Well I’m writing this so obviously I didn’t die. However at points I did feel like I was going to. I had to give myself a verbal reminder a few times along the way about not dying, and it stood near the first aiders at the finish as I waited for a friend to finish, you know, just in case.
So aside from not dying how’d it go?
Quite well in fact. A quick remind that the course is a glorious out and back along the stunning scenic A65 to the (actually beautiful Kirkstall Abbey, scene of our wedding and subsequent 10th wedding anniversary this year) and back again. The finish being outside of Leeds town hall.
Just a small loop round Cardigan Fields leisure park to worry about.
And about as flat as you can get too boot!
Act 1 – Where Tom goes well
I managed to get pretty much to the front of the sub45 minute pen along with a couple of other LBTers and we manged to cross the start line only a matter of seconds after the gun/air horn went off. Much better than some years when I’ve been pretty much at the back and spent the whole race weaving in and out of people. The first km is always quick, getting carried ogling with the masses and the excitement but it was just after the first km marker that I started to get in trouble.
Act 2 – Where Tom is in a world of pain and gets a bit sweary with himself
I had/have/still am suffering from a slight chest infection thing. Nothing too serious just a load of gack on my lungs and a load of coughing. Having rested during the week and then tried and easy parkrun on the Saturday (yesterday) I thought I would be ok, not in any shape to do well, but not die. I thought at this point I may have misjudged it.
I can’t really write too much about the following 9km as I don’t really remember much. A few cheers from fellow LBTers who saw me as I made my way back from the turn around point but mostly I was swearing at myself and reminding me not to die. I often hear people telling them selves to ‘harden up’ or ‘keep going, just keep going’ but I’ve never heard anyone tell themselves not to die.
My gacky lungs made it hard to get in enough oxygen so aside from the pain of breathing hard my legs were shouting at me with a huge build up of lactic acid from really early on as I couldn’t get enough air in to deal with it, so my legs were burning pretty much the whole way round.
Act 3 – Where Tom is alive and surprised
But I finished. As I was going round I kept feeling my Garmin going off every km but I tried not to look at it until I was very near the finish. When I did.
Yes, 38:48. My pre illness goal had been 39 minutes as although I’d gotten back to being quick (for me) over 5km I didn’t think I’d has the miles since my knee injury to back it up to 10km. Turns out I was wrong.
I was pretty much blown away by the time, once my lungs had stopped hurting, and genuinely surprised at how quick I’d gone. Maybe all the pain had been worth it?
No. It was a really bad idea and in hindsight I really shouldn’t have run, let alone that fast. It does beg the question of how quick I could have gone had I been able to breath. I’m sure we fill find out over the coming months as I switch away from the bike (more about that in another post) to concentrate on marathon training for the Milan marathon.
And the goody bag? Well a T-shirt which I will wear to the start of next years race to discard as we get going.
photo credit goes to Malcom, mine is still scrunched up in the bottom of my kit bag.