This week, because I was running a 5 mile race on Wednesday, I skipped the club run and went out on my own- I was going to do 2 miles (as I didn’t want to do too much as it was again on consecutive days) but I got a bit lost and ended up doing 3.
For the final week of term (which was not at all “winding down” as some people think- I had 7 meetings this week to fit around normal teaching…) I was given some lovely gifts from co-workers and the children, including this lovely cream tea kit.
It contained homemade scones, a tea bag, coaster and mini jam pot- I decided I would have that after my race.
I could not decide on what to eat during the day, and poor planning ended up in a fail- I had a mini bagel for lunch in the end (toasted) and then a piece of toast when I got home-I didn’t get back until 6, and I needed to leave before 6.45. Anyway, worse things have happened at sea.
I did this race last year and so I knew it would be the type of low key event I love. I drove and parked and within 5 minutes of parking I had picked up my number and found my crew.
I decided to not look at the time I did last year as I didn’t want any pressure, I just wanted to enjoy it (despite all the pictures looking like I was having a grim time, I promise I loved it!). The weather had been overcast but it was pretty good running weather (for July).
The start is next to the lakes in the park (around 3km of the regular parkrun course) and while we were standing at the start line we saw a teeny frog hopping about in the grass. I don’t mind frogs but I don’t want to touch them, and we tried to shoo it out of the way but it was hopping nearer the middle of the crowd. Luckily a guy stood near us picked it up and put it on the other side of the tape, so it was saved- phew.
Back to the race- it starts on a hill which is pretty mean! I actually had thoughts of walking, but then told myself off. I really should have warmed up a bit….
It’s a very up and down route with lovely views of the park, and the first mile and a bit are away from the parkrun route (to the old oak tree) so it’s good to have a change of scenery and not feel like you know it too well. It felt fairly muggy once we got going and I kept wiping my face with my sleeve as sweat was pouring all over my face. At the 2 mile point you run back through the start area, and we could see the kids finishing the fun run (which started right after the main race).
The route is hard to explain- starting in the middle with three out and back loops each time returning to the middle before beginning the next loop.
I knew there was a big hill coming but could not remember where, as the next bit was in a part of the park that is still usually closed to the public (unlike the oak tree part where you can walk or run there any time). I’d already decided I was walking up the hill- my legs felt tired and I think I probably hadn’t had enough to drink during the day.
When I reached the hill I ran up around 1/3, walked, and then when I got close to the top started running again.
Then after a very steep downhill it was onto to the final couple of miles- it follows the end of the parkrun route, up the finish hill, and then back through a field towards the race start/finish area- a lovely downhill and flat part, and the sun even came out.
I’d packed a few coins in my pocket as I knew the coffee van would be there, and so as soon as I finished I headed to the queue- I really fancied a chai latte.
I bumped into Elaine (my running friend from our Sweatshop days) and we chatted for ages- I love this sort of thing about running.
The OH crew then came to find me so we could have our medal photo- no idea what I am looking at!
Then it was time to head home- it was the most gorgeous sunset. I checked my results- 49.37- not too shabby on a fairly undulating course. Strava told me I was trending slower on this route, with a very downward looking graph (I think it is always the same steepness) but in fact when I looked I had 49.43 chip time last year so I did in fact get a course pb.
After a shower I sat down and enjoyed my scones- they were delicious.
Onto the rest of the week. Last Tuesday (Prime day) I finally relented and ordered a new Garmin. My old one is 5 years old (I think- it’s the only one I have ever had) and it is starting to peel away from the strap a bit, and does not always locate satellites very quickly, plus I fancied one with bluetooth so I don’t need to plug it in to upload my runs each time. Anyway, it turned into a hoo-hah because each time I logged on it would say “arriving tomorrow”- for a whole week. In the end I called up and they said it had been lost in the post so they sent me a new one.
I was very excited when it finally arrived on Thursday (over a week later)! I had a bit of a play on Thursday but in the end decided to charge it up and work it out at the weekend.
Friday was the last day of term (hooray)- one of my colleagues drew me this amazing Totoro card- she knows me so well! This mini orchid is beautiful and is going to go in my office once I have sorted out a bigger desk.
After dinner we had a walk around while I wore my new watch- I had a bit of trouble sorting out the bluetooth but once that was sorted it was very easy to use, and I love that it sent the run to Garmin/Strava right away- I don’t mind when I am at home but I always worry about the run not saving properly once there are a few on there, so if I am on holiday it will stop that from happening. Plus it turns out it is also a step counter and activity tracker so it can replace my vivofit (which is nearly 3 years old).
Do you like frogs? I like seeing them but I am worried about treading on them- when I was little I thought I was jumping from stone to stone, and just before I landed, the “stone” hopped away, and the thought of what it would have felt like was traumatic for me (and of course I don’t want to kill a frog). Are you good with technology? I still feel like everything moves a bit too fast- as soon as I work out how to use something, it has been replaced (I hand wrote all my A level coursework as it was quicker than typing, and only really started using computers and even emails when I was at uni- how times change!).