Thursday, 3 July 2008

The Final Instalment

Finally, a day not in the car but it has to be the bus because I'm resting up before tonight's final instalment of the Grand Prix series. Reluctantly I've had to scrap pub day this week, because of the run. Wouldn't want to vomit up cottage pie. In one way, it's good news, as it was my turn to drive, that would have been four days in the car.

Just to prove that it's not just the football authorities that have no grasp on reality, cricket is having one its moments of madness.

Firstly, the ICC are still not banning Zimbabwe from coming over for the World Twenty20 next year, so England may lose the right to host the tournament if they try to prevent Zimbabwe from entering the country. This situation should have been sorted out years ago, before the farce that was the 2003 World Cup, when they let Zimbabwe not only take part but also host matches. Here we are five years later and still no further.

Secondly, they now propose to reward Pakistan for refusing to finish the 2006 Oval Test against England by changing the result of the game to a draw. Under the laws of any sport, if you refuse to play, you lose the game. So from now on, if you're losing, just refuse to play on and you'll get a draw. Madness.

L's at the physio ahead of tonight's race. Luckily she doesn't get banned from running, not that she would have taken any notice. However, she says she has to have a massage with an ice cube afterwards. So, I shall pop and get some Ben and Jerry’s for later.

I get home and help L with her stretches, which involves holding her legs in a strange position. It looks really painful but its great fun, for me.

I'm not exactly fighting fit myself, I've been feeling a bit washed out all week. I even went back on the porridge this morning to bulk up my energy levels; perhaps a cottage pie might have done me good after all. I think it's my dodgy knee that's making me feel a bit off colour. L wonders whether I'll be up to tonight, of course I will be, but lets get the run out the way first.

So to Colwick Park. The first problem is they've moved the start. So having parked up by the old start and given Doggo a good viewing point, we then have to leg it to the new start. The new start isn't really an improvement, they cram us on to a narrow path and everyone is packed in like sardines. I end up standing in a bush, trying to avoid the nettles. When we start, I have to dodge between some tree branches and a gatepost. Not ideal at all.

The course again involves a lot of grit path with mini boulders but also road sections, although with a few speed bumps thrown in.

I force myself to take it easy and this time I tell myself I mean it. I do the first mile in 6.30 but then lapse into a solid 6.45 pace. It suits my current semi-injured state better and I actually enjoy this race. I haven't much enjoyed the first three. Towards the end, I manage to home in on a few targets and pass them. It makes a nice change to being passed, as I have been in the previous events. My time is a minute down on last year but I'm happy with that.

Overall, for all four races my aggregate is nine seconds slower than last year but I still come 36th, so not bad.

We head off to pick up our commemorative t-shirts and then we 'um and are' about whether to go for a beer or not. I'm all for going for several dozen beers and just having a slice of toast for tea but we have needy teenagers at home. Well, one that would get herself something to eat and one that will wait for something to be presented to him.

In the end we go for a couple of pints and then go home where I whiz up a quick curry and finish off with a Leffe.

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