Being ill almost continuously for 4 months is not the ideal preparation for running a 20-mile road race.
|Trimpell 20 mile route|
I didn't want to lose my entire Garmin track, so I had to fiddle around with unlocking the touch bezel, then browsing to Menu > History > Delete > Old Activities > Delete? > "Yes", which wasn't terribly easy whilst still trying to shuffle along. By the time I'd finished faffing with the Garmin, the group I'd been running with were several hundred metres ahead, and I was feeling mentally drained from the multi-tasking.
I then backed off a fair bit and pottered along pretty steadily for the next 10km. I went through 10 miles in 64 minutes, which had been my pre-race target time to achieve sub 2:10 for 20 miles. However, very soon after the 10-mile marker I got attacked with a stitch, so couldn't breath properly for a mile or so. I also started feeling very tired and worn out generally.
By 11 miles, I knew the wheels had fallen off. I got repeated stitches, a pain in my right foot, and generally couldn't breathe properly or generate any pace, both of which are quite useful when trying to run.
The second half of the race became a steady procession of runners passing me, whilst I shuffled along at little more than walking pace. I dropped 18 places from Mile 10 to Mile 19. Once I passed the 19 mile sign, I started to make a bit more effort just to get the thing over with. I did increase the pace a fraction, but not enough to prevent dropping one more place. As we approached the Salt Ayre stadium I could hear the first lady breathing down my neck, so I tried to maintain a gap, not knowing if we would have to complete a lap of the track. I kept something back just in case, but luckily this wasn't needed.
|At 18.5 miles|
On a more positive note, Ellie had a great run to finish as 2nd lady in a time of 2:24:36, in her first long run since London Marathon 2011.
|Ellie at 18.5 miles|