I was confident talking about the race the night before with Gary Wall and Steve Chopper at the campground - the weather was improving, we'd had a great time last year and what could go wrong?
Saturday morning was lovely and we had no inkling over coffee in the campervan that the heat would skyrocket during the day to almost 28 degrees C or 82 degrees F! after a week of freezing rain. (photo left to right, Nigel, Iain, Mark, me, Gary, Steve, Petra and Adam with Nelly in front)
And I wasn't prepared. Work had been frantic and I'd not put in the long runs I should have. Looking back over my BuckeyeOutdoors calendar - I had run less than before the Bath Half in March, when Ali and I ran/walked in 2:20. How could I expect to match the 1:59 PR I'd set at the Swift half the year before? Its not like riding a bicycle! Nelly was hot and miserable so I left her with Billy at the first water stop, while I trudged on and on in the hot sun. Drank some nasty orange drink at the second waterstop, threw up a bit later and generally felt AWFUL! Finally I caught up to Adam and Petra. Petra was coaching Adam's first half marathon, urging him to keep running that last flat mile that I would have walked! So, I fell in behind them and listened to Petra's meditative counting of steps... and finally we were at the finish line. Phew!!
The next day my hips were so sore I struggled to walk the river path with Billy and Nelly and resolved to TRAIN for the Bristol Half that Ali and I are running on 5 September!