I don’t know if my interval session on Thursday night really did me any good… but at least I know id didn’t do me any harm.
Woke up yesterday to rain battering off the velux window in the bedroom and the sound of a moderately stiff breeze blowing over the roof. Of all the things I really wanted to do, I’d be lying if I said running twenty miles, into the wind, from Portobello prom to North Berwick was one of them. Well “tough”, because that’s exactly what I was doing.
We still had time for a fairly relaxing breakfast in front of the telly watching an episode of the Sopranos on DVD (there’s nothing like a bit of mindless violence to start the day!). A shower, change into the kit, a final check of the bags and we were off.
We met Theresa and Brian at North Berwick and then we all travelled to the start in their car. I must say that Brian was very calm and composed for a man about to run that distance for the first time. I’ve done this race a few times now and still get nervous. More so this year, as every other year I’ve done it there has either been no wind at all, or whatever wind there has been was in our favour. As we travelled to the start, we could tell that the wind was picking up – and blowing the wrong way. Still. It’s a race and the conditions are the same for everyone.
Got registered, made some final adjustments, toilet stop, bag onto the baggage bus and started my modest warm up before heading off to the start line.
The start line of a race is always a good place to meet others, share a few words and generally just try to keep your mind off the task ahead. Well, that’s what I do anyway. I know some runners just like to keep themselves to themselves, focus and get into a “zone” or whatever.
I was surprised to see Pete Buchanan of Portobello at the start line. There can’t be many who do a 53 mile race one weekend then feel up to a 20 mile race the next!
Now. I had a “game plan” yesterday. I had planned on trying to run the race at my hoped for marathon pace (6:40).
“Best laid plans…..” and all that…
The gun went off and my brain just went off into race mode. Though even I’m not that daft that when I clocked the first mile at 6:06 I thought it prudent to apply the brakes a tad.
The first five miles were still a good bit faster than I wanted, but I found myself in a little group (that included Pete B and a guy from Dundee and a bloke from Carnegie – the later two were to become my “close friends”). Despite the wind the first five miles weren’t too bad as people appeared to be willing to “take turns” at the front and share the pace.
However, at some point our little group was reduced to three. Me, Dundee guy and Carnegie bloke (I honestly can’t say when the split occurred). Anyway, by the second feeding station we were down to three – with me in front. A situation that was to remain for the final ten miles.
Today saw me heading off into them thar hills with Ian for just over 13 miles at a very steady pace… me to recover from yesterday and Ian because he’s tapering down for a 61 mile race next week.
Try to keep the mileage fairly high over the next week or so then start my taper for Edinburgh.