Reading half marathon, 20th March 2011,
John Bateson, 1.20.02 pb
This big kind of event isn’t really my thing (all that waiting around etc), but I agreed to do it to help cajole a colleague into running his first halfM; unfortunately he had to pull out with injury, but I’m sure he’ll be back.
And I’m glad I did it, since I don’t usually get to hear live music whilst I’m running along (there was a drumming band as we went under the ringroad that, much to my surprise, I’d like to have had alongside me all the way). Nor do I usually get to see so many people running (14,000?), and finish in a stadium.
As expected there was plenty of waiting around, and if I was warmed-up by the time I got to the start, I certainly wasn’t after 20 minutes of standing around. But everyone else seemed to cope just fine.
Stupid mistake #1
I hadn’t really figured out my pacing in great detail, but knew what I wanted at 5, 10 and 15k and the math for the each kilo was fairly straightforward. Unfortunately the kilometers weren’t marked very regularly. I’d checked the pace in miles on one of those pacing bands in the pre-race shop, but bridled at paying 2.50 for a paper bracelet.
Stupid mistake #2
Setting out, I held my pace down very deliberately. Since I’d left in the small yellow group of sub-1.20 I assumed that most of the runners around me were sub-1.20 runners, but many of them must have been wishful-thinkers. I went out too slow, and spent the race gaining ground. At least that’s how it felt (my splits tell a different story)
Stupid mistake #3
Untried sock/shoe combo – blister on the outer edge of my left foot (a new location to worry about!).
Final stupid mistake
Too many clothes – it was cold waiting around, but did I really need to wear thermal gloves and longsleved top. Unlike Maria, I’m not trying to heat acclimatise…
So, slightly aggrieved to miss the sub-1.20 target, (yes, I know such targets are daft). But I felt strong most of the way round, and was in pretty good shape the next day, so should be pleased. Oh, and if I look forward to my new category (vets40 in about 3 weeks time), I would have come joint 13th. Overall I came 141st out of a very large number.
There are some nice pictures from the race photographer, but the prices are breathtaking, so it’ll have to stay where it is 🙁