10 Things I Think About The Barcelona Half Marathon 2018
1. Tracky Bottoms Tucked in Socks
I think Barcelona has improved massively since my last trip back when I was in college. I was so scared of pickpockets from that trip that I only brought a tracksuit with zip pockets this time. I didn’t even feel a hand go near my pockets all weekend. This could have been because I looked like more of a scumbag than the actual pickpockets themselves. Tucking the socks in was a master stroke.
2. Banna Badness
I think Banna did a lot of damage this year. I caught a terrible badness in that pub in Banna, it absolutely flattened me, I was shivering and had a fever. The fever was so bad that one night I thought I was in India without internet access, it was terrifying. I even had to take a day off work I was so sick. This never happens. Thankfully I managed to fight off the badness by eating mainly oranges and pomegranates for a week. The oranges and pomegranates worked very well and I was pretty perfect by this morning, just a little bit of a cough.
I think a city walk is a great way to spend the day before a half marathon. I’m too useless at running to warrant spending the day resting in bed, that’s for racehorses, donkeys might as well go fooling around the place. I went on the Gaudi Tour with a South African tour guide called Luke. It was brilliant, I learned that the Spanish for bat is “murcielago” as in like the Lamborghini. I found this fascinating. The buildings were nice too, especially the half finished church that people pay lots of money to go inside.
4. Art Cave
I think the AirBnB I stayed in was the best yet. Definitely my favorite, the walls were covered in scary art and the bed was ridiculously comfortable. I slept perfectly, it was so quiet and dark. It was also 100m from the start so I could warm up and go back to use the facilities before the race. I don’t think it could have been any better.
5. Fence Hopping
I think the most athletic thing I did today was hop the fence into the elite section. It was very graceful. I felt like a giant in with all the elites, they’re so tiny, I’m way too tall to be any good.
I think I was possibly the most useless pacer in the history of pacemakers ever. There have been pacers in 1500m races that lasted longer than I did today. I was however possibly the most suitable human being in the world to deal with the slow runner that suddenly appeared in front of us after 1km. Lizzie is so lucky that I was there to manhandle him to the ground without even chopping stride. I felt kind of bad after it, it sounded like he fell quite hard, Lizzie definitely would have died if I wasn’t there to protect her, definitely.
7. Falcon Heavy
I think my pacemaking effort was like one of those reusable rockets that Elon Musk used for his Teslaship last week. I got Lizzie through the vital one mile mark in the half marathon, that first mile is vital, I’m surprised my pacemaking skills haven’t been requested before. Then like one of those rockets I peeled off and returned safely to earth ready to be used again. It was perfect really.
I think I think too much in these longer races. I get really bored at half marathon pace, my brain fills with lots of demons and starts thinking lots of stupid things like: “God this is really terrible running isn’t it”. “This time is going to be so bad”. “You run 100 miles a week and this is all you can run, what a lampchop”. Today was particularly bad, there were demons everywhere. After about 9km I was hoping that a tram would just run me over and finish me off like Gaudi, it would have been a good way to go. Then I was caught by the 75 minute pacers and realized it wasn’t too bad if I could keep that flag in sight.
9. Instagram Abs
I think I should have taken a picture of my abs after the race. I could have put it on Instagram for people to look at, people would have liked that #moderatejanuary. Mine were absolutely fabulous because of all the coughing I did during the race. They looked wonderful, all toned and sticking out, at least an eight pack. They were really really sore though, if having abs hurts that much I don’t want abs.
10. Carrot Cake Pancakes
I think Cork needs Carrot Cake Pancakes. I met Michael Maher during the race when he passed me with the 75 minute pacers like a guy from Clare out for a Sunday run in Barcelona. We went for brunch after the race, Carrot Cake Pancakes are as good as they sound, all the goodness of pancakes combined with the niceness of carrot cake. It’s the perfect recovery food. I definitely don’t have abs anymore after them.