Sunday, 2 January 2011

Let them eat cake!

Is this another Cruikshank? If so I can look forwards to her beating me soon.

BC isn't a cruel person but he demands the proper respect.

Fifie wifies out in force!


There were a couple of races we could have done yesterday but neither of us wanted to get up early, or road run particularly, so we saved it up for today and the Tortoise and Hare relay over in Fife.

This is usually run in Giffordtown but the hall there had burst pipes so it was rearranged at the last minute to be run in Falkland. Instead of the usual 2 sets of 2 miles each to run, there was to be 3 sets of 1 mile each. I was interested to run a mile in a race. It was about half a mile off road though so hopefully I don't have to take my mile time too much to heart.

In the last week I've developed a tweak in my right heel which is really quite sore at times, so it didn't seem that wise racing today, but I tried it out yesterday and it didn't actually feel any worse when I tried to run fast than when I ran slowly so using this as my rationale we decided to go for it anyway. We haven't raced since November and are getting withdrawal symptoms.

This is the 3rd year we've run the T & H relay and we love it. Its partly cupboard love because we've always managed to nose into the generous prizes going down to 8th pair, but also the course has always been good and the relay aspect of it makes for a really exciting race.

I gave my heel a very long and gentle warm up and it really wasn't bad by the time I set off, and as long as I didn't accelerate or decelerate too much it was fine. As expected I was rather lumpen and heavy but felt quite good and strong and determinedly didn't bother looking at my Garmin because I was running as fast as I knew how! Because I was unable to get away quickly at the start I didn't have to go through the demoralizing rigmarole of running away off ahead and then getting passed by everyone, which was nice. After some initial to-ing and fro-ing there was very little exchanging of places throughout all 3 laps.

On my 3rd lap just as I was trawling up the hill before the finishing field and wheezing like....a....bicycle pump! I had the disconcerting experience of seeing 2 friends I haven't seen in probably 17 years walking down the road towards me. There was Calum Oliver who I did an MSc in Information Technology with in 1991 and 1992 and his wife Helen. I recognised Calum right away and then looked around for Helen. She clocked me and cheered me on and told me to keep going. So I just managed to wave at them and then was away. It gave me an extra boost to run as hard as I could to the finish. I only started running in 1991 because the other people on the course didn't want to come out drinking as often as me and I needed something to do in the evenings apart from study.

Anyway. Finish I did, and then got the camera out of Peter's pocket for some rather unsatisfactory finishing pictures. (The tortoises went 1st so Peter still had a lap to go.) It wasn't very light so the camera kind of went off whenever IT  was ready, not when I had it lined up on a runner. Hence few good photos. Sorry people.

We took 5th place prize this year which was our highest placing yet. I looked back and we were 6th for the last 2 years. One very nice surprise was that part of the prize was an iced cake. I skipped doing Christmas dinner this year and in fact had no goodies (although I've still managed to put on weight - mostly eating toast I think!) - but the one thing of all the things that you can get at Christmas I felt I was really missing out on was an iced cake - and tried to harry Peter into going out looking for one on Christmas night. His response was the rather unsympathetic view that if I wanted an iced cake I could go out and get it myself. I didn't go at the time but still found myself thinking about iced Christmas to find one in the goody bag with 2 bottles of Grolsch and 2 bottles of vodka and coke was a real treat.

Sarah Legge is fixed and back running and was of the opinion that maybe I need to give up my tortoise status but I maintain that I am a bona fide tortoise and intend to run again next year. Its a great race, it really is.

Gareth Greene was the only other Porty, - he did the brave thing which is to come solo and be assigned a tortoise. A bit like a Valentine's day race really. Gareth ran well but felt he had lost some form from not being able to do much dedicated speed training in the last month - and the cold air was affecting his breathing. I suspect he was running better than he thought he was. Its hard to know what's happening in the relay race as you find yourself running with people of all different abilities.

Great to get the buzz of racing again. A bit worried about this heel now as I its stiffened up (as I  knew it would) and I can only walk with a profound limp - but hey I was like that yesterday as well and then it wasn't that bad this morning. I'd really like to have a go at the Greenmantle dash tomorrow...we'll see.

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