But first, the Easter holidays are here!
As I got back late on Thursday we had a nice walk, and then on Friday I had a lovely 4 mile run along the old railway line- it was funny weather though- blue skies in one direction and black skies in the other.
I was pretty hungry when I got home so I had my favourite post-run snack- a couple of dates dipped in peanut butter.
Now the evenings are lighter, we have a lovely view of the garden while we are eating our dinner. Although the garden isn’t a priority (we still need to decorate a lot of inside) I would like some more colour.
Onto the Brighton half. Andy ran it in 2012 (I was signed up but was then waiting for an op so was not allowed to run- and couldn’t run even if I had wanted to), I ran it in 2013 and got myself a pb (2:12:47), I ran it in 2015 as part of my marathon training and got an unexpected pb (2:04:10), in 2016 I was aiming for my first sub 2 hour half, and managed it (1:59:09), and then in 2017 where I was aiming for an enjoyable 2 hours 10 ish (2:03:23).
I had heard rumblings that it was short this year, but when people go on about GPS not being accurate I don’t tend to listen. I know usually people complain that the course was long, and forget about the weaving between crowds, but GPS watches are not 100% accurate, and can get confused by tall buildings, underpasses etc. Plus very frequently my Garmin will say a round figure (e.g. 5 miles) and when I upload it to Strava it will round down and say 4.9 miles (which was very annoying when I was doing 100 mile months as I always had to run a bit further to make up for the bit that would be taken off.). On Friday it was confirmed:
It’s been short by 0.09 mile in 2015, 2016 and 2017. So basically for 3/4 times I have run it, it hasn’t been the right length. This has really annoyed me. I know on the outside that times really don’t matter, but since I started running half marathons (and read in that book that a 2 hour half was “average”) I have been aiming to achieve one. It was tough, I had mental battles during the run and I really didn’t know if I could manage it. So now I have to think theoretically could I have run 0.09 miles in 50 seconds? I think I could have done- my average pace for my fastest one was 9.08.
According to one site, I would need 49.32 seconds at my average pace, which would get me in 1 second under 2 hours. But it doesn’t really matter because who knows if I would have been able to carry on? If it was a small, local race with a cheap entry then I would not mind as much, but it’s one of the Vitality series, it isn’t cheap (and yes I know they need to close roads, but we didn’t get a t-shirt this year, despite the other Vitality ones getting one) and they advertise that it’s a UKA certified course. I think it’s terrible that they don’t check the course length each year- having it short for one year is bad enough (Manchester marathon) but for three years? At least they are owning up to it rather than trying to sweep it under the carpet, but it is disappointing all the same as I thought I had achieved something, and now I haven’t. 2:06:58 I suppose is now my official half pb, run at Bath in 2014 (a race I would rather forget as it was a pretty bad experience). I did run a short 10k race once (In Nottingham- we had run it previously and it was a two lap going through the finish area, but when it was short- 5.7 miles, you began the second lap before getting to the finish area, but they later came out and said it was because of flooding on the field so at least they owned up right away).
I really love running in Brighton because of the great views, the brilliant crowd support and I don’t need much of an excuse to have a weekend there. Next year I was going to run Cambridge instead (as I think I get a guaranteed place from marshaling) and so their gesture of a discount for 2018 is not helpful.
I am not a runner who chases a pb each week or month or even year, and I don’t get worried about my pace- I run because I enjoy it, and occasionally because I want to achieve a specific goal. So at the end of the day I still ran a long way, had some nice weekends away and had some fab medals to add to my collection. It would make me think twice about signing up to a Vitality event though.
This morning I was having an early breakfast before marshaling at parkrun, and I was enjoying all the April Fool jokes coming up on parkrun pages.
I particularly liked Preston Park, who said that all Brighton parkruns would be 146cm shorter.
Tring seemed to catch a lot of people out, saying they would need to move their parkrun to make way for major tree planting. They had gone to a lot of trouble by adding some detailed information on their “news” page including photos and artist’s impressions of what the woodland would look like.
Ellenbrook had decided to run their route in reverse this week, for some fun. It was a bit complicated as we have a small loop and then a large loop, so working out the logistics of when people turn and which way to direct them took a bit of sorting out. I was with Dad (we’re under the arrows in the photo) at the start of the looping bits- by the 2km post (so 2km to go this way around)- we had to direct runners left over the little bridge and around the loop, and then when they came back to us from the opposite direction, we had to get them to turn right and repeat that outside part of the loop again. We had some clackers each (Ellenbrook has a selection of instruments so I don’t need to bring any from work any more)- we saw my brother and a few runners from the club and had fun giving everyone cheers. The reversal seemed to go well with only one person going wrong – he got to one marshal who was directing people back to us on their first loop, and he decided to go straight to the finish before realising he had gone too soon, and so he went back and finished it properly.
We said after it seemed like fun so have requested that maybe for their birthday they would run it in reverse again so we would get a chance to do it.
The rest of Saturday went like this:
Get home and have a cup of tea (I was really cold from marshaling- I wished I had gloves with me). Watch a bit of TV with Andy before he left for the football. Have some toast and rooibos tea.
Make a simnel cake. While it was baking in the oven (for an hour), I went outside to plant some bulbs while listening to some podcasts. I needed to weed the area first. I found a lot of brambles and stinging nettles. The brambles stretched everywhere. When I had to come in to take the cake out of the oven I had not even begun with the bulbs. I hung the towels up outside. Ended up weeding for two hours and made several huge piles as our brown bin was basically full before I started.
Found a magnolia tree! I have always wanted one and it has just started to flower (which is lucky as otherwise we would have probably chopped it down). However it’s very close to the fence so I am not sure if we should move it in the autumn…
Took my car to the car wash (this was weird- it was a drive through hand car wash, so I sat inside while the men sprayed water and foam and then rubbed it with sponges- it felt very awkward!) on my way to the supermarket. Bought ingredients for hot cross buns (we made them at work this week which of course made me want to make them at home). Got home feeling very hungry- had pineapple, yoghurt and some coconut water. Made the hot cross bun dough.
While it was rising, had a walk catching up on some podcasts.
Had a cup of tea, rolled the dough into bun shapes, checked the travel arrangements for the half marathon tomorrow and then had dinner. I am hoping that 2 hours of gardening is good prep for a half marathon….
Have you ever run a race that ended up being officially short? Would you still keep the time/ pb? Did you see any good April Fools? Do you like hot cross buns? I was in M&S a few weeks ago perusing the many flavours (apple and cinnamon/ cranberry and orange) and a lady walked past and said “urgh, all these different flavours… hot cross buns should be traditional. Oh look, cheese ones, they sound nice“. I was laughing inside for a long time. And no, she is wrong, cheese hot cross buns sound disgusting and I do not use that word lightly.