The results are in; I completed the half-marathon in two hours and three minutes – tell my knees that.
For the first time in my life, I have entered a physical event, a half marathon, and I have done adequate training. During my training, I took note of how I felt during each run and what meals I had eaten before. Salad sat it my stomach and felt horrible, as did any relatively large meal. Two hours post-meal seemed like the best time to run.
On the day I woke up at 7 am and had 50 grams of oats with a teaspoon of honey; I also had a black coffee.
I felt great for about ten miles, slowly running past all the people that had under-prepared in some aspect of their race, and generally having a pleasant time. One of the biggest surprises to me about the event was the number of people that came out to support the event.
Every few minutes someone would read my name on my running card and give personalised encouragement. There were over 15,000 people running, so the people who were standing at the sides shouting for hours had their own endurance challenge. It was one of those moments where you forget all the strange politics us humans can get caught up in and really appreciate humanity.
I would certainly be tempted to run another one, and if anyone is on the fence about doing something like this I would certainly encourage it. I will certainly be trying my best to complete a half-marathon in under two hours.
Completing such a big challenge at the weekend makes the rest of the week pale in comparison. There were two particularly contrasting days that I had this week.
On Wednesday I attended a training course in a town just outside of London called Stevenage. Most things in the UK are close to London, which is because this is where most people live, and therefore where events are most profitable. The knock on effect of this, for those that do not live in London, there is a relatively early start to the day.
I had to wake up at 5:45! This is not what the former twenty-year-old warehouse worker in me went to University for. In fact, it was to avoid situations like this entirely. And get meaning and purpose in life, but that is more of a side-effect.
The course was about the maintenance of HPLC machines. This is a standard scientific instrument that most people who study a scientific subject will be familiar with . I went on the course to improve my knowledge of how to use these machines, and, consequently, boost my CV.
In contrast to all of this, I spent all of Friday morning weighing out 50 mg amounts of ground Rocket powder and all of the afternoon grinding dried Rocket leaves. By the end of the day, I had powdered Rocket all over me. It is interesting that when you take a shower after doing this all day, the powdered that is trapped in your hair gets wetted and quite pungent.
I am not sure if there is any evidence out there with respect to the hair regenerative prowess of dried Rocket powder, but if I find any I will let you know!
For those of you that are runners, or have run in the past, what would you recommend for increasing speed?