Jenni organised another of her long runs - this time to mark the last run for the crew that are off to run Berlin in 3 weeks time. She cleverly organised a beautiful sunny day and a very light tail-wind.
I wasn't happy getting up at 7am and felt like an old tub on legs as I stumbled around the flat trying to get ready. The one saving grace for me was that it was "only" 20 miles and I didn't want any more than that. Peter was for running the 3 miles to the start of the run and then getting in some extra miles around the coast en route. Why? "For the Stirling 10K" he told me. Whatever. I drove to the start and let him run the 1st 3 miles tout seul.
My hope was that I would warm up and that 20 miles would genuinely not be too taxing after making myself run 36+ last weekend, and so it proved. I ran without a plan at the start - well with an impromptu plan to try and overtake some people and go for a pee as the early morning cool had hit my bladder. It took a fair effort to catch and overhaul folk. But who was this running along with Jenni, Ruth, Shery etc.? A bare-chested, bare-footed young man was running along side them. And not just for 100m as would be the usual behaviour of people in the street who interfere with runners. He was actually keeping up quite a good pace and not breathing hard at all. It was difficult to know what his game was. At times he ran out in front and faced us running backwards and shouted encouragement. It became quite clear that he was bonkers, either through drink and drugs or being manic or both. Still, I wanted to run ahead for a pee so that's what I continued to do, only he came with me, muttering encouragement, telling me he was really proud of me. I was trying to gauge just how mad he was but he didn't seem at all aggressive. I finally got to the toilets at the Musselburgh quayside and told him I didn't expect him to wait for me. He had run off by the time I came out and hooked onto Sandy and Caroline.
After that he went round the lagoons with Peter and Richard and we think his feet were heating up from running over stones so he eventually dropped off the back. Myself and Caroline had suggested that running in bare feet wasn't maybe the best idea but he dismissed this with a grandiose shrug of irritation.
In the meantime I had dropped behind everyone so had to work my way back up. I caught up with Sandy and Caroline and at Port Seton we had a quick stop as Jenni's mum and partner stopped to hand out water and jelly babies and Ricky and Willie who were chaperoning us on their bikes had stopped too. Peter and Richard also caught up with us here so we ran as a group to Aberlady.
At Aberlady Richard was turning around and heading back to Edinburgh and Peter was wanting to go the long way round to North Berwick so Sandy, Caroline and I continued on the road. I was finding that we were going at a nice pace and although I'm a bit stiff and sore from the race last weekend still it wasn't getting any worse so I was feeling much more relaxed than I had in the morning. It didn't seem long at all til we were in North Berwick. Its the 2nd fastest 20 miler I've done this year so I was pleased, particularly because I still felt quite fresh in the latter stages.
Then we all went to the Buttercup cafe where Jenni had booked us some tables and had Spaghetti Carbonara and apple-pie and ice-cream. Top day out and very nice to catch up with people and have a more social long run.