So Saturday evening and I went through my pre race routine including making sure my nipple plasters were out. I could not even be bothered to have some pre race spaghetti hoops and instead went for hotdogs for tea ! The kids were packed off to bed early as Mrs Fay was out on the ale again. I think she is making up for my lack of drinking. It is day 81/108 no ale and yes I am now admitting to counting every second. I was tucked up in bed for 10pm and asleep not long after. Nice to be going asleep not waking up to the now traditional long Sunday run which was 21 miles last week. This sunday was a nice not so gentle half marathon as I was going for a personal best (PB) I would already be an hour down from the clocks going forward and I was crossing my fingers that when Mrs Fay fell in that (A) She wouldn’t wake me up and (B) She wouldn’t want any hows yer father as that is strictly off limits on the night before a race and come to think of it has been off limits since the birth of our third daughter ha ha. But surprise surprise she did wake me up but I went into “statue”mode and avoided the above (B) So my alarm went at 7.30 and it was a beautiful morning for a run and with a slight headwind along the waterfront for the last 4 plus miles home to keep me cool it was almost perfect running conditions. I decided to get the first train from Aigburth into town and play Merseyrail Russian Roulette but the train turned up on time and after a short walk and change into my gear I was at the start line in plenty of time.
So as you can see I plonked myself down by the 1 hour 50 marker. As the start pen filled up it soon became clear that I was surrounded by some very athletic looking people also targeting 1 hour 50 and soon the official race 1 hour 50 pace makers appeared. The plan was to see how I got on for a sub 1:50 but the main aim was for a PB which stood at 01:53:19 in 2016. So we counted down from 10. I say we but I didnt as by my own admission I am a miserable runner. Having weaned myself off earphones whilst running I still prefer to run alone and in my zone. It was soon clear that the 01:50 pace maker was going to be a happy clappy affair. Great for most people but not for Meldrew Fay so I tucked in just behind and has a quick chat to a fella who was after 01:50. It soon became clear going up the only big hill that keeping up with 01:50 was going to be a struggle so I let them go ahead a bit knowing I had 3 mins to lose from them and still get a PB. So into Sefton Park and I was starting to catch up the 01:50 or “one fiddy”crew and things were going OK. But as quick as I caught them up they extended their lead again. Over half way and down into Otterspool I prepared myself for the mental slog that is the 4 mile plus home stretch. One year this was into winds of 40mph and driving rain this year it was sunny and a slight breeze so I thought fuck it enjoy the last bit and a PB would be on. I got to 10 miles and soon realised my GPS watch was a bit out and that I was running a bit better than I thought. It was at this point my marathon training come into its own and I thought I have got this in me lets up the pace. So off I went to attack the course. One mile to go and I could see the 01:50 pacer coming close to me. Negotiating the cobbles by The Albert Dock I kicked for home like Steve Ovett (Who wants to be Seb Coe !!!) I left the 01:50 pacer for dead and belted around the home corners in front of the crowd like a knob head but this would be my one shot at a time like this as I will never be fitter or slimmer again in my life. Pulling all kinds of mad faces I crossed the line and the official time was 01:46:40. Wow I was more than chuffed with that. I got my bling and then achieved my biggest achievement in running yet. The XL top that you get for finishing actually fitted me for there first time after a race ever since I started running in 2011. From my first Liverpool Half Marathon in 2013 completed in 02:15:12 as a near 18 stone pie arse the 16 stone 2018 pie arse light version of me had now chalked off nearly 30 mins from that time.
On checking the full results I even managed to nab the position as top Fay from my non relations. My final position of 1197 means any Olympic dreams are over but now its all eyes to the London Marathon on April 22nd with two more long runs to nail before that and I am gonna finish my season with the Liverpool Marathon. So Mrs Fay picked me up at the finish and she wasn’t too bad after her night out. She told me she was telling her taxi driver on the way home about me running for a the charity and reason I picked that charity (Millstead School) and as she went to pay he said “Knock £4 of the fare love and donate it to your fellas cause” which I duly have. That brings it perfectly around to the charity plug and the page link is below if you can spare the minimum £2 donation they all add up and I am closing in on my trader of £1000.
Normally I would now be cracking a beer open but I am an athlete (No honestly I am) I am resisting the very large temptation this first summertimes evening of the year. Instead I will walk the dogs and have an early night and one last look at the new medal on my wall and I will get sent an extra medal for a PB next week. Wish me luck on these last two long runs and then a wind down to London itself. More boring running blogs to come but rest assured my life will be back with me soon along with the demon grog and my “fat” pants are handily placed on top of the wardrobe to bang back on after the summer BBQ season.
Fay x x x x x x x x x