Sunday, 13 July 2014

Wales Half Marathon (aka What Was I THINKING?!)

Welp.  Just completed the Wales Half Marathon in Tenby.  It's a race that can be quantified as 20% downhill slopes and beautiful scenery, and 80% pure, burning NOPE!  

It is the single most horrifying thing I have ever put myself though, and for that reason, in my screwy, special brand of logic, I loved it.  Sort of. Afterwards.

I've pleased and surprised myself by actually finishing the damned thing.  There was a lot more walking on my part than I'd intended, but I've justified it to myself as being the only method that would have got me around the course today.  At mile two (no typo, mile two), I was already texting A to inform him that the race was a massive (insert unsavory expletive referring to lady parts here), and I didn't think I was going to be able to do it.  He responded with a "That's okay, just do what you can."

Which is a trap.  A knows full well that if he told me that he knew I could do it, I would instantly go on the defensive, tell him to piss off, hijack a cow from one of the nearby fields and haul ass back to the start.  Probably pouting at onlookers and flicking them the V sign.  By giving me permission to give up and ruin my own day/goal/self confidence, it made me get my sorry act together and shuffle grumpily on.  The hills were like nothing I've ever seen.  The inclines were numerous, and I'm pretty sure the top of my head was grazed by the actual moon at one point. We were that high up.  Honest.

Moaning aside, here were the highlights:
  • Around halfway, the hills temporarily (important word here, chaps) disappear and this fantastic view of horses, beach, landscape and one pretty cool castle opens up, like the race giving you a little treat for getting that far.  This was also a trick.  The hills are around the corner, hiding.  But at least it was nice while it lasted.
  • Little bystander girl informs me firmly that her best friend is also called Rebecca and that, obviously, I am going to win the whole race because of this.  For a second, I actually believe her.
  • The coolest couple I have ever met overtook me.  They were doing the full marathon (how?!! How can it be done??) as a "nice finisher" to their whole weekend at Tenby that involved a plethora of events that involved swimming, running, cycling and a number of other terrifying feats of physical activity.  Did I mention that they were holding hands the whole time I saw them?  Assume they just did this at the marathon.  Can imagine hand holding would hinder swimming ability.
  •  Everyone in Tenby coming out of their homes to give us all their sweets and say nice things.  
  • Hosepipe lady, spraying us all down outside a pub.  I told her I loved her.  I meant it.
  • The mile or so of "weeeeee!!" inducing downhill (verbal, not actual wee) after about mile 10 or 11.
  • The red carpet at the end, where they called out everyone's names on a microphone, making everyone cheer for us individually.  Felt like a rock star.  Albeit one whose fringe is plastered to her head with sweat.
  • My lovely, patient(ish - I successfully narked everyone off this morning by directing us to the wrong place, creating a 20 mile round-trip detour thingy during  I blamed everyone/thing except for myself.  Obviously.) sisters and gentleman companion grinning and waving at me as I sprinted(...ish) towards the end, hoping to convince them that I'd been sprinting all along - despite the fact that my "long sprint" had taken me nearly 3 hours (2hrs50 if interested) to complete.  I love 'em and other soppy stuff. What? Shut up.
  1. The hills.
  2. The hills.
To be fair, a lady acquaintance by the name of Laura from Run 4 All bloody nailed them - ran over every single one like a magical robot trooper.  One day, I will do the same.  Today, I was just overjoyed to be toeing the finish line without giving up/dying/puking.  That was a victory in itself.

Obligatory YAY, SHINY, SHINY MEDAL!!! photo.  Also me sporting invisible handbag & shocked/manic face at finish line.

Quick CrossFit update before I go:

Second of the two on-ramp sessions completed on Friday.  "Arm stuff" worked its magic on me to the point that I needed assistance putting my bra on this morning because I have lost my ability to grip things to DOMS - aka delayed onset muscle soreness. Or "Dying! Oh, my stars!" 

Also, when I got home from that session, my arms had taken on a mind of their own.  In the shower, whilst aiming with my pouffy loofah thing at my armpits, I ended up giving my chin a good scrubbing.  Turns out I have the upper body strength of soggy spaghetti.  Have decided that this is a good thing, as any future progression I make will seem all the more impressive compared with how unforgivably crap I currently am at picking things up. That's rational, right? 


I hope your weekend was enjoyable and that if you required one, you were able to put on a bra all by yourselves!

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