I take the bus this morning with the aim of going straight to tonight’s race on Darley Park. It’s the Colin Potter Memorial 10k this evening which I ran last year. This year though there’s a nice week long gap between the Nottingham Grand Prix series and this race, which means I can take it more seriously. Last year it was the day after the Colwick Park 5 miler.
Problem is, due to being away on holiday, I haven't actually trained for it and haven't even run since the Colwick Park race last Thursday. Well there was that morning with the dogs I suppose... if you can count that as a run.
In the afternoon, L supervises the annual boiler service. I hope the engineer doesn’t feel the need to tinker with it; it has been working fine recently, which is unusual. He compliments us on having a very efficient system, which he comments will be even more efficient once our teenagers leave home. As will a lot of things, such as finding towels in the bathroom and cutlery in the cutlery drawer rather than having to venture into the alternative universe upstairs to hunt down such items.
I meet L off the bus, although she is later than I expect but my iphone won't let me contact her to check which bus she is on. I noticed the other day that oddly since I upgraded to iOS4.0 I can no longer receive or make calls in the bus station despite having full reception. It’s the same today. Odd. I sense some kind of plot.
L could be lying in the street again, felled by another bout of ‘iPod oblivion’. You know, that near trance like state people enter whilst using mobile phones and MP3 players. She had an attack of that just before we went to Windermere and got felled by a paving slab.
So I’ve told her to take extra care reading her audio book, we don’t want any more pre-race cuts and bruises but I’m worried. She’d already announced that she was leaving work early to spend extra time with Mikhail. Someone has apparently tried to shoot her hero. Hopefully she’s on the bus with him now, on the edge of her seat or if she’s not on the bus yet, wrapped around a lamppost. Thankfully she arrives unscathed and we head to Haslams, Derby Rugby club for the 7.15pm start.
The race starts and I sprint away from the start line, determined to get a good start as last year I was caught out by the bottle neck caused by the ‘bike gates’ that come just after the 1k mark. I nearly got decapitated on one of them because I didn’t see it coming. I pass the Abbey pub in about 12th place, scary. I’m going far too fast as I proceed to sprint up the hill. Others are perhaps taking this section more wisely, slowly, saving something for later.
Then we’re on to Darley Park, where thankfully this year the weather is fine, so the footpaths aren’t treacherous. Then we’re past the 1k mark. 4.03. How come. That’s slow. I know it’s uphill but even so, I thought I was tanking it.
Then we’re heading downhill, quite quickly, dodging some evil looking pot holes and heading towards those infamous bike gates. This time I get a clear sight of them but they’re still not easy to negotiate when you’re plummeting downhill. Surely there must be a better route for the race than this.
The rest of the first lap is quite flat, which is a good job as I’m more or less spent already. The drinks station comes just before 4k and the cup of water goes straight over my head; it’s quite hot tonight. Then we’re completing the first lap, with just the simple task of doing it all over again. The first lap is impressively under 20 minutes but I’m fading fast. I promise myself that I’ll do the big hill and then jog around the rest. I forget though that the big hill is in fact in three chunks and very hard work second time around.
Despite taking the last four km very steady my time is still a minute up on last year and I’m 27th. So I have to be pleased, even though I'm in not fit state to feel pleased. Despite the good placing, I'm not sure it’s my sort of course. I’ve done it twice now and maybe that’s enough.
Then we take my Dad, who came to watch us, to the Silk Mill, where he hasn’t been for years. He’s impressed. L spots the Jaipur. Which is dangerous stuff to replace lost fluid with.
We move on to the beer festival to have a few there. My Dad doesn’t join us; he’s already been this year. His first trip ever. Wow. I was stunned. That’s radical for him. Apparently there was a band he wanted to see! A brass band. He’s already making plans to go again next year.
After sampling two 8.5% ales from Fullers, called Gold Pride and Vintage, you know nice gentle ones to start with, L spots the Jaipur again and is quickly reunited with it. Nothing else is quite as good. In fact it’s a bit of a poor selection really, again. There's not enough known breweries and you can’t take risks all night long.
We eat there too. Though not the frankfurter and mustard that L was craving for, I think she’s overdosed on watching Germany in the football. Instead we end up with rather stodgy but nice, cottage pie.
Apparently back home, Doggo has been dining in style too, he helped himself to Daughter’s Chinese. Which doesn’t really sound like him, it would probably have been sweet and sour and that’s not really to his palate. Hope it fuels him up for his show tomorrow.