Running A Personal Best Of 2:02 At The Liverpool Half Marathon 2013 (And Why I Hate St Patrick’s Day)
It is difficult to express the terror I still feel on the morning of a half marathon.
I try not to look in the mirror at the best of times but on race morning it is imperative I don’t.
Well I look worried almost all of the time and the last thing I need is to see my reflection and think.
‘Fuck, he looks worried. He obviously knows something I don’t!’
I worry that I’ll die during the race and that the last ever photo of me will be one where I’m cynically shoulder charging an old lady at a water station whilst giving a race marshall the bird.
Here lies Angry Jogger – dedicated runner/bit of a cunt.
Death is on my mind all the time on race day.
Hearing about the runner dying in the Great Scottish Run 2012 effected me greatly as he was the same age as me.
I can’t shake the thought that it could happen to me.
Yesterday morning I took my mind off it by re-watching this TED video by Professor Brian Cox called ‘Why we need the explorers’.
It’s amazing at providing context. It helped take my mind off those thoughts and just focus on living and having fun.
Now for a review of my Liverpool Half Marathon 2013
The race was an enjoyable one as I had enough room in the crowd to breathe from mile 1 onwards.
I remember thinking that I had a really good chance of breaking 2 hours from mile 7 to mile 9.
It was really fucking exciting. I tried to run at a steady 9:30 minute/mile pace for the first 0.9 of a mile and then upped the pace until I heard my watch beep at the mile mark.
Unfortunately the wheels came off at mile 9 where we had to run through an underpass and had to come to a halt as too many runners were trying to get through.
This led to me running my slowest mile at 9:33.
I knew the chance for a sub 2 hour marathon had gone by then.
Then came Otterpool Promenade and I remember hitting the wall there last time. I didn’t want this to happen again so I slowed up a little and focused on finishing comfortably.
I stopped thinking about having only ran 9.5 miles, and focused on just coasting through the 3.6 miles to go. I tried to remain as comfortable as possible in order to eat into the miles more quickly.
Finishing strong albeit on fucking cobblestones.
I enjoyed the rest of the run apart from the last half mile which went by the cobblestoned Pier.
I had to slow down as I kept envisaging me going over on my ankle and knocking into 2 or 3 other runners and ruining their day. It was a minor annoyance but stopped me going for a really strong finish when I had just a little more left in the tank.
I finished the race in 2:02:28 which is a personal best by almost 5 minutes and only 149 seconds off breaking 2 hours.
Feeling fresh post race.
After receiving my medal and doing my best to avoid the Bananas that the soldiers were giving out, I made an escape up Lord Street towards the nearest Wetherspoons where I orded a pint and went immediately to the toilets to change.
I had the best fucking tramp’s bath of my life so far. It was so good that I almost backed up the toilet with baby wipes.
It’s incredible how much better you feel after you get out of your running gear.
But I couldn’t help feel like Mrs Doubtfire when I returned to the bar in my suit jacket and t-shirt.
The barman wasn’t impressed. He knew my game.
St Patrick’s Day Gloom
Immediately after the race I was feeling quite fresh and awake, but after half an hour of weaving in amongst drunken revellers in green hats, I just wanted to fuck off back home.
I tried to drown the gloom out with 4 Chocolate Brownie cookies from Millies but they just made me feel sick.
I then went into a bar that was like something out of a really shitty soap opera (worse than Emmerdale). There was a middle aged woman in a wedding dress at the end of the beer pumps.
I was that tired/strung-out/pissed-off/disillusioned and fucked off that for a moment I thought I’d died at mile 8 and that as a punishment for being a mouthy blaspheming heathen God had sent me to stay here and work my way up to the position of Landlord to escape into a higher realm.
4 more hours of St Patrick’s Day hell to endure.
I just don’t like St Patrick’s Day. Call me a miserable bastard if you will, but it just seems like an opportunity for lunatics to run crazy and drink to excess.
I’ve never understood the mentality celebrating it or any other national holiday.
I’ve never been proud to be Irish, I’ve never been proud to be British. I consider myself to be both, but it doesn’t mean anything to me.
I had no say in where my parents chose to procreate. They had no choice in where their parents procreated.
I just can’t fucking stand these people who focus on being true-Americans, true-Irish men, true-British men. It’s all fucking bullshit.
I try just to be a decent human (and I fail at that most of the time too). But I give it a go.
These fuckers just ignore the decency part and focus more on being patriotic or loyal to their country for reasons they don’t even understand.
For motives they don’t question.
They revel in a past they inherited and can’t conceive of a future that doesn’t rely on the past for meaning.
They identify themselves by who they fucking hate and not by who they are.
Aldi-beauty shock horror cunt-rage at Queen’s Street
I was waiting for the Airport Bus at Queen’s Street and was sat next to an Aldi-beauty with about 4 other alcos who were fighting with one another for no reason.
She came up to me and asked when the next bus to Bootle arrived.
I said “I dunno”.
My accent seemed to infuriate her. “You’re one of those there fucking Irish, aren’t ya?”. I ignored her, but I missed an opportunity by not saying.
“Yes. Yes I am. And I will give you one of my gold coins if you tickle my balls and fuck off back to the council estate that spawned you.”
She got on the bus to Bootle, I went on to the airport.
I encountered yet more drunken ‘lads’ at check-in.
Several of them tried giving me hassle in the airport bar and I just couldn’t be fucked with any of their ‘craic’ or ‘banter’.
I’ve no problem with anyone enjoying themselves and having a good time, but it you cynically try to ruin someone else’s day by taking the piss out of them, you’re a fucking cunt.
Thankfully the flight itself was smooth and the air hostesses did an excellent job at containing any cuntery.
Today I’m just delighted to be home
Thanks to all of the great people in Liverpool for your support. And the good spirited people from Northern Ireland that I met who were over to celebrate St Patrick’s Day and to have a good time.
Here’s a picture of me, my medal and my Pacman alarm clock.