Happy Monday! I hope that everyone had an awesome weekend and enjoyed the sunshine. I booked Monday off work so I’m enjoying another extra long weekend.
Most of you will know my Friday afternoon routine now. I left the office at 15:00 and arrived back home in Four Oaks three hours later. I spent what was left of the evening getting all my washing done, catching up on a couple of my favourite TV programmes and eating unhealthy food.
I woke up well before my alarm on Saturday which was a little bit frustrating as I wanted a lie in. I hadn’t originally planned to head to parkrun but when my friend offered to drive me I felt that I couldn’t say no.
Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy parkrun very much and kind of wish that I’d stayed in bed. I set out at a slightly ambitious pace, struggled in the humid conditions and seriously considered dropping out after the second lap.
[Photo: Ron Reynolds]
I gave myself a serious talking to, completed the final lap and finished in 28:14, a time I would have been over the moon with a year ago.
The short walk back to the car park felt like a marathon and I don’t think I’ve ever ended a 5k run with such a red face. The camera really doesn’t lie; sometimes I wish that it did!
I also don’t think I’ve been so relieved to sit down for a couple of minutes after a run. I felt so nauseous, there was no way I was risking getting straight back into a boiling hot car.
I’ve no idea why but I felt quite peaky for a few hours after parkrun and had zero appetite, definitely most unlike me and not ideal the day before a challenging 8.5 mile run.
Fortunately, a quick afternoon nap seemed to do the trick and I woke up feeling reasonably ‘normal’ again. As parkrun had left me feeling slightly dehydrated and I had a headache, I made myself drink a couple of glasses of orange flavoured Nuun.
The rest of my Saturday was quiet and relaxing, just what I needed. I made sure that I drank loads of water, avoided the local Chinese takeaway and the local weather forecasts. I went to bed at the not so rock and roll time of 22:00.
A combination of bright sunlight, heat and noisy birds woke me far too bright and early on Sunday morning. Not ideal when I desperately wanted a lie in. The fun run didn’t start until the incredibly late time of 11:00 so I had almost too much time to faff around before I set off on the short walk to the local train station.
My running buddy Ellen spotted me walking to the train station and kindly gave me a lift. We met up with Ellen’s friend Ruth and arrived in the centre of Sutton Coldfield with plenty of time for a couple of pre-race toilet visits. We entered the start area at 10:30 and spent the next 45 minutes or so getting hotter and hotter. I don’t think I’ve ever been so relieved to watch the sun disappear behind some clouds.
The run started and it was so crowded it took me almost a mile to get into my stride. I don’t enjoy running in hot weather and felt incredibly nauseous so decided to slow down. Somewhere between the first and second mile I noticed that my Garmin had switched itself off, not ideal but I managed to get it working again. To make matters worse my dodgy right calf started to hurt, a lot. We entered Sutton Park, I stopped at a drinks station to grab myself some water and never really got going again.
I told Ellen and Ruth to run on without me and walked for a couple of minutes to assess my calf. Walking didn’t help and I decided to switch my focus from getting a decent time to having a good time.
I power walked up the numerous uphill sections and ran very slowly down the downhill sections. I soaked up the atmosphere as I ran through the centre of Sutton Park near Town Gate and stopped for a quick chat with a teacher I hadn’t seen for several years.
I reached the bottom of Cardiac Hill and spotted Matt in the distance dressed as an Oompa Loompa. I caught up with Matt and we successfully negotiated Cardiac Hill together. We reached the top, grabbed some much needed water and headed back towards the centre of Sutton Coldfield and the finish.
Miles three to six of the run were shockingly slow and I was embarrassed when I looked at the stats on Strava. The final couple of miles were slightly more respectable – probably because they were more runner friendly i.e. down hill – and I had plenty left in the tank to sprint to the finish line.
I crossed the line, collected a medal from an old school friend, grabbed some water and then spent 15 minutes trying to track down Ellen and Ruth. We were eventually reunited at the train station.
I spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing in the sunshine, drinking beer and enjoying my first BBQ for years. The perfect way to take my mind off a somewhat disappointing Great Midlands Fun Run. Next year, I’ll make sure I’m on the other side of the barriers enjoying a pint of beer and supporting the runners.
My next race is the Aldridge 10k on Sunday. I’ve literally got everything crossed that the weather is a little kinder; I’ve had enough of running in the heat.
Do you enjoy running in the sun? If it’s boiling hot on Sunday I suspect the Aldridge 10k will be a DNS as it doesn’t start until 11:00.
Do you have any sun cream recommendations? The P20 I wore smelt terrible and wasn’t very effective.