Today I ran my first race of 2012 – a half marathon on trails in the Forest of Dean, in my home county of Gloucestershire, UK. I hoped this race would act as a kind of dress rehearsal for Whistler and an indicator of where I am training and fitness-wise. I knew it wouldn’t be a PR race for me, since I’ve only been back into ‘proper’ training for a couple of months after a 2 month break and even that training has of course been in snow and ice at times. However, a timely development of a chest cold just days before the race made reaching anywhere near my PR time completely unobtainable, but I decided to race anyway.
It was a perfect spring morning, sunny but cool, ideal conditions for the 2219 runners who were racing. The course was an undulating dirt track surrounded by peaceful woodlands and friendly supporters. By all accounts it would have been an enjoyable race, if it weren’t for the fact I quickly realised I was going to struggle. By the 5th mile all thoughts of PRs and placings were forgotten and my only concern was getting to the finish line at all. My laboured breathing, tight chest and throbbing head certainly tested my determination throughout the race, but by sheer grit I made it to the finish and was so relieved to cross the line, that the fact I ran my slowest ever time didn’t matter to me at all.
So, what’s next? Back to Canada tomorrow and focus on getting fit and well in time for a more successful dress rehearsal at the Vancouver half next month. Until next time, happy running folks!