My first DNF (ish) & other bank holiday things

August Bank holiday weekends are usually busy for us as we have a number of birthdays within a very short space of time and that usually falls over the long weekend, but this time it was busier and came with later nights.

On Friday evening we did manage a night in with a film as a slow intro into the manic weekend.

Waking on Sunday we zipped up to the shops to buy a bucket/car boot full load of food and flowers ahead of Adam Mum’s birthday gathering that evening. Then came a bit of faffing about before heading off to Catford for the do itself.

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We laid on the food: it was carb-heavy

It was really very nice (once we got Adam’s mum to stop trying to do things) and all seemed to have a good time. So much so that we didn’t get home until 1:30, making us even more glad of the later start time for the mornings race.

The Oliver Fisher 5k and 10k race raises funds for a children’s ward in the local hospital. We signed up not too long ago as a way of making us run 10k for the Maximum Effort 10k virtual race I signed us up for months ago (just after seeing Deadpool I think).

It was to be raced in a local park so we only had to leave an hour before the start, which mean we did manage to get a reasonable amount of sleep in the end. I had only ever been there once before about 10 years ago and couldn’t remember it at all, so I was looking forward to a bit of an explore.

We set off (which was a surprise as no one seemed to hear the starting pistol/bell/shout: I still don’t know what it was), Adam up nearer the front talking to a Rebel Runner that he knows while I was further back knowing I was going to take it steady.

I didn’t start the race with an idea of my ABC goals but as I got going I decided on A – 10k trail PB, B – 10k in any time, C – 5k in a good time. (It was a two lap race with people running either a 5 or 10k, so I could finish early.)

After about a mile; red, sweating and with a sun-burn-feeling right arm, I re-evaluated and went for: A – 10k in any time, B – a completely-run 5k (i.e. no walking), C – 5k.

It was hot and the first two miles were actually rather lovely and distracting but that third mile hit and I knew I wasn’t going to complete. So I decided I would at least finish the 5k well: I’d run it all so far, even the short, steep hills, so I hoped I could pull out a steady run with a slow, but still-running, end up the hill.

But I failed.  On all counts. Failed to complete the 10k and then failed to complete the 5k running. I walked up that final hill, but in my defence the lady in front of me was ‘running’ and actually not getting anywhere faster than I was walking. There was another lady who tried to convince me to stay on and complete but I had to apologise to her that today she couldn’t inspire me enough to keep going and I was done.

I hit the level ground and ran a reasonable pace across the line to receive a medal and some water. Nipping to the car I grabbed my phone and awaited Adam’s return, slightly worried he would think I was a lazy cow for dropping out.

His 10k PB stands at about 42mins on the flat, but this was trail and I’d experienced the course so I wasn’t expecting him when I heard shouts about someone sprinting up the hill. But that was him. Trying to run down a guy in front of him and very nearly succeeding if it weren’t for a small child that ran into the finishing funnel 5m from the finish causing him to leap out the way and just miss catching up with the guy!

Much swearing later; a cup of water downed and some jaffa cakes in hand, he calmed down and managed to realise that he actually had a great time (~45mins) and was high up in the finishers list (he actually got 7th, but I think it was really joint 6th as he got the same time as the guy he would have beaten on the line).

It started raining so we cheered a few more people across the line, had a chat with Jon, the Rebel Runner running 12 marathons in 12 months (now actually 16! – check out his blog) and went off home  (via B&Q for a new toilet handle and an ice cream in the car park).

Some food, replacing of toilet handle, a shower and a small nap later and we were off to a friend’s for a birthday BBQ. Much fun was had and I drank a bit, which I haven’t done for ages (mainly due to being the designated driver but also just not that bothered about it anymore) and again we had a late-ish night thanks to SingStar.

We treated ourselves to a lie-in on Monday before a planned trip to Cobham Fete but my Dad (who we were going with) was busy minding two dogs so we just went to visit him for lunch and a bit of a walk around the woods with these two lovelies:

Twix the Retriever and Boo the German Shepherd

So, it was a busy, but pleasant, long weekend! Oh, and I went on a bike ride with a friend for the first time on Friday: that made things even busier as well as making me unable to sit down without making a noise (not used to the seat yet…).

Just one thing to panic about: Roald Dahl Challenge is in two weeks and I am struggling to run 7 miles… (plan is for a half) but I can always scale that down as I have form now!

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