Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Make my first a Half

So my road to recovery wouldn't have kickstarted without putting something into the calendar, so quietly a few weeks ago I signed up for the Oxford Half...knowing it was too far for me so soon, but thinking it was something to build to, and a distance I wouldn't try to blast like times of old, or if it was a 10k.   I hadn't run the distance in training without many many stops for walkies..and I intended to have to do just the same, and not to wear a watch or look at ancient clock tower spires even.   So there I was, super excited, but trying to be super chilled, queuing up interminably in the freezing temperatures, to hand in my kitbag and pin on my first running number in three years!   The race was started by Sir Roger Bannister, and I moseyed in near the 2.20 pacers, adamant that I would finish the course, or drop out, but either way emerge injury free.   Since my fitness running-wise is low, I didn't have a hard time keeping my ego in check as the quick bunch at the front flew off, but gradually as we passed through the Mini and MG plant, and sidled down Iffley Road past the track where Roger B broke the 4 minute mile, I noticed I was passing the 2.15s and then 2.10s.   We turned through Christ Church meadow, and onto the towpath, where I shouted "Go CITY, full pressure!" to my rowing Eight, looking sweet as they plowed through the Gut, absent me in the Stroke seat for once.   By now I was with the 1.55s and feeling the pain in my feet, but all over, not just the PF.   An unwelcome but gradual two mile uphill to the Finish and then I crossed with 1.50.27 on my chip.    My slowest half by 20 minutes, but probably my most jubilant one, after so much time off with chronic injury.   And I emerged unscathed, proud and only slightly put off by a freezing two hour outdoor wait for kitbags....dangerous to do that to 4000 runners!   So, while the PF is still there, and I am now taping and resuming physio, maybe this old Oxford road will indeed lead to Roma in March.   


  1. Congrats, Philip. And thanks for the description! You make me wish I were there.