02 March 2008

Reading half

Just got home after the Reading Half Marathon, and I made one of those timekeeping errors to which I am prone - pressed the button as I crossed the line and managed to zero it! I think it will have said about 1:45, though the official results will say longer as I paused the watch for a lengthy pit stop. That time does include two stops to drink, too, at the first of which my asthma was causing me a few problems. The Red Cross staff there told me they didn't have inhalers to administer to sufferers, so I should ensure I always carry mine - actually, if I'd used it before the start that would have avoided the problem. There's a long steep hill around mile 2 to 3 and that did for me: it took me a mile or so to get over it, then I had a great run for most of the distance, though at a fairly modest pace.

I crossed the line and almost immediately Francis sent me an SMS: "Hi, you done?" So I phoned him and explained that I was done in more than one respect. I missed him where he told me he was waiting, because I made the elementary mistake of looking for someone in running gear - as he was well over 20 minutes ahead of me, he'd had time to change (just like two years ago!). Finding all our colleagues at the end was tricky, and people had different modes of transport, so by the time Francis, Nicola and I went for the bus back to town the queue was about 13.1 miles long. Bizarrely, they seemed to be loading one bus at a time, when I could see no reason for not loading three or four in parallel, so we concluded that we could walk back in less time than it would take to get a bus. Judging by the number of buses that passed us as we walked back, we were right.

By two o'clock when we caught up with the advance party at the bar (which had cunningly changed its name since our last visit, making it a less-than-perfect rendezvous) I only really wanted to take the train home, so we had a group photo (minus two) and I left them to it. They all seemed happy with the day, which is a great relief given that if they hadn't, the blame would have been mine.

I am pleased that I feel fine after the run, and was able to take stairs two at a time on the way to the bar while even Francis seemed to struggle a little. So I'm not fast at the moment, but there's something there to work on.

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