For each a road
For everyman a religion
Find everybody and rule
For everything and rumble
Forget everything and remember
For everything a reason
Forgive everybody and remember

Today was the Weston Super Half Marathon and my longest run since suffering from Covid-19. My breathing has been wheezy but I’ve been improving week on week. I’ve settled into a specific training regime of frequent runs with a chest strap transmitter and keeping the majority of my runs at a heart rate of between 120-130 with the occasional faster effort. I have been using my old Polar chest strap heart rate monitor as my Garmin Forerunner 235 uses the pulse, which is inaccurate. Today, I figured it was the right time to test my method after having missed a couple of races recently and these days racing isn’t cheap.

I was confident of my approach as my training had been a solid block with improvement on breathing and heart rate. I had ran twice over 10 miles and many times over 10 kilometers. My main disappointment was there had not been any racing opportunities since my last way back in May and August and had been running very well, I think. I admit I was jealous of others who had been racing in recent weeks and I was positive that I was running a long test run but needed that ‘buzz’. I needed to keep this a secret to my closest friends as I was sure they would not approve and talk me out of running although I knew this was an important run for me. This was literally make or break as I could feel I was running into retirement.

I was grateful for Tracey Thomas for giving myself and Sue, Madame Pompomadour, a lift to the race. Tracey had been running well recently completing Mendip Muddle the previous week and a successful Mixed Relay win a couple of weeks before. Many Harriers had rocked up for the race including Jonathan Williams on his birthday. If ever he deserved breakfast in bed it was today.

That’s the prologue done and dusted, now for the run. I was a liitle uncertain where to line up so I chose a few yards/metres behind 2.00 hour finsh pace maker. The race started at 10.15, a strange time, and we did a 2 mile loop before heading across the beach and towards Uphill and Bleadon. My heart rate spiked a little running across the sand but I was soon able to control this. I was unpertubed by the runners overtaking me as I was determined to stick to my race plan. We meanered out onto the main road and back along the Uphill cycle route back onto the beach where Alex Hamilton caught up with me. He was running cautiously as he had turned his ankle playing football. A quick chat and snap and he was gone.

8 miles and still smiling unlike Eminem

After running across the sand a second time I couldn’t get my heart rate back between my parameters so I gave it a go.I was feeling great. Breathing was good and no sign of fatigue. The race now passes the pier and out onto the Kewstoke Road to a point where you turn and come back into Weston. Here you can see faster runner on the left and where I could offer encouragement to other Harriers. Going out is up hill so coming back is downhill. My 13th mile was at 8.01 was my fastest so my tactics were good. We finished on the pier. I, maybe, could have gone faster but I ticked the boxes I wanted and was pleased with my run.

Madame Pompomadour managed to pick a fight with some anti vaccination protesters. She was called a Nazi but she asked if any of them had received a flu jab and the binary answer was reluctant. Hypocrites.

Many thanks to Hannah Tucker and Madame Pompomadour for your cheering and support. It really means so much.

Thanks, Ian Brown. For Everythig A Reason.

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