Ugh. What a bloody nightmare.
Unbelievably, I woke up to snow on Sunday morning. I had stayed over in a friend’s place in Newbury the night before, and snow was the last thing I was expecting.
It set the tone for the remainder of the day. The weather was definitely not in our favour, veering between the aforementioned snow, then sleet, freezing wind and lashing rain. Just what we didn’t want for running the Reading Half-Marathon.
I can say without any hesitation, it was the toughest race I’ve ever run. The cold, the wind and being completely soaked through sapped my energy and frankly my interest too. I finished – I wasn’t about to let the miserable weather put me completely off – but in a disappointingly slow 1:54:50, shaving less than a minute off last year’s race.
Seeing as I finished the 2012 Royal Parks half-marathon in 1:42, this was pretty slow. But I’m chalking it up to experience and have already been back out for a run, albeit a short one.
Only 5km in and my soaking clothes were beginning to chafe (I won’t go onto the details), while my soaking wet trainers began to run annoyingly at my ankles. I was like running straight into a shower. At times, more like a fire hose.
All of this wasn’t helped by the lack of shelter in the run up to the race or immediately afterwards. Cue lots of standing around in the freezing rain wearing thin layers of lycra.
The weather seems to have damped everyone’s mood and by the time I got back to warmth (and a welcome shower!) I was wondering why I ran it in the first place. A few hours later (thanks to the crappy Sunday train service from Reading to London), I could see the positives, glad I hadn’t exceeded 1:55 and already looking forward to my next challenge.
Onwards and upwards to the London marathon…with just a month to go, I’m only at 35% of my fundraising target. As I’ve mentioned (once or twice) I’m running it to raise money for Epilepsy Action.
If you’re feeling generous, you can support my fundraising here.