Portsmouth Coastal half marathon

Run training was going pretty OK, although towards the end of the week before this race I started to get a hint that I might be coming down with the ‘dead leg’ sensation in my right thigh. The same week as last year in my London Marathon preparation, it seems to come on just as I’m settling into six runs a week and 300km a month.

The morning for the race was cold and quite breezy, but we didn’t have much hanging about to do, Jules’s flat is only just around the corner from the race HQ at the Pyramid Centre on the seafront. For both of us, this was just another stepping stone on to our spring marathons (Jules has entered Paris marathon with her buddy Dee, although Dee seems likely to drop out as she’s come down with a knee injury.) I was thinking about a brisk 4:20/km pace, to give me a finishing time in the 1:31 region, but I hadn’t reckoned with quite such an agricultural course – after a smooth first 6km there were sections of muddy beach and muddy, lumpy playing field – as well as a terrific headwind once we got back onto the seafront for the final 7km. All of which was not conducive to fast times, so my final 1:35:46 wasn’t too bad in the end, although I’d worked hard for it. I’d finished 46th overall and 3rd in M50. (Only 16 runners ducked inside 1:30.) Jules braved the rain that started to fall later on to finish in 2:18, still smiling.

As soon as I went for a warm-down I could feel my right quad was very stiff, it’s back to square one with that. I’m going to have to baby it for a couple of weeks, I don’t want to be in the position I was in last March and April – just nursing it along.