Sunday, 10 July 2011

We like medals we do!

A wee while back a friend I met via Running4Women asked me if I had entered the Cranleigh 10k. Of course I hadn't at the time, but it was only the work of a few mouse clicks to rectify that! Today I woke up to torrential rain and wondered if I had lost my mind to be even considering driving all the way to Cranleigh just to run a race! Needless to say, drive to Cranleigh I did - I didn't feel I could drop out as I knew that Carol would be there expecting me to turn up. I stopped for petrol about 8 miles into my journey, and at this point I should have realised my day was not going to go entirely to plan when I could not remember my PIN. I changed all my numbers to be the same, but the girl on the checkout talked to me when I was 2 numbers into the sequence and my mind went blank. I walked away, had a think and tried again - nothing.... walked away, tried to think of anything but the blasted number and approached the machine with apparent confidence... and got the number wrong! I didn't have much cash on me, and didn't want to leave myself cash and cardless for the rest of the day, so had to fill in a form and promise to go back within 7 days!

Looking on the bright side, the weather improved as I got closer to Cranleigh. I found the venue, went to the loo, found Carol, had a chat, went to the loo and then we made our way to the start line. The start was organised into anticipated time zones, so at this point I said goodbye to Carol as we made our way to the relevant sections. I sorted out my Garmin, all ready for the off.

As I passed the start line I hit the button on my Garmin, and obviously messed it up, as I froze the damned thing! I spent the first 5 minutes running, in sunglasses, under shady trees, trying to remember how to reset it and then muster the degree of co-ordination necessary to carry that out while running along a narrow, and fairly crowded, track.

The field of runners thinned out pretty quickly, and for much of the race I felt as though I was running on my own. I have never taken my MP3 player to a race, as I like to engage in a bit of banter with other runners, but there was not much opportunity for that at this race, and at times I really would have welcomed some music. Support was thin on the ground too - although the marshalls were friendly and encouraging and two dogs barked like mad as we ran past their gate! The route was mainly flat, with the notable exception of a clamber up a railway siding and a reasonably steep, but mercifully short, hill which was over a fairly rough track. I am not a fan of off road running, I know that trails are better for you in that you get a more varied run, and the ground isn't quite as hard and unforgiving on your joints, but I don't like mud! As I'd left home in a downpour I hadn't remembered to take an antihistamine. This was a mistake! Even more of a mistake than normal as the farms we were running over were home to horses. Thankfully I had my water bottle with me so could pour it over my face to try to stop my eyes streaming.

I have no idea what my finish time was, I think I was the 13 woman to finish and about 81st overall - but have no idea how many runners there were in total! And I think I finished in under 52 minutes, but those details will have to wait until the official results are available! After the race the race organisers were dispensing orange squash as well as water - I haven't had orange squash for years and years and it was quite delicious!

Back home to children and housework! Scouting around under my desk I discovered that someone had, at some point, unplugged the chest freezer. After checking that the tip was open on a Sunday, I gingerly opened the freezer... and closed it again very quickly! We don't use the freezer very much at all, as our fridge-freezer has a large freezer, and it takes up a lot of space, so the decision to bin the whole thing was an easy one. I now have a space that is crying out for a smallish bookshelf so that I can fill it with yet more books!

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