15 03 2009

Firstly my wife Helen made me very proud today. She completed her first race over the distance of five kilometres in a very respectable time of 30:40. I’ll hopefully paste a couple of pictures of her later on this week to this entry. How she has developed from a cuddly unfit lady to a very fit slim woman is quite astonishing. I never thought it would happen…but it has and looks set to stay. Helen was the woman that inspired me to pick up my trainers again. I still remembered the loneliness of the runs and the sheer boredom and tedium of it all. She convinced me to come out of my shell.

I keep looking at this map in disbelief:

I had the idea of Helen leaving me to find my way home from the finish of her race. Fortunately, there is a prom along most of the top of the Wirral and round the corner to West Kirby and then the Wirral Way takes over which would get me home (and beyond one day).

The weather has suddenly warmed up to around 15 degrees today and so shorts were worn for the first time in the season. Felt a little chilly to start with and a coolish breeze was a little worrying. Had I underdressed ? But shortly I had warmed up and felt very comfortable.

The thought of running home over such a long distance was quite daunting and when the car pulled off I was filled with doubts. How running has changed, though. I couldn’t possibly have attempted this run in my teens without a backup cyclist. Today you can be pretty self-sufficient with mobile phone, water carrier, mp3 music device and it feels safer as runners are not generally given a second glance. I don’t remember anyone having a mobile phone in the early 80’s and the ones that existed were just huge.

The promenade was busy all the way through to West Kirby which has a large marine boating lake. I ground out the miles and felt reasonably comfortable but focussed on remaining hydrated and keeping some sort of form. Offshore, I could see Hilbre Island which is only 2 or 3 miles out to sea and you can walk to it at low tide (avoiding the quicksand !).

On reaching a popular spot known as Red Rocks an additional bonus was to run on a board walk through a sanctuary for reed birds. Wirral really is full of exceptional bird spotting opportunities for such a small area.

Finally, I reached the Wirral Way and the drudgery. I was sorry to leave the prom. The run now draaaaaaged to Thurstaston the 10 mile point and relative familiarity. I always seem to hit a mini wall at around 10 miles.

I called my wife to let her know of progress and then had my first experience of runners energy gel. Orange flavour. Yuk ! Urrgh ! Help me !! The sweetness and texture were enough to make me almost retch ( I had this given to me as a free sample at my half marathon). I drank as much as I could to wash it down and set off again.

The last 5-6 miles were tough but not unbearable. You just gradually feel the strength ebbing away and being replaced by a slow stiffening of muscles.

I regretfully (not really) uttered my first profanity at a dog today. Stupid poodle thing was about to go for me I’m sure. Amazing how brave you can be when faced with a viscous poodle ! I think its the first time I’ve had to take action when faced with a dog. Selfish, stupid owners ! With twelve miles in my legs I was not ready to take any nonsense.

I was so pleased to arrive home and so so proud. But no medal or fanfare !! How disappointing.

I’ll let you into a secret too. I’ve reached the tunnel and am now almost under the English Channel on my virtual run !! Hurrah ! I have run England.

…now for France.

Lots more news to follow and my next big race is only in two weeks time ..the Liverpool half marathon.




2 responses

15 03 2009

We are tremendously proud of “Go Daddy go” but unfortunately I have to point out that although he’s fab at running long distances he’s not as good on mapping his route and has now ended up taking a premature bathe in the channel rather than following the chunnel route. All will be amended, but I think he’s just at the mouth of the chunnel after all that effort… Still at least he’ll keep his feet dry. And swimming was never a strength: oh for the day we do a triathlon together: eat my dust! 🙂

26 03 2009
Renate - Oma

There is no holding you now! Better warn Schuschi & Co. of your imminent arrival so that they can put the Champagne on ice! Renate-Oma.

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