It was a day of mixed blessings. I recently got contacted by an online running shoe seller asking if I wanted to do a shoe review in return for a free pair of running shoes. I assuredly did. They sent them off to me and today I got a card through the door saying the postie tried to deliver them yesterday but I wasn't in. It was even true! I wasn't in. So I thought before going to the XC today we could leave a bit early and I'd pick up my new shoes from the depot.
Town was chocka today for some reason and it took longer than I'd planned for making the short trip to Telferton to the Royal Mail depot. When I got there - my shoes mysteriously weren't there. "But the card was for yesterday" I protested. "Erm, it happens" said the shifty looking bloke. He gave me a number to phone on Monday. "He'll be able to sort out your problem."
"Oh its my problem is it shifty?" I thought loudly - but I didn't have time to stand and argue - or enquire further - so I got back out to the van and drove off. We were now distinctly off our ideal time of departure and fearful of getting snarled up going across town I took the much longer way on the bypass. Peter wasn't too bothered as his race didn't start for an hour after mine so it was just me stressing - and trying not to speed as a ticket is the last thing I need.
We did get to Callendar Park pretty much on time in the end and found the Porty tent without much problem. A quick warm up and then we were off. At first I felt superb as I haven't run since Wednesday. I cracked out a decent first mile - even sneaking past Emily as she was skating around in the mud. I continued to feel excellent til running into the wind towards the end of the far side of the course I developed a sore tummy. "Boohoo" I hear you mock "A sore tummy". Well I did anyway. It was all quite grim for a while and a good few folk took advantage of my flattened spirits and went past me. About a 3rd of the way into the 2nd lap it all faded away and I found I could run a bit better again so I did my best to adopt the best form I had and clawed a few places back. Quite satisfying really.
Then it was time for a quick change and to get out on the course to take photos of the men. Once I'd stopped running it was baltic. I took far too many pictures and got trapped on the far side of the course as no sooner had the 2nd lappers gone through then the leaders came zooming round for their 3rd and final lap. It was at a very narrow part of the course and I couldn't have risked getting in anyone's way so I sat tight. Eventually I got out and made my way as fast as my now frozen legs would carry me to the end to get some finishing snaps. The light was lowering and the shadows were lengthening and it wasn't easy to get a clean shot. There was much competition.
As soon as I could I went back to the Porty tent to find an unhappy Buchanan. His plantar fasciitis foot had started hurting into the 2nd lap and he was now walking with a limp and looking mighty f*c&ed off.
We were intending to go and finish off the Borders XC series in Kelso tomorrow but it looks like Peter'll have to rest that foot and my legs are done in too, so maybe we'll give it a miss. Shame though. I liked the sound of Floors Castle grounds.