So much for the new enhanced Red Arrow service, that promises a bus every ten minutes. I get to the bus stop for 8.30, the first bus comes at 8.55 and of course it’s packed. Then when we arrived in Derby, the driver drops us off at the old place in Market Square, as he claimed he was 25 minutes early. Work that one out.
The evil enemy are probably no more by now because the wasp man has been. We’ve just got to keep Doggo away from his favourite leg lifting spot for a few days in case there’s some stray napalm around.
It must be a bad bus day because after work I try and get the Indigo to Breaston, from where we have a race tonight. The board at the bus stop says they’ll be a bus in two minutes. Excellent. I wait... and wait. The board changes to six minutes and sticks like that for half an hour before finally counting down to zero, at which point a bus appears and it is of course packed. This service is supposed to be every 20 minutes.
I seem to do better than L, who can’t get an Indigo at all and in the end gets the R4 to Risley and ends up walking the mile down Risley Lane to get to Breaston.
The race is Erewash Valley Running club’s 'The Run', now rebranded as ‘The Run 4.2’. They got into trouble describing this race as a 4 miler and have now decided it’s 4.2 miles, hence the rebrand. It’s also becoming a bit of an annual thing for me. This is the third running of it, I’ve done all three and I’ve got the mugs to prove it. A white one for 2008 and a black one for 2009, this year my money’s on it being red.
I’ve also gone slightly quicker each year but this year I can’t really see me lowering my time. Last year I had protégée to race against and I was 2-0 down in our mini race series, so I had to beat him and did. This year without that sort of motivation and without much training either, I just can’t see it being a good race for me but...
You just never know. I start quicker than I wanted to and then forget to slow down, as I start a tussle of sorts with a chap who is considerably older than me and being behind him just doesn’t seem right somehow. We tussle for the first two miles but then I have to accept my place in the natural pecking order of things, behind him. It’s all a bit too fast for me, I’m doing six minute miles and I ought to be half marathon training, what with Nottingham coming up, and doing seven and a halfs!
The older gentleman forges on ahead and catches two other runners. With a mile to go, I realise that I could catch them too, if I really wanted to. I want to. So I dig deep and do indeed catch them. It also brings me right up to him and with just a quarter of a mile to go, he’s in striking distance. I don’t however like overtaking people in sight of the finish line, not when they’ve done all the work pacing me around... but he’s slowed so dramatically... I desert my principals and nip past him.
My time... well... last year I did 25.40, this year I’m just over 25.00 on my watch. Wow. Though I didn’t see the finish line so I stopped my watch late. The provisional results seem to have me down as 24.57. Double wow.
And the mug colour is... white. White? How does that work then, did they have a load left from 2008? Hmmm. Disappointed with that.
The general consensus is that although it’s probably not 4 miles it certainly isn’t 4.2. A couple of GPS watches put it much closer to 4 than 4.2 but I’m still pleased with my time. I’m also well impressed with L’s time which, even taking the distance as 4 not 4.2, puts her inside her 10k target, that we’re working towards. That is if she can keep the pace the same for another two miles. Surely my training plan isn’t paying off already. I’ll make myself redundant.
The race starts and finishes at the Navigation pub, so guess where we go afterwards....
(Wednesday 28th July)