|Going well and chasing Rick down on the ridge (photo courtesy Brian Smith)|
Another blog entry, must be another race!
Seriously though, training has been pretty curtailed since the Three Peaks due to the state of my heels, and I also had a sore left achilles after the Bluebell Run which meant I was hobbling on Monday and Tuesday and pretty doubtful I'd make it to the start line for the Classic. However my leg was improved somewhat on race day, so I took the chance and headed over to Church Stretton after work.
I had a nice chat with Rick Robson about his experiences from the Two Oceans marathon he's recently done in South Africa, then registered, applied Compeed, and headed off with Noel Hogan to warm up. I'm glad I managed a decent warm up, it certainly helped loosen up the tight achilles (and calf).
I went off fairly hard from the start and then eased off a little in the field, but worked hard up through the short wooded section onto the fell side and found myself in a decent position. Rick and I were together on the steep ascent and I really pushed on the walking section, particularly either side of the kissing gate. I was still neck and neck with Rick as we levelled out past Three Fingers Rock and forced myself to keep running as much as possible on the rising section of ridge.
|Running past Three Fingers Rock|
Picture courtesy Al Tye
And then it all fell apart. Half a mile further on than last year.
I'd destroyed my feet on the descent and my heels were absolutely shredded! All I could do in the lane and through the field was to jog along toe striking. I lost about 15 places on a section I'd hoped to be able to run hard on. I was particularly disappointed because I'd had such a great run up to the lane.
|Being passed on the lane, my face says it all. I'm hanging in there, in pain.|
Picture courtesy Al Tye.
In the end I hobbled home in 32:53 for 76th place and a 76% score. Last year was 36:34 for 96th and 69%. So I should be happy enough having improved by 3:41, but looking at the folk who were around me at the top of the lane, I really ought to have finished in about 31 minutes. I'm not sure why I couldn't just ignore my feet and keep going, maybe the calf/achilles thing was giving me problems as well, or maybe my body was telling me not to take any more pain after the Three Peaks and Bluebell Run. Whatever. There's more to come yet!