Saturday, 8 August 2015

haddington half

best photo (out my camera) of the day taken by Willie Jarv.
Since he wasn't running I gave him the camera, although he felt he should concentrate on the marshalling and passed it to Michael F who took all of the rest except the last half dozen.

Mary and I were both feeling less-than-excited about a road half, and neither of us would have been here if it wasn't a club champs race. If I don't do a few more club champs races Mr Stavert will be walking away with first m50 which admittedly would be great to see, but I mustn't just hand it to him on a plate. Especially as Willie isn't targetting the club champs and Steve's injuries are limiting his attendances. And where was Andrew today? Anyway I went into this really just as a prelude to a nice swim in the sea. Favourite for first m50 would be Stuart H (unless they turfed over and gravelled the tarmac.)

David not only ran a superfast parkrun, he then cycled to Haddington and ran 1.18.
Which is rather cheeky!
This and all the following shots by Michael F

I was pleased with myself for holding back in the first few miles. I "let" Stuart hare off and kind of reined myself in for about 4 miles because I knew I hadn't done enough in the way of longer tempo runs to make for a decent finish, so it would be daft doing the start at top speed and then walking the last 2 miles. This tactic worked really well and I slowly reeled in the guys ahead including Stuart around 6 miles. I also did some top notch drafting behind a large guy I found myself beside on the windier stretches. I was beside first lady Jo. I said well done as she went past and she said a few words I didn't catch any of. I was just behind her for a while which I think she didn't appreciate as she ushered me forward at one point. I was trying to interpret this as I moved up to the large guy again, although I never really thought much more than "who wants an old dude blowing hard on their shoulder." I was pleased that I seemed to have paced it all pretty well at this point as Jo is an experienced runner (didn't she run the marathon in the Commonwealth Games?) and would have run a super efficient race to that point. As I exchanged places with Stuart and a small group around halfway (I always enjoy the long downhill at this point) I began to feel maybe I could do a decent job of this race after all. However I never shook off the small group and we rebunched and swapped places a few times. 

"our" group
Stuart, Big Guy, Mikey A, me. First lady and another runner just out of shot.

Dotty being consumed by the vegetation

Bob nearly missed me on the first pass today as I was sheltering behind the Big Guy.

These shots just before the turn into Haddington.

All went surprisingly well until around 9 miles. I was trying to remember the name of that English city we pass through after the long hill. I was at the back of the group and not really enjoying it anymore but holding on, just. Now it's not Bradford, but it begins with a B. Eventually the sign appeared. BOLTON! I seemed to remember a previous Haddington when whoever I was battling with dropped back at the subsequent right turn. Sadly this time it was me. I fell behind and had no great reason to kill myself trying to keep up. I was expecting this as I haven't been doing tempo runs on roads and have no real interest in such. In fact I am really short of inspiration and next-great-targets and can feel a bit of a slump in terms of events I am looking to smash. I would like to keep doing the long slow days out in the sunny weather taking photos of E Lothian going, (weather permitting) but otherwise don't really have any big targets. I keep seeing brilliant photos of people swimming in rivers, ponds and seas posted to the "Outdoor Swimming Society" group on fb and they are calling me. I must have caught a bug in the water. I was thinking about the swim Mary and I had planned, after the race, quite a lot during the race. How deliciously cool and refreshing it would be. (I have forgotten to mention the afternoon was the usual semi-tropical conditions with some stiff breezes and I poured quite a bit of each bottle of water onto my neck and thinning hair.)

The thing about not killing yourself in a race means there is room for a smile and thumbs up.
(You don't win anything but it doesn't hurt as much as usual. I am not planning on adopting it as the norm, just at club champs races and other obligations I am not keen on.)

There was some chat about one of the front runners going the wrong way. Probably the sun baking his noodle as it was all well marked and marshalled as far as I could see. Above is a blind runner who gets guide runners from Dunbar and locally, and specifically Julie today.

Afterwards we cancelled the swim. It was getting late and dull and Mary had had a stinker of a run. (And a trip into the woods.) Her blog here. So we saved the swim for tomorrow. Seems to be warming up.
I ran 1.23½. I thought I might do 1.22ish so another minute+ for the wind and warm is about right.

Breaking news:
We didn't hang about as there seemed to be no danger of winning anything and after a long time they had still not done the prizes. However I have since been informed that Porty won both team prizes. Male: David, me and Martin. Female: Dotty (3rd lady?) Jenni and Fiona.

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