15 September 2008

prince edward island half marathon

I have registered for the PEI Half Marathon on 19th October 2008. You can find all the information about this event at Prince Edward Island Marathon. Gulp!

I don't like to do something without testing it first from every angle so I assessed the five months of running already in my legs. Then I examined the published results for last year's event and discovered I would need to run quicker than two and a half hours not to disgrace myself. I have been running for fitness since May this year and have built up to twenty-five miles a week. I keep meticulous records for times and distances so my performance is not a mystery - I know what I should be capable of.

But until I've run the actual distance - 13.1 miles - how do I know I can go that far? My longest run to date had been ten miles. So to answer the nagging inner voice I mapped a route of precisely 13.1 miles and headed out to test myself. I ran at a modest pace which I guessed was around 6mph, covering a mile every ten minutes. My only "way marks" were points I had made a mental note of (like the halfway point, which I reached in an hour and five minutes) so I kept my pace on track. Luckily the early morning, weekend traffic was light and half my run was on the Confederation Trail, a great rural trail on a former railway line.

My heart and lungs were holding up well after an hour and a half but my legs began to feel very heavy whenever the road went up. Even so I managed to keep going without stopping and reached the twelve mile mark just after two hours. The final mile to home is downhill and I knew I was going to make it. My time? Two hours and twelve minutes. I was well and truly spent though.

Because I kept the pace sensible I wasn't out of breath, just physically exhausted. During the day I ate a lot and drank pint after pint of orange juice and water to replace the six pounds I lost in weight. Oh, and I slept like a log! Inevitably muscle soreness hit the next day and I was hobbling whenever I had sat still for too long. Two days later I was ready to hit the road again, on reduced mileage of course!

So I proved I could last the distance and I know what my approximate time should be in October. However, it ain't over till the fat lady sings and she isn't exercising her tonsils until 19th October! The Prince Edward Island Half Marathon is a modest but prestigious event with a small field. There will be hundreds of runners not the thousands we are used to seeing on TV at London or Boston. In other words there will be nowhere to hide!

I will be returning to England later this year, after a lot of consideration, plenty of talking and much sadness, so the run will be a kind of finale for me in Canada.


Gordie said...

You're a brave man with all this running.

C.J. Duffy said...

Running to one side (says he that doesn't even run for a bus!), sorry to hear that the Canadian plan hasn't worked out. I know how much you had wanted it too. Hope to see you when you get back.
Keep on running!

L said...

You're one determined and very fit man! Belated Happy BD! You share that day with someone close to me. I posted then on a new blog. (Banished the other one.)

Best wishes from one Virgo to another in this marathon and for the future, PV.

L said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ArtsyLynne said...

My link didn't work correctly.
It's gel.
New blog address:

If this doesn't work, a link directing you is still found on
"emerald eyes"

Perfect Virgo said...

Gordie - think I feel better for it, I know I feel tired!

CJ - you never know until you try, thanks mate. See you somewhere on the South Bank sooner rather than later!

L - happy birthday too. Determined and/or foolhardy! Thank you for your kind wishes and the new link.

{illyria} said...

keep on running. PV. not all everything turns out as you expected, but at least you gave life a go. wishing you well for this marathon--and the next chapter of your adventures in england. xx.

Perfect Virgo said...

{illyria} - after the initial shock to the system and months of getting into shape, running has now become part of my daily routine - and I like it :)

Thank you for your kind wishes. x

RuKsaK said...

you can do it - you can easily do it.

back in england meself by the way - biggest culture shock of my life.

Perfect Virgo said...

Ruk - I'm certainly going to give it my best shot.

I expect to return to England some time in November and know there will be aspects I will still detest.

(So, hibernation is over?)