It was a busy weekend of running in our house; I managed to sign up to another marathon, we had the 2nd anniversary of our local parkrun and Sunday saw a nice long run and a milestone for Claire.
Firstly, me and my inept attempts to make plans; the Friday before last I saw a very exciting race on Facebook, the Back to the Future Race. To be held on 21st October 2015 and finishing at 4:29pm, it’s a homage to Back to the Future 2 (and the date and time Marty McFly ends up arriving in the future). Held by the River Thames it’s a nice flat route, with you completing as many 3 mile laps as you can in 6 hours. Well I was in, partly because I love the film, partly as I wanted to get another race booked in this year but mostly as I loved the medal.
In a flurry of activity I checked my work diary (the run is on a Wednesday), got some leave sorted and managed to book myself on to the race in one of only a hundred spots available. Yay! I was already looking for a red body warmers for my Marty McFly outfit before the confirmation email was in. That night however, and to my horror, Claire pointed out I had booked the 28th, not the 21st off and that I was a moron. D’oh! (Ok she didn’t say it out loud, but she did heavily imply it with her eyebrows) I was going to have to see if I could move it.
Things got worse though; I woke in a cold sweat at 5 in the morning and on checking my work calendar it confirmed the 21st was my whole work’s Away Day. Fudge it! I did ask but no banana, I couldn’t get the day off. Double Fudge with a cherry on top. I now had to throw myself on the mercy of the organisers to see if I could transfer to another race, on another day…
Well the lovely people at Phoenix Running, were… erm… lovely! They kindly let me move my entry to their Riverside Marathon on the 22nd November, and have even offered to give me the difference in price when I show up to register on the day. You really can’t be fairer than that, and my incompetence has gone (mostly) unpunished. The only draw back now though is rather than a race where I can do as many laps as I want, I’ve got a full marathon to do. Still at least the course is dead flat, and surely it won’t be windy near the Thames, in late November? Really? Oh. Fudge pieces!
In other run related events, me, Claire and our friend Laura ran at our local parkrun at Great Lines park in Gillingham. It was the 2nd anniversary of the race, and people went for it costume wise; there were some bananas, a Dracula, cheer leaders, a couple of Mexican bandits, a Robocop, a Big foot (not the monster, literally a very large foot), a giant Whoopie cushion (I think) and all sorts of other outfits. We were going to get some tutus ourselves but there must be a shortage at the moment, or we found the only ones made of gold, because they were way too expensive to buy and then only use once (or sweat all over and have to burn). We decided to forego them and eat for the month instead.
It was a great atmosphere, lovely weather and lots of people turned out in their finest. Laura has only been running a few weeks and had never run 5k, or any kind of race for that matter, so Claire was going to pace her round. I went off on my own, and didn’t have a bad run. I was hampered a bit by ‘Dominos Belly’ from an ill considered choice of pre-race meal the night before. Ok and a few beers as well. These poor decisions came to prominence loudly that morning (sorry neighbours) and on the way round the course (sorry anyone behind me) but I still managed to get within 5 seconds of my PB, so was pretty happy, if feeling fairly rough, when I finished.
Laura did magnificently however with the help of Claire and finished her first ever 5k in style, sprinting to the line and beating a Mad Hatter, three Cheerleaders and a Power Ranger (possibly – it all got a bit blurry towards the end). All in all a good morning’s work and another advert for the joy that is parkrun. It really is a great way to be involved in running, from beginners, to middle of the packers, to the lightening lot and I would definitely recommend giving it a go if you’ve never tried it. It’s absolutely free, all you need to do is register and bring your barcode and you are in. Every one is welcome and every one is lovely. And most don’t mind dressing up like lunatics at 9am on a Saturday morning.
Sunday saw me go for a long run on one of my usual routes around St Marys Island, through Chatham and round the riverside of Rochester and then back again. It was a lovely morning, nice and cool but sunny, and I covered just over a half marathon in a good pace. I’m trying to bring my mileage up each week in preparation for all these marathons I’ve got in the next 6 months. I’m trying to get comfortable at around 50 miles a week, and currently at around the mid-30s so need to get cracking. I’m also making sure I have one long run a week of at least 2 hours to get my legs ready. It seems to be working at the moment, and my average MAF time is coming down to less than 8 and half minutes a mile.
Walking up our road, feeling quite pleased with myself and cooling down, I saw Claire outside our house. She had said she was going for a run too, but she came skipping down the road beaming which is not her usual post-run routine. Well she had earned her skipping – she had run a 10k and set a new personal best by over 11 minutes! Admittedly her previous best was set at the Shoreham Woods 10k which had more hills than sense and nearly broke us. But she was quite rightly over the moon with equalling her longest ever run and managing such a great time. There may even have been some light dance moves pulled in the streets of ME7 to celebrate the fact… (Claire has started a blog too – its here and I recommend it)
So all in all a good running weekend. And to top it all we got to meet another lovely dog that Tony, Claire’s Dad, is looking after. Twix may be a little older than some but that just means he has had more time to work on his style and appreciate a good lie down;
It sets us up nicely for our holiday soon – I’m excited, and not just about logging a run in Turkey!