I've had a strange assortment of ailments this week that started with a runny nose last Thursday, went away by Saturday and then came back and turned into a sore tummy on Monday and stayed for days. I don't know what it is or why, just that its been sore enough to stop me sleeping at times but not so bad that I can't cope and it was a lot better by Friday. It did occur to me more than once that I might be dying of something - but I quite often have that thought and couldn't possibly go to my GP everytime this worried me. When I have gone he generally looks a bit concerned and says, "Oh well, come back if it doesn't go away" which is quite a good deterrent. I've had abdominal pain before when I've been exhausted and I wonder if its something to do with the marathon. Anyway, I thought I could take Peter along to the Park Run at Cramond and if I felt okay I could run too. There wasn't much at stake. Its free and its near to home.
Saturday dawned and the most taxing thing to deal with was the string of complaints coming out of Peter (who has been burning the midnight oil of late) who seemed to think that everyone else should change how they live to suit him - just because he has never fully shucked off the mantle of art student even though he is now a painter and decorator and nearly 50. His specific complaint was that the race was too early. I couldn't find any sympathy for all these complaints, especially as the Park Run is SO benevolent - it doesn't promote any companies, its manned by volunteers, its free, hassle-free and the results are out by lunch-time.
We got to Silverknowes esplanade in good time and it was drizelling a little bit but was otherwise fairly nice weather. Most importantly, the wind wasn't bad. I've run the promenade far too often on long runs and scenic as it is I kind of loathe it as its often very exposed to the wind and you can see exactly how far you have to go which is cruel.
Amanda and Jenni were there already and we had a bit of a jog around and a warm up. Andrew Jeske was there taking photos; taking some time out of running with a foot problem he's getting sorted at the moment.
With very little preamble we took off and I felt pretty reasonable for the 1st mile. As we branched off left to go round a loop at the end of the esplanade a relaxed looking Ray Ward was leading the field back in the opposite direction and was still able to smile at the marshall who was cheering him on. The 2nd mile was a lot slower but I tried not to let this bother me. I figured if I had anything left at the end I could try to pick it up. The 3rd mile back came the belly-ache and I just had to focus on running as evenly as possible so as not to jar it or make it worse. It was a bit disappointing but not as bad as not running at all and my time was pretty reasonable anyway at 22.43. Five minutes after stopping running my guts were fine again. I hope to cut my time back by doing as many Saturdays as are practicable.
Amanda was easily 1st lady so she was chuffed, and Jenni had done a 2min pb. and come in just behind me so she was also in good spirits. Peter had forgotten his earlier misanthropy as he was 6th and 1st over 45 and was delighted to see later that according to age grading he had in fact won, although Ray Ward did put in a good effort. (Ray Ward actually won and then continued to run the same course again.)
My original thoughts were that if I did the run I'd go home afterwards and go back to bed but Amanda told us she was going climbing at Alien Rock. We used to go there all the time but climbing faded into the background about 8-10 years ago - around when we started racing. We've always had a hankering to go back. The forecast was miserable and it was just going to be a flat-bound Saturday at home so we went climbing too. By 1.30 pm I was knackered, my forearms were popping, my toes were shrieking and this time I did go home and go to bed. Now walking funny and its difficult to type but my tummy feels okay...