L's very indulgent with me pre-event; I'm not usually allowed that. I can feel a good race coming on.
We head to the village where I grew up for their local 10k. A race, that if I'd been organising it, I would have called the ‘Aston Annihilator’ but for some reason they haven't. To add to the nostalgia not only are my parents there but my best friend from school is there to compete in the fun run with his kids.
Doggo is really really looking forward to the race and does extra laps around the field as he warms up with me, then looks crestfallen when I dump him back in the boot of the car. It's tough being a dog. I head off to offload some weight. 'Sorry mate it's two sheets each' is the instruction passed on to me as cubicle number one changes hands. There's obviously been a rush on. I'm naughty and risk three, it's only five minutes to the start, and I can't believe there's many to come after me.
There's lots of nice lycra about, which is an incentive to dawdle along in the middle of the pack. The big drawback of suddenly discovering how to run fast is that I'm unlikely to get chance to see any of it if I'm upfront.
Once we start, I find the pace incredibly slow and find myself frighteningly well up, 4th in fact. I have my new Asics super-fast shoes on, perhaps that the reason. Did you know that Asics stands for 'Anima Sana In Corpore Sano', which translates as 'a sound mind in a sound body'. Oh dear. How misleading.
I stay 4th for ages despite the fact that I'm finding the mixture of narrow canal towpaths, root riddled paths through woodland and tracks covered in large stones, not easy to run on. Then I realise that I'm acting as pacemaker for about eight others, just as five of them hurtle past me at the 7km point.
I briefly start going after them. As I chase after some young whippersnapper the words of the Courteeners recent single go through my head 'you're not nineteen forever, pull yourselves together', oh go on, please... but I bow to the inevitable and accept 9th place, which is actually rather good.
I get earache from the commentator as I cross the line, as does L on my behalf, because he wants to sign me up for his running club. He must have been mistaken; it couldn't have been me upfront.
We don't get a t-shirt which, as L reckons in previous years they've been rather naff, is perhaps no bad thing. Instead we get a rather dinky paperweight, which doesn't sounds particularly exciting but it's actually rather nice.
Afterwards at home, we bookend the run, by chilling out in the same way as we started the day before L conjures up an excellent Sunday lunch. Then we head into town because Daughter is off to see Hadouken. We're not joining her but we have a drink with her in Cast before heading up to the Poacher. It's well worth the trip. I, for the first time ever, see Fullers ESB 5.5% on a bar in Nottingham. It's wonderful. All four of them. As is the remains of the lemon curd sponge that I sober up with afterwards.