Charity Update

Thank you, everyone who sponsored me for the Bristol Half Marathon. My company were kind enough to match all the donations, too.

So, working it out, with the donations, the matching, the gift aid, and the small fee Just Giving take, I think I raised £272.50 for St. Peter’s Hospice, which is brilliant.

Due to post-half-marathon sore feet, a big long photo walk the following weekend, and being extra-busy in the last few days of my day job, I’ve not actually been running recently. This seems to happen for a while after every half marathon, so I’m not too worried yet.

And on the plus side, having given up the day job to concentrate on learning new stuff (specifically iPhone and Android development) at home for a few months, I should have more time to go running. This should be extra-good over winter, as I’ll have a lot more chance to get out when it’s light. But I’m going to have to work harder on sticking to a schedule without the structure of working days to guide me, I think… We’ll see!

Race Day: Bristol Half Marathon 2011

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Yup! Another day, another medal. I’m getting quite a collection now!

I enjoyed the Bristol Half Marathon on Sunday, despite having had some reservations about my weight and the amount of training I’d been doing. I didn’t think I stood much chance of beating my personal best from the Bath Half.

At least I arrived relaxed and well-prepared for the running. After a couple of half-marathons and 10Ks I’ve got the preparations down quite well now, from pinning my number on to checking the weather forecast before I set out.

The weather was a little too good, as it turned out. The sun was blazing away, and the Portway, which makes up the bulk of the route, is pretty exposed. Once we’d all set off from the Centre, I was glad of the few clouds there were occasionally drifting in front of the sun.

I ran this one on my own — there’s another reason to speed up my running: you have more options for running partners if you have more speeds available than “dead slow”! — so I spent most of the race just enjoying the feeling of running and being part of the general crowd around me.

And people-watching, of course, especially the crazy fancy-dressers. This race didn’t disappoint on that score, with bagpipers piping their way around, a couple of people “wearing” a boat in support of the Marines, a waddle of penguins, several dogs, and Bob the Builder, to name but a few of the sights.

I also got a chance to wave to a few friends — I’d only just set out when Tom snapped me (with a proper old-school film camera, apparently) on my way past, plus I spotted several people coming back down the Portway as I was on my way out, including Jose and other usual suspects.

I kept up a very steady pace all the way around, just plodding along as usual. I felt pretty good up to somewhere around the fourteenth kilometre — that’s the way back into town along Cumberland Road — where my legs started to feel a bit dead, but even that wasn’t so bad.

Trudging around the last bit of town, I was determined just to keep going, mostly because my legs seemed to have got into that fragile momentum which might have been difficult to get back into if I’d slowed down for even a second.

As it turned out, I had just about enough energy to keep going right to the finish line — perked up at the last minute by my friends Emmeline and Arnaud cheering me on — and I came in at an official time of 2:48:15, breaking my previous personal best by just over a minute. Hurrah!

And that — apart from the now-traditional milkshake at Rocotillos (honey and Crunchie bar, thanks for asking) was my Bristol Half Marathon 2011. I guess I can give myself a week off, then start getting back into training. The next long race will be the Bath Half in March, hopefully…

Bristol Half 2011

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Yes, the race pack has arrived 🙂

With two half-marathons under my belt now, I feel fairly confident about this Sunday’s Bristol Half, despite the fact that the belt in question has had to expand by a notch or two in the last few months. A holiday in the Lake District actually saw me lose a couple of pounds last week — clearly I wasn’t drinking enough beer to keep up with the walking — so I’m relaxed and looking forward to the weekend.

Also, yesterday I did 10-ish‑K around Leigh Woods, and I certainly felt like I had some energy left at the end. It was nice to see a fair few other runners obviously practising for the Half — I saw a few people in race tops, plus a few guys in combat fatigues wearing hefty packs, so I guess there’s going to be a services team or two marching round, as usual.

Of course, all this confidence could be completely scuppered on the day itself by a bad night, awful weather or even just a cold, so I’m still going to be crossing my fingers a bit.

And, as usual, asking for a bit of motivation in the form of donations to the charity I’m running for, St. Peter’s Hospice. They’re the official race charity for the Bristol Half Marathon, and a very worthy local cause. I’m collecting donations on my Just Giving page — please give generously!

Thanks! And good luck to anyone else looking forward to the Bristol Half or any other event at the moment!