I have just returned from completing the Grunty Fen half marathon near Ely. Ms Alive and Running insisted that a digital image should capture me, victorious and triumphant, following a heroic 13 mile battle with the fenland road tarmac. I have the beginnings of an enigmatic smile (think Mona Lisa here) and my intelligent, penetrating but benign gaze suggest a complex and superior mind. It doesn’t matter that I have perfected this expression in front of a mirror over dozens of hours. Malcolm Gladwell estimates that to completely master a discipline takes around 10,000 hours of development and practise. Well, Malcolm, I’ve done it in half a day!
How did the race go? Mmmm… I was 6 minutes slower than last year and came in at 1 hour 53 minutes. The first 10k went OK but I struggled keeping up the pace for the next 10k. I decided to walk at the drink stations and had four walk/drink breaks, more than I planned. I think my training plan was far too casual. Oh well, I’ve got 2 more halves coming up – Wimpole Estate in 3 weeks and St Neots in 9 weeks.
I gave my speedy friend Kerry a lift to Grunty and he repaid the favour by beating me by 5 minutes! To add insult to injury, two club mates chatted throughout the entire 13 miles, running in a very relaxed manner and eventually cruising past me, probably going about 70% of their top speed. Still, I’m waiting for the Grunty Fen photos! I made a big effort to compose my features when I saw the cameras (not that I’m vain or anyfink) so, hopefully, I appear to be running effortlessly. Can the camera lie? I’ll make my mind up when I see the pictures.
I was happier with yesterday’s Cambridge parkrun when I came in well under 24 minutes. I think running less suits my parkrun times but certainly not a a half marathon distance.
Cambridge junior parkrun had 116 runners today (aged 4-14), a record number. Children from 40 schools took part and they all had their pictures taken holding a handwritten sign of the name of their school. In terms of joy and excitement, junior parkrun gives most value for money (figuratively speaking).