Sunday, 25 May 2014

Edinburgh Half Marathon 2014

We drove up to Edinburgh this morning and parked up at Canongate. Walter Scott once described this as ‘the path to Heaven’. Not at the crack of dawn on a Sunday. Maybe he needed to get out more. At least the parking was free. We were up for the half marathon. In the words of Peter Kay ‘it was spittin’. We made the baggage bus for M. who was off from the Regent Road Start and I then jogged down to London Road  for the Red pen start. I had spent the best part of a week with no beer, more sleep than Rip Van and less carbs than Ebenezer Balfour on the Atkins diet a week before payday; Oh and not to forget the beetroot overload...say no more;  that was up until yesterday morning when I went for the porridge-granola-toast carbo triple salko followed by an all day sit about as the rain just kept on coming.

Evening time. The lite breakfast was followed up by a generous veggie spaghetti bolognaise with more garlic than a village would need to keep both Nosferatu and Bela Lugosi at bay for a month. Bauhaus. Liked their Ziggy Stardust rendition.   I digress.  They had long queues snaking out from each portaloo and I noted the retro minimalist pissoir’s on London Road. Any other day you might have had a member of the constabulary taking a dim view of this sort of thing, but not this morning.
We stood around for what seemed forever in the rain. I looked behind me to see a long line of waiting runners gyrating on the spot to keep themselves from petrifying. After the longest 5 minutes in recent history, we got off and it was steady away as the rain came down. It was pretty quiet without much of a crowd. Most of Edinburgh was still asleep.  A small group of lads huddling in a bus shelter off Lochend Road gave us some mild entertainment but there was little else of note. The rain had stopped. A grey haired runner came by and I tucked in behind him untill the start of Seafield Road along the prom, where a tall young runner came past with a long steady stride. I spent the next 2 miles behind him as the easterly gusted gently in our (his) face. When we reached another rangey  Gainsborough runner just before 7 miles, I was, for a short time, in a wind free zone and was thinking of having a picnic, getting my cigar out and blowing a few smoke rings.   However, it was too good to last and just as I was looking for my Zippo, man mountain slowed and three came by.  

I jumped across to one of them. He wasn’t wearing a club vest but his cadence was even and I sat behind him as we passed Musselburgh and began to work the last 3 miles. It was interesting to see the leaders coming back, passing us in the opposite lane. At the turn with just over one and a half to go, I did a miles worth at the front, mostly to impress a clubmate whom we’d caught, but then I fell back again as the pace in the final mile seemed to lift and it was a quick turn into Fettes and the finish. I saw 1:26 on the clock and blanched. I was way off the recommended Ally pace expectation meter. After downloading the garmin which I hadn’t looked at once, my pacing was strangely metronomic, clocking 6.35,6.35, 6,29, 6.41,6.35 etc. All very impressive if I’d set out to run like a metronome, but the metrical beats I had tapped out were 20 seconds a mile slower than required. I had ran; ran fast even, but not raced.

No matter. Caught up with said clubmate for a natter and then waited to meet up with M who was happy enough with her run. After spending 30 minutes waiting to get her bag, we made our weary way back to the car, stopping off at Newington Road to take luncheon at Reverie, where the staff and food were A1. We mused at the huge rain falling from the skies outside that we were fortunate that we hadn’t opted for the marathon.  When the waiter asked if we wanted to see the desert menu, I proclaimed that there was no desert for me, I was an athlete. On second thoughts...
(Finished 5th v50 and 164th overall. Not sure about this no public results thing they seem to be doing-wots that all about?).  

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