting married yesterday had been on one of the rare "non-Bus" trips - back when he was well into his running).
8am leave, and there very early, and nicely parked by around 8.40 in the usual "close" space. Excellent.
Formalities done, and wheeled the Vaporflys on. At 45.5miles of use, they should be fairly crisp still. I can't pretend they felt especially bouncy, but was looking forward to using them. Less looking forward to the wind, feeling it plenty just in the area near the bogs (and no, not for any extreme bad diets from people!)
Watch refused to find the bite on the warm up, so i'll manual that as a 1mile later!
About 73 goes at squeezing the last drop of fluid out, and suddenly it's 5mins to the start! Heck!!
I leave a wide berth to Chunt and Ferguson. Both will start fast, and both have been smashing 18-20milers out, so the last thing I want is to monster myself early knockings.
A steady but good run out is my aim, and see how it sits, especially with the wind later on, which by sod's law would definitely kick in for the last 5k, which has a couple of climbs.
I took a glance to my right, and it's Jock Itch, Sam Amend and Bus. Between the 4 of us, we've racked up a few Wokinghams I can tell you! Would have made a great photo for well known local faces!
The grid is packed, and it's pretty darn hard to get a decent run out even if you wanted to. Never known it so tight, and I was probably only about 5-6 rows back. Behind Mad Dom, obviously! That goes without saying, and that was for a good mile today.
Not that far under 6 for the first mile, and I'm basically with Chris, and we stay together for the first 5miles. Bit too much chat, but I was expecting him to gently ease ahead at some stage, which I was comfy with. He'd have been thinking about the club champs, but since Marlow days I've never been interested in being told what races I have to do! If the two sync up, then great, but I'm not doing 8 races as that's a big part of a running year!
Anyway, the first 5miles decent, though not especially quick. the phone strava suggests the first 5 had a couple sub 6, but the other 3 about 6.06 average, yet I thought at the time I was nicely staying on 6 pace. Hard to judge though as the watch would typically show .94 of a mile to the marker! A clumsy mix of manual and auto splits was playing havoc and the most ridiculous part of the day was when I took a manual split just as it had recorded an auto one, meaning I looked to see a 0.00
Fergo has a bit of the Dom about his starts, but has a bit more power to sustain it, so I knew early doors he was gone. For v50 he's going very nicely, but marathon training seems to agree very nicely with him. Plus the personal flex to be able to do 20milers when all of us are slaving away at our demanding jobs
From 5miles, there were patches of wind mixed in with hugely windy parts. Interspersed in between there were decent runnable still parts, but between these elements It ruined any semblance of momentum, a key aspect to a good race.
Personally I certainly didn't have the confidence to push hard at any point, as we all knew there was a beast of a windy finish to the race. And when we say finish, we're talking 5k
Therefore, comfortably hard was the order of the day, and to be honest a lot of the time It felt pretty comfy, but then in halves you're generally not threatening that end of things - it's more mental, and things slowly tightening up!
At 7miles I did some lovely maths to split the course into 2x3m! Just get to 10miles and then it's "Only" 3miles and a bit in
There were a couple of runs past open fields that were a right old bastad, and you were delighted when the route changed direction.
The watch at times was playing me up, even with Chris when we going nicely it was at one stage telling me 7.00 pace. Sod off, watch!
You get to 9miles, and put a half mile shift in, then turn onto "The" climb of the race, back up the motorway bridge you gleefully scamper down earlier
(anyone else get frustrated by the way this site pauses you ever few lines, just me? Ok, we proceed)….
The 10mile marker is at the bottom of the "Hill", and usually I get a nice boost by getting in nicely under an hour. But obviously not today. I did think that Ive only raced 2x10s at 5930 in a year, so to get under an hour for 10 in a half might not sound realistically... but then they were in less than ideal weather themselves!
Anyway, crawling up the "Hill" with a mix of wind and it being a climb, I actually felt alright, but fancied it finishing quite soon
Changing positions with a few randoms, but generally by this stage it doesn't matter who is near!
I had no idea if Wool or any others I knew were building a head of steam up behind! No idea.
By 11.5miles, a guy in black cruised past and got a bit of applause. I got a little bit of a shock to see it was the 1.20 pacer, as I presumed, even not having any real idea how the pace was panning out that I'd be under that. Either the 2nd or 3rd lady came past too, but no worries.
He was creeping further away, and I therefore thought I might well end up well over 1.20, presuming he's on pace!
Mile 12 came up, with a nice bit of support, always welcome, albeit lacking the datchet posse 2018 so brilliantly had.
Painstakingly high level of wind for the last 3/4mile run in, past what i'm still amazed has been put up housing wise since I'd last been here! Overdeveloped.com!
Up, and very gradually at that, but up it still was, and there's the 13mile marker yes!
Round the bend, bit of dasher support, and hang on, the clock is on 1.19.41 and I can still get under it. Turn a bit of beans on and chip time panned out as
The pacer was watching me and the clock, and despite me never aiming for sub 1.20, or ever using him in any real way, I gave him a thumbs up anyway
A strange one for the guy. He'd done his job, but one, he'd taken 30secs off the time, and two, to go sub 1.20 today, you'd probably have to be running sub 1.19 effort at the very least!
Over the line, congratulated a bunch of dasher pals, and the story was pretty much the same for most people - under what they'd have liked, and a bit of a slog.
A few people did pb, but they must simply be on the up and have even better to come.
For me, it worked out pretty well, I got the solid half in, my first race in 2020, and first race over 5miles or so since April!!! (obvs ignoring Endure, which is 30miles cut into sections around tempo effort)
Chris was about 15secs ahead I think, and Ferguson about 40. Small margins in a half I guess, but not too important. Glad to have a similarly paced pal along for the first half really.
Just have to decide if I want to put myself in for another half, maybe seek out a 10 on soon, or what have we.
No rush on that!
One odd organisational aspect, that only came to light afterwards, was that for some reason they'd allocated bib numbers on times!
The obvious problem with this (though clearly not to the organisers!) was that everyone coming in to get their bag was therefore waiting in one massive queue, rather than distributed between 5 or 6
Just after telling Dom I wasn't sure of the Vapors extra pace still, but was sure they're better for recovery, I realised my right calf has utterly turned to stone, as I limped off for a half mile dreadful cool down!
And later, despite 2 waters and a banana, still peed red later a bit. As usual, quickly back to normal with fluid, but I guess it was a little more humid than I realised at the time, so lost too much fluid, not helped by the 73 pee breaks early doors