GNR day. I was a very good boy yesterday after getting rid of the previous night’s debauchery detritus. No alcohol, even a lunchtime visit to the pub with some old friends and quaffed lime & soda. I know I know, call the alien abduction hotline.
Was pleasantly exhausted by the time about 9pm came round and was very happy to get a ridiculously early night and passed out. Slept like a dead dog in a ditch and felt great this morning. Children very excited about the prospect of Daddy finishing second to Mo Farah (I may have exaggerated a little in the build up).
Our annual GNR heroine Fiona came to get me, Sarah, Lesley and Mel, to drop the latter three off at the usual point so we could cross the fields to the start, and to take Sarah to the finish as the support team. Missed you this year David!
I was in gate B which was right at the start behind the elite men, and in fact started directly behind them. Unfortunately there were various guest and novelty runners there too who held us all up for the first 700m or even km, but once they were dealt with it was full-on speed all the way.
I gave as much as I had, really couldn’t have done any more; every step was the fastest and longest I could manage at the time. Kept on the shorter side of the street (the racing line I guess) if there were bends coming up and really just went for it. I remember being alternatively pleased and despairing about my pace.
Initially the mega-goal was 95 minutes – but to put this in context it means running the whole 21.1km at a pace of 4:30/km or better. I did a few of the km faster than that I’m sure; especially near the start it’s quite hard to get your pace sorted out as everyone is running too damn fast and you know that they will be suffering later – however you don’t want to slow down too much in case you have nothing left at the end and miss out on the PB because of a conservative start.
About 12-13km in I thought I probably had gone off too fast as my thighs were leaden and it felt like I’d slowed right down. I was still chucking out a 4:40-ish pace thought so just tried to block it out and turn the sips of water and Lucozade into extra power.
Hitting the coast is always a huge relief, but the distance is always, always, much further than you think. However with a kilometre to go I had the enormous luxury of knowing that the PB was mine unless I really seized up, so it was a case of just tonning it as much as I could, and I was really happy to knock about 90 seconds off the Sitges 21k time, especially as the GNR course is not as forgiving as Sitges.
Absolutely nothing left on crossing the line and it took me a good ten minutes to work my way round to see Sarah and Fiona waiting for me – a wonderful sight.
Just sent the kids into hysterics by falling asleep in the bath. Body feels ok and I’m hoping that I can make it downstairs for lunch after typing this.
(Byzantine emperor Justinian sends Belisarius to defeat the Goths under Andrew Eldritch, er I mean Totila – the Byzantines are victorius and march towards Rome; Van Xuan (modern Vietnam) is established by emperor Ly Bi – the Liang Dynasty ain’t happy)