We signed up for the Nike+ Run to the Beat half marathon a while back... can't even remember why now. But it must have seemed a good idea at the time. As it got closer and closer I got more and more worried that due to all sorts of reasons, I'd done bugger all running. The most running I'd done was in triathlon events themselves and a very very occasional Parkrun. Hardly training for 13.1 miles of running, is it?
Come the morning of the event, to say I was not confident would have been quite an understatement. A 7am start, big bowl of porridge with maple syrup, raisins and banana and off we went to the O2 to the start. Warm, sunny and a light breeze... a perfect day one would say but all I could think about was the talk of hills, the lack of training and the worry it was going to get really warm.
We'd agreed to run at under my lactate threshold so I could get to the end without dying, which gave me some confidence and it worked really really well. Chatting all the way 'round, getting the odd cup of water at stations, loving the fact that there were pretty much no walkers, the lack of actual music (compare with the British 10K for example) marvelling at the seemingly random placing of timing mats and taking the piss out of my, well, need to piss within 5 minutes of starting (resulting in a 1 minute pee stop in the first 10 minutes), we were feeling really rather chipper by 15km in. Having decided that if we were feeling strong by 16km, we'd turn up the wick and see how that went, the 16km point came and we did.
And it was good. In fact, so good that we spent the next 3-4km overtaking each other again and again until it got really rather silly. At that point there were more than a few runners down, passed out, throwing up and weaving about like drunks. We felt strong still and powered on to the finish, to cross it holding hands (*vomit*) and see a good 6-7 people being loaded onto gurneys to be taken away for medical attention. 02:06:38 after what was effectively a long, slow run. No training. A bit of fun at the end. Reckon we could easily have cracked 2 hours if we'd turned it up earlier and gone for good negative splits all the way through rather than just the last sector. But that wasn't the point of that run.
Very pleased. Very pleased indeed. But only with the performance on the day. Lack of training for these things really has to be the exception.