My Review Of The Great Birmingham Run 2012.
I left the house in a rush for the airport after a short but brisk 4.2 mile run. I wanted to do 7 to make it up to 35 for the week but I just didn’t have the time.
The plane over this time was fine. I didn’t have much fear getting on. I did however make the mistake of buying 2 glasses of red wine whilst onboard the plane.
This was to be my downfall later on.
I Arrive In Birmingham For A Bit Of A Feast
I topped this off with 3 Millies Cookies from the Bullring in Birmingham, 10 slices of Leerdammer cheese and 2 Greggs sausage rolls within 90 minutes of each other.
Bloated by the binge, I checked into my hotel for a lie down and woke up an hour later with an insane headache. I honestly felt like I was gonna go fucking mad with the pain.
It got so bad that I had to vomit the badness out of me. Suffice to say my spirits were low for quite sometime afterward until I had the sense to go out to Tesco on the hunt for a cure.
I got a packet of Cheestrings, a bottle of Dr Pepper and some Aspirin and started to feel better almost immediately. This gave me the heart to venture out again and I had 2 pieces of original recipe KFC for dinner.
I love going into KFC at night in a strange new town. It’s a mecca for lost souls. You try to avoid eye contact and sit down at a table that isn’t either overrun with breadcrumbs, grease or one eyed Cockneys that may or may not get stabby with knives.
The air is claustrophobic with barely concealed starvation, disdain and dismay.
After finishing up my Colonel I headed down to a rock bar for a couple of beers, before galavanting around town in a blind panic for safety pins.
I found some in a Turkish grocery store.
Feeling drained from all of my bad choices earlier, I called it a night.
Race day arrives!
I woke up on Sunday Morning feeling tense as per usual on race day. I kept thinking back to that moment in Gateshead when the chip left my foot knowing that I had to run 13.1 miles and still not receive a time.
I was not going to let history repeat itself.
It was for that reason that I opted to tie my laces through the chip instead of using the bobble ties. I put 6 fucking safety pins through my race number too just in case it tried to escape again.
I set off for the Indoor Arena with an hour to spare and managed not to go into a Greggs for pastries pre-race. That would have probably been the fucking end for me.
Nothing of note happened from the time I left my hotel until the start of the race. I just stood there cold thinking seriously negative thoughts.
“If this chip comes off then I’m never fucking running again. That will be it for me.”
In terms of pace I made the effort to run the first 0.9 miles of every mile at my regular speed and then push on a bit until I hit the mile mark. It worked really well. It meant that my pace rarely deviated from around a 9:45 mile for the entire race.
The race couldn’t have been much different than the Great North Run. First of all my chip managed to stay on for the entire fucking race.
Also since there were only 18,000 competitors as opposed to the 50,000 in Newcastle it meant that there was space to move throughout and it never felt claustrophobic even during the narrower sections of the course.
The support throughout the race was great especially from the Churches and the Mosques we passed. There was such a buzz coming from the roadside and it drove everyone on. It only got quiet on the hilly section of the motorway between miles 10 and 11. Incidentally this was by far the most difficult part of the race and it was the only time I felt in trouble of breaking down.
The finish on Broad Street was amazing. It was surrounded on both sides by spectators cheering. I crossed the line, kept on running through until I was stopped by a steward who was staring at my left tit.
I thought he was coming onto me at first before I glanced down.
Blood stain. Left tit.
My nipple must have been weep blood for a mile. My white running shirt resembled a straitjacket more than it did the snazzy cotton ensemble it was only 13 miles previously.
What was even more strange was that my other nipple was perfectly fine.
This is further proof that I run all-fucking-wrong. I seem to jog lop-sided. I’m not sure if I have a naturally wacky spine or if this is just down to really bad running technique.
Reflecting on a Great Run..
I loved the race from start to finish and got a personal best of 2:07:11.
I’m still absolutely delighted with my time. It was the perfect answer to the Great North Run which was such a disappointment for me.
The best part or the run was the mid section. I got into such a rhythm that I ran miles 7-11 at almost an identical pace.
All in all, I’m a little upset that this will be my last half marathon of 2012. It marked my 10th overall and it was by far my best run. Since my first half marathon in March 2011 I’ve knocked 10 minutes off my half marathon time which isn’t great, but isn’t bad either.
I’m improving slowly but surely!
The only downside about the weekend was the shower after the jog. My nips were cherry red and I had to stand half way out of the shower to stop myself squealing like a woman.
Next time I’ll be wearing a sports bra.