Wilmslow 1/2 Marathon is sponsored by Asics, not Nike; the + is there because I ran an extra few miles today so I was able to do my final 'long run' before the marathon. In fact, if I add up the hours, rather than just the miles, I realised that I was on my feet continuously for just over 4 hours, either walking or running so figure that even though I didn't quite tot up the 20, I've done enough.
The bonus is that my legs feel great. After struggling with injury for a number of weeks, then trying to rebuild my fitness from that, whilst still trying to keep building the training in my legs, I've really felt the pain of races in the hours afterwards, however today I'm walking around without a hobble in sight! Well, except the slight muscle seizure I felt swapping cars from Sara's to mine after she gave me a lift home... that funny waddle I did give her and Dom a good laugh! Unfortunately, I seem to have been plagued with another problem, one that has been visiting me more and more frequently and that I am still suffering from now, despite having finished the race over 4 hours ago: stomach cramps. I've no idea what is causing them (other than running), whether it's the lucozade body fuel I was drinking, the one sachet of gel I tried, or just the running as it's occurring more and more frequently when I run, stopping me short and causing a lot of discomfort. I've tried changing what I eat and drink before, during and after but to no avail so far. Obviously I have been to the great guru, Google, and have determined that I'm going to experiment with taking some over-the-counter drugs before my mid-length run next Saturday and see if that helps; but there's one thing for sure, this can't continue!
That aside, Wilmslow is a fantastic 1/2 marathon and if you live in the North West, I would highly recommend trying it out. Exceptionally well run, there are marshalls throughout the course, and friendly families who come out of their houses, populate the gardens of the local eateries, and line the pavements outside the expensive shops to cheer the runners on... The area is very 'upper class darling', but I like it! Until I started training for this marathon, the only 1/2 marathon I'd ever done was The Great North Run, which I ran once a year... and that was it! I still love the atmosphere of that and don't think it has yet been rivalled, but Wilmslow came close in a different way. The route is nothing short of beautiful, the people so friendly and encouraging and at least I was able to distract myself from the running with thoughts of one day winning the lottery (which I never enter) and being able to purchase one of the stunning properties I passed. Ah... one can dream!
A modest effort meant that this was the slowest 1/2 marathon I have completed yet, but then I intended it to be; running Wilmslow today was more about getting added distance in my legs than breaking any records and I'm pleased with how I did. I'm now looking forward to training this week, and then hitting the taper that lies ahead of me prior to the Marathon. I think I'm going to enjoy the taper!
Edit - Despite what I said above, I had 20 mile guilt, so I have just gone out and ran another 2.5 miles taking my total for the day to 20! I figure that as my legs were tired from earlier, and it's still the same day, this would count! And boy, were they tired!! Anyway... 20 miles: done.
Distance: Including +miles
Feeling: except for the dodgy stomach - good.
Weather: lovely - quite warm whilst running!