I did a 10k yesterday. Didn't really intend to but as Gemma was part of organising it I figured I had to. Sometimes I like to rate the races I run in terms of Big Mac Meals required to replace the calories burned. I don't think this would even count as one. Maybe if I replaced the fries with apple slices and the coke with diet water. What's the point of that?
We were in Dulwich Park with a good 40 Serpies and loads of others from other running clubs. I still don't really get all the leagues, there are so many it's confusing. Why can't they all just unite and become a seamless single organisation like FIFA? Sepp Blatter would have a few good ideas I am sure.
This was the first race for ages that I wore a watch and did not take a phone. I am still getting to grips with it. I could not figure out how to reset the stop watch so it was useless for me in this run. It tells me the temperature, the weather forecast, when the tide is coming in and what shape the moon will be. Unlike modern sportswatches it also tells me the time which is a bonus.
The course was three laps, mostly outside the park of around 2 miles each. It got quite crowded in the first few roads and a few blind corners meant collisions were a risk. That all went fine though except that not far later a girl in front of me fell over, she was running so fast she bounced on the floor. A fellow team mate stopped and apparently she was OK and finished. Phew.
First lap done, not sure about the time but I still had 3 hours on the tide and 4 days until the moon was due to be a whole circle, which was a relief.
It spaced out and I tried to keep Andrew Scheer in sight while trying to put out of my mind the fact that I needed the toilet. Going for a crap in a public park is something I have done before. Doing it in a 10k however us a little embarrassing.
At the end of the second lap I got a wonderful "Keep Going" from Gemma which was very welcome because with 2 miles to go I was about to stop and quit. With motivational gold like that how could I even think about stopping?
I was running just in front of a local guy called Spencer who was getting support from all the marshalls, supporters, runners, bakers, butchers, postmen and dogs along the route.
I finished in about 42.30, some way off my pb of (I think) 39.26. I have long since given up on getting anywhere near a 10k pb again but I was happy with that, didn't feel too unconfortable and was fast enough.
At the end of these races there is a relay of teams of 4 or 6 running a 400m loop of a field. They are great to watch, the mens was really competitive and the Serpies only just won. The Women's followed and then there are mixed races involving adults and children. These are quite funny as you see grown ups straining to beat the kids and quite often the kids will win.
Without warning I was pushed onto the startline as we were going to enter another mixed team. Just because I had yet to change out of my running gear made me a fair target I guess. I was asked "do you have a team together?" The answer was no but I looked round and Jen insisted that they will have a team together by the time I get round. "But what if I go too fast?" I asked. There wasn't much response to that.
I lined up against two people who were still in their school years. I clocked the taller lanky teenage boy on my right as probably being way faster than me but was not too sure about the girl on my left. My legs had turned to jelly already before the start as I considered my options. I could taunt her? "You know that Santa does not exist right?" or perhaps "By the time you get to university you'll have to sell your legs to fund it?" or maybe"You were adopted". Cruel, but I did feel anxious about getting beaten by a little girl in front of my whole club.
Off we went and the jelly legs make no attempt to solidify and help me run but I made them struggle on nonetheless. The boy raced ahead and looked quite comfortable over the distance. The girl was someway behind which was a relief. I don't mind getting chicked (it happens quite a bit nowadays) I just don't want it to be by someone who spends the rest of her time pining for Justin Beiber.
When I finished I needed to lie down. I was done. I don't even get the urgent need to lie down after running for 24+ hours in the way I did here. I lay down on the grass and some others in my team ran around as well and I have no idea whether we won or not. 400m is a silly distance. It's unnatural.
So that was the last race before I head out to the States, unless I do the club championship mile. So long as there are no kids there.