Monday, 29 April 2013

Running a half with the other half.

Back in the day when I started training we assigned Jon as my run coach and pace setter because he was faster than me. We pottered about in the rain and cold and snow and then I entered Blackpool Half Marathon (April 7) with a goal to run sub 2 hours. We drafted up a bit of a training schedule but Jon drafted an entire Ultra running project and so we ran only once a fortnight together. Then he got a calf injury and I ran alone. As the winter nights had seen me run into a jerk that tried to grab me, and another jerk that threatened me, I wasn't keen on running alone so I did one run with the Saddleworth Running group who are very nice and varied and I like the sound of the beers after. Jon and I managed a 10k run after work where I set my sub 60 personal best and he coaxed me through a longer more whingey run one weekend and the next thing we knew, he and his dodgy calf and I were off to Blackpool.

To say I was nervous was no exaggeration. Not of the race, as I'd done lots of half marathons and plenty of more challenging runs, but about whether or not we'd finish the race arguing, or annoyed! Asking your other half to coach you is a big ask and making them responsible for your time ambition when they have their own injury adds to that. Not to mention we had only run together a couple of times - anything could happen.

Fortunately the worst that did happen was that I left Jon in charge of checking the weather and he checked the forecast a week prior so we were dressed for a warm and sunny day whereas everyone else was more prepared for the wind chill and sub 5C temperatures! No worries, his frozen hands came back to life the next day and I didn't really mind running from the car to the start and back again a few times as a warm up!

The day before, I had done my most challenging 55 mile ride wiht a group of faaast Bad Girls and I had not fuelled well. So my biggest dilemma on the race was needing food. This was pretty manageable though because I had been suffering from pins and needles from a bothered tarsal nerve which often meant massage mid run or completely stopping. Or doing serious damage. This only raised it's head once and Jon used the chance to talk me into a quick massage while he had a loo break (I know, you never see marathon pacers have a pee!). 

We finished in 1:54 or something like that with a smile on our faces, breath to talk, and my own burning ambition to pass every other woman in front of me and the finish line. Jon did well to amuse me during the race (not that hard when dodgy hotels offered "heating swimming poos" and nipple-tassled ice skaters adorned advertising billboards) and he says that was his deliberate coaching tactic! I do believe him because I do train a lot with my head, as the rest of my muscles are quite useless! So smiling and laughing through the race was a good way to get the result I wanted. 

Here we are looking beautiful. Jon looks sleepy as this is so easy for him. I look perky because that's what I do when I see a camera! And is it just me or do I have enormous tri thighs now!?

Oh and Jon says to remind you people that I'm not doing this for fun, I'm doing this for Freedom from Torture so please consider buying us a pint at 

No comments:

Post a Comment