Peter - on his knees, but not done yet. He arrived with
5 minutes in hand to get his monkey suit on and run.
Yesterday was my first race as an F50. The occasion was a race in Binning Woods organised by Megan Wright to raise money for dementia research. I have been dodging and DNSing races for some time, and was tempted to do the same with this one, except it looked like a nice, low-key event, and Peter was planning to get this month's Tynecastle Bronze in by running with Clare Gordon who was celebrating her approaching 40th year by doing a 40 mile run with friends. Their plan was to run the last 5 miles running Megan's race. I knew that the poor, old fella would be a bit ragged after this and would appreciate a lift home. So I did some paperwork I had to do in the morning and set off for Binning woods about 12.30.
I don't think I ever used to notice how dark the winter is but now I do. Carrying a camera brings it home. Your eyes adjust to the low light but the camera does less so, unless you've got a big fancy one. I recently upgraded my camera and so I've got a longer lens than Peter; something that has led to a bit of tension in the home. I wasn't wielding it with much skill at the race yesterday anyway.
Thankfully Bob Marshall was out taking photographs of me looking much happier than I really felt. Well I wasn't exactly unhappy, but I got a bit bewildered in the woods. It was very, very busy at the start of the race as there was a mix of children, adults and dogs. It being a woods there were quite a number of trip hazards as well - you know - little tree stumps and rocks in the grass, muddy bits, malevolent twigs. I was watching my feet a fair bit and as I'd been working hard for ages, when my Garmin beeped, I assumed I'd covered 2 miles but not noticed the first one. As it beeped the third mile I had a look down to see how I was doing and realised I'd only run 2 miles! Jeezo. 5 miles started to seem like a long way. If I'd read the race instructions I probably would have realised that we were doing 2 laps of the same route, and there would have been no mysteries. But there were mysteries. My brain told me we were going a completely different way the 2nd time round and as I saw we were finally approaching 5 miles on the Garmin, I picked up the pace, confident I could hold it for just a few 100 metres. The only problem being there was still more than half a mile to go, so I sped up, slowed down again, and then I got one of those decisive signals that it was time to go to the toilet. I'm proud to say I'm over 50 but I can still hold it for a certain amount of time. I know. TMI. I can't help it. Or I don't really want to.
When I got over the line I made for the woods and communed with the bears and felt better.
There was a pretty good quality field out and I was proud to hear so many pals getting prizes; both the Hays, Nick Williamson and Willie Jar super-star to name a few.
It's been a busy week, and I haven't been able to run much but I've got in the way of running at least 30 miles a week. With racing yesterday I only had 18 miles on the clock for the week, so really needed 12 today.
My legs didn't wanna run particularly, and Peter really wasn't needing a run, having clocked up something like 42 and a half yesterday, so we were late setting off today. Not that late, but just after midday it already looked like dusk. We were both a bit tired and narky. I blame all the dark. I've definitely been noticing a sense of humour failure in the last week or two. If we don't watch it Peter and I can start a rash of arguments and unless one or other of us is gracious enough to stop it goes on and on. He said some rude things about the lovely fluoro pink top I was wearing, so I...I can't remember what I said...just something rude you know? Then we had an argument about who was fatter. (He is.) Then some other stuff. We were both tired. And it was dark. A dark grey sky stretching towards the horizon. At the horizon there was a little streak of brighter sky. I said maybe the west wind would blow that our way. "No!" opined Buchanan. "It's going to be grey all day." I looked at his thick wooden head and thought how I'd like to punch it.
Some cake and coffee at Falko's raised the mood a little and we set off.
It was never a wonderful day and we were both sore, but running raised our spirits and we stopped fighting.
Lovely crows enjoying the perma-twilight.
Poor ducky thing.
Beautiful baked beans trees.
As we were nearing the final stretch it became clear that I'd miscalculated so we had to put in some extra loops to squeeze out an extra mile. Not easy on sore legs. But we did it.
On the way home some entitled arse-hole in a BMW blew his horn at me because I hadn't joined the roundabout just when he thought I should. I was for stopping and going back to have a word with him, but Peter wouldn't let me out the Berlingo. He said he was too tired to fight.
Oh well, another time.