Peterborough Man is considerably more shagged than Grunty Man was. Having spent the best part of three hours immobile (two in the garden sitting in the sunshine, lovely, and one inside curled up on the beanbag whilst family life went on around me) I'm now coming back to life.
This is all in aid of the Great East Run featuring me, James E, Mike B and Ross C. They all have numbers around 1900; mine was 4312 I think, cos I entered much later. So as you can tell it was all a lot bigger than Grunty Fen. I met at James's house at 8:15 (another weekend with no lie-in on Sat or Sun, still, I really don't mind: it is good for me) and Mike drove us up in his unnatural Audi (unnatural in that it is clean: clearly he doesn't let the kids in it) and we got one of the last spaces in that car park and did our last minute changes (I got out of my Ron Hill's into my shorts; it was all so lovely a morning that they weren't needed) and wandered into the main square. James E remembered that we needed to arrange somewhere to meet up afterwards (though the finish area is moderately compact, despite the volume of runners). They truck your numbered last-minute-stuff bags from the start to the finish for you, which is a convenience; apparently this often happens.
And so to the race: I was lateish to the start, because I'd been messing about trying to convince myself that my legs were OK: I've had misc "injuries" in the sense of tweaks that don't really rise to the level of injuries. And I decided that I would be OK, if I started fairly slowly and treated the first 5k as warmup. So I decided to start at the 2:00 mark, but when I got there I was on the wrong side of the barrier and the right side was full. But there was a little "feeder lane" and that worked, when everyone crowded forwards for the start.
The start itself was odd: "and they're off" said the PA, but we were stationary for ~1/2 minute and it then took a while to get to the start line. Fortunately all is well, because you have these little ankle-tags that know when you've crossed the line. So, bumble bumble, and after a bit I settled down to ~5:10 fairly happily (I think I did: this is written without the GPS splits), sometimes dipping down to 5:00, and trying to keep above 5:20. After a while, perhaps half way, I realised I wasn't going to beat my previous time of 1:51 and was going to struggle to get 2:00, oh-err. All this on a glorious sunny day with a course that went through all the streets of Peterborough and had just about constant cheering crowds lining the route, which was nice.
This is the paragraph in which I find excuses for being slow. One might be the outing yesterday, which was ~15k after all, perhaps I was tired. But I didn't feel so. I don't think the warm weather was to blame. I didn't like the water bottles at the drink stops (preferring the cups as at Grunty Fen) but it wasn't that. Partly it was the slight lack of exercie over the past 2-3 weeks. But maybe mostly it was because I was still a bit crippled; that shortened my stride somewhat and I think in the end tired me.
[This is the picture that, I think, justifies the above. Uploaded a day after I wrote the rest. It is a comparison of splits and heartrate against the Grunty fen 1/2 I did a month ago. My splits are worse - pink vs solid blue, and indeed much worse after 15k - but my heart rate is consistently "better" - ie higher, ie I was working harder.]
So coming in to mile 11 area I was down to 6:30 and even (heavens forfend) the terrible depths of 7:00. But the good news was that my heart rate was staying around 170. The bad bit was realising around 11 that yes I could still get in under 2:00 but only if I could push myself a bit, which was painful. And then I even found the energy to sprint down the final grass to the finish line - I'm looking forward to seeing my split and heartrate for that. Over the line I was near collapse and just about managed to shuffle forwards very slowly past the water, banana, tee-shirt and bag stations. And then I sat down on a convenient bench in the sunshine and ate my banana really really slowly.
The results are now out: I get 1:59:02, and a position of about 1600, whereas my "gun time" was 2:00:17, which seems about right. My watch says 1:59:33 but then I forgot to press stop on the line. Ross, 1:42. James, 1:38:57. And the winner was Edwin Kipyego in 1:02. But the likes of me pay little attention to who actually won.
Home: weight: 73.5. A new record.
End note: two people died.
- Peterborough Man