It was very wet over night and very wet in the morning. We had half planned to go and spectate and cheer and take photos at the Edinburgh 10K, but a glance out the windows at the tipping rain and we cancelled that as a plan. Besides, we could see it on telly, I had it set up to tape (or whatever the modern equivalent of taping is). Or so I thought. Unbeknownst to me channel 5 had changed the schedule so as we settled down to watch (it was too wet to go out yet but promised to dry up in the afternoon) we found we had a half hour program on Chester Zoo, followed by the 10K. We watched it anyway, though with an awareness we might not be able to see the outcome of the men's race.
The commentators were particularly irritating about the women's race and didn't seem to grasp that the reason they were "slow" for the 1st K might have had something to do with the bloody great hill they were running up. The ladies race (front runners only) was pretty exciting to watch and little Charlotte Purdue put on an impressive fight to take 2nd. The men's race was also pretty exciting and closely run but with just one K to go we ran out of recording! Shame.
The rain had now eased off and so after some snacks we settled on a plan to go to Bonaly, run over to the road that goes up to The Howe - carry on on the paths to Red Moss, then along to the path which takes you up between Bell's Hill and Harbour Hill, go up and over Harbour Hill and then back down to Bonaly. I've been tapering a little too much, only managing 19 paltry miles in the whole week, so I was feeling a bit determined to go out and try to run hard. Running by pace in the hills and off-road is too arbitrary so I was pushing (after the first mile or 2 warm up) to keep my heart-rate in the mid to high 150s. I think I was a bit short of fuel and it was a real struggle to keep pushing. I had to ban Buchanan from chatting to me and pointing things out. It took 2 or 3 terse reminders until he got it. He just bounds along and it looks effortless. I felt all effort and no grace today. I had to stay bloody-minded to stay with it but was quite enjoying it - just not in the traditional sense - not so's you'd notice a smile.
There was water, water everywhere, loads of water on the ground, Guinness tumbling down off the hills. The rivers were all bursting. My feet were wet from early on and continued wet. I stopped even trying to avoid puddles. I did get very thirsty and did imagine having a drink of the peaty water running in sheets off the hill but never truly considered it.
We found Mr. Frog on a path in the middle of a big footprint. He was very inactive and I hope he hadn't been squashed. But he might have been. Or he might have been having a bit of a winter slow down. We picked him up and spoke to him. He was definitely still breathing and his little eyes looked very clear and alert but he never made any move to crawl away or hop. We put him down at the side of the path. He made me wonder what frogs do in the winter so I've had a bit of a google. Apparently they can go and sit at the bottom of a pond...they kind of hibernate....
So just a week to the marathon. I wish I could say I was excited but my training has been a bit odd - and rather than feeling fresh I am feeling stiff and achy - although I spent most of yesterday building IKEA furniture so that's probably part of it. I've got a visit to the dentist tomorrow so I'll have to try and make sure she doesn't do any wizardry.