Monday, March 17, 2008

Forest of Dean Half Marathon

The Forest of Dean Trails Half Marathon, although this year a hilly slog through flooded paths and mud, wind and rain, was really quite enjoyable. I am not sure how many competitors turned up - probably about 1500 - but the start was quite crowded for the size of path and I was aware that I was only doing 10 minute miles for the first couple of miles. If we had been more organised and got to the front we would have avoided this frustration, but we were not and it was impossible to pass the crowd (due to very muddy ditches on either side of the path). The first 9 miles are virtually all uphill and the last 4 are more or less downhill, so it was great fun just letting yourself fly down the hills to make up for lost time here. I was a bit disappointed by the disgusting sweet and the fizzy lucozade as freebies at the end of the race...I'll remember to bring my own next time... but we all did a pretty good time considering the conditions. My running buddy, Andy Shelling, came within the first 100! I think it is good for your confidence to do a half marathon when you are all trained up for a marathon - it feels so good to still have something left in your system at the end of 13 miles.

Came home to a wonderful glazed roast leg of lamb with garlic and rosemary and all the trimmings - crispy roast potatoes and parsnips, leeks, carrots, purple sprouting broccoli etc, homemade mint sauce and delicious gravy . Mark, my husband, decided to forgo the 1/2 marathon and cook the roast instead. He glazed the lamb with "piment d'espelette" , some wonderful fragrant chilli we bought in the Basque country (France) this summer. I know a roast dinner is not the ideal meal after a long run, but it certainly hits the spot when you've been soaked through the the bone. Anyway, protein from the lamb, vitamins from the purple sprouting and veggies, plus parsnips and roast potatoes are high G.I. so the carbohydrate from them will have gone straight to our tired out muscles. We had a rice pudding to follow, which is also high G.I. The kids all fell upon the gooey chocolate puddings which I managed to rustle up enough energy to make and consequently I have no idea what they actually tasted like!

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