So first off the big news of the week and the massive announcement that Zayn Malik has left One Direction. How would my 7 year old daughter take it. Well luckily her favourite is Niall and the band hasn’t split up so it wasn’t as big as drama as it could have been in the Fay household. The autumn tour is still on so Charlotte is happy to go on. Though I have a feeling they might spew it after that tour so we might have some delicate counselling to pay for so our daughter isn’t permanently scarred for life by the disbanding of one direction. This could cost a few bob as therapy doesn’t come cheap though I think I might opt for plan B which is get over it, lets go the Lego shop and I will buy you a new Lego Friends set.
The second big news of the week was the leaders debate that wasn’t really a debate and the self titled #RaceForNumber10 which I watched on Sky News. How the mighty have fallen just that little bit further and the highlight of the week was settling down with a glass of wine to watch the “debate” Oh how nice it was to see Paxman back. First up was Cameron and as he walked out I found myself behaving like I was watching a pantomime and letting a loud “Boooooooooo” out at the television. Come to think of it and the behaviour on the last day of parliament the whole thing isn’t far off being a panto ! I won’t bog this blog down with political bollocks just wanted to point out how my life has gone from lost weekends clubbing to being excited at political debate. Some might call it growing up and maturing. I prefer the lost weekends.
And finally as Sir Trevor McDonald once said today was the Vitality Liverpool Half Marathon arranged by BTR Liverpool. Training had been going well. Previously I smashed my 10k personal best a few weeks ago after a few beers the night before. A few weeks after that I ran a personal best half marathon in training, again after a few beers the night before. This time though I decided to the the professional athlete and lay off the grog the night before as I was attempting to break the two hour mark. Coming out of Moorfields train station at 8.30am in the morning I passed two girls still clearly twisted from the night before. Oh how 20 years ago it would be me getting the 82 bus home after night at Garlands followed on by extra punishment at the G-Bar. Now however balder, fatter and with some wrinkles developing it was not a post clubbing experience at 8.30am on Moorfields but a pre race routine for what would be my third half marathon. So in twenty years I had gone from 13 stone clubber to a just under 17 stone athlete. How does that work ?
Down the start line I bumped into a few people I knew and had myself positioned just behind the two hour pace maker so I knew exactly what I had to do. The good news was that the wind had died right down but with that the pay off was rain. To be honest give me that anytime. So the race was off and the two hour pacer was away in the distance as I was meandering towards the start line. I like a chilled start to the race to settle down into a rhythm and my plan of just hanging in behind the pacemaker was up in smoke before I had even got to the start line. It was already onto plan B and my Nike Running app on my iPhone and the good old trusted stopwatch. The first mental target was to get to the top of Upper Parliament street and the knowledge that any big hills were out of the way. All done and nicely settled into band on nine minute miles. Next up was my fastest mile of 8:47 which was the decent from Princess Avenue. Next up the park (Sefton) now I hate running around there at the best of times but it is easier during a race. Before I knew it I was well past half way and on target for the sub two hour as I ran past my fan base who were bravely out in the rain by the subway in Aigburth Vale. Next up a very wet Otterspool and then the turn along the prom which was gonna be the decider regarding any personal best time as it was time to see what the wind was doing. Thankfully as forecast it had dropped and the record attempt was go. The bad news along the prom is I was passed by Spiderman and a blind man but I did managed to get past Superman who had edged in front of me around the park. Two miles out and the rain was driving as hard as ever and I started to develop a stitch. A few expletives later and some deep breaths and a slight slowing of the pace and it had gone. A look at the watch and it was gonna be close for the sub two hour attempt. Like Sebastian Coe I kicked for home. Nearer the end as the fans cheering became more and more I took my earphones out to soak up the atmosphere and push on harder. Speeding to the line I crossed the line with a burst of speed (Must look like a tit ! ) and I was sub two hour and my last mile was one second slower than my fastest. Official time 01:58:06. 2014 time 02:09:17 2013 02:15:52 Here I am in the form of my life with the Brazil olympics just over a year away. Sadly though I did once again not win the award for best Fay with Steven Fay beating me. No relation but I do know him so he can give me some stick again next time we meet over a pint.
So congratulations to all who finish, a thanks to all volunteers (I am gonna do this for a race soon) and to BTR Liverpool for putting on another great event. The next big call in my racing career is should I push on for the full marathon in June ? I would love to go sub five hour but it means two months of frankly very ****ing hard work. I will deffo do the half that day. I am up to 15 miles training and will push on so will see what happens. So refuelling now with a Desperados and a Lincolnshire sausage roll and chilling for the rest of the day with added bling and the sense of achievement.
Fay x x x x x x