Reverse duathlon training today because I cycle into work and then intend to cycle straight from work to the Erewash 4 mile race before cycling the rest of the way home. Whether this will make my running better or worse than usual remains to be seen.
Mini Doggo appears to be in bad books. He's picked up his (full) water bowl and tried to throw it around the kitchen. This seems to be his party trick but until now, he's only been doing it with the bowl in the garden. I filled it up three times last night and each time he took delight in emptying it and running around the garden with the bowl. Just hope he doesn't start throwing the ceramic food bowl around, now that could get messy.
The weather did seem to temporarily cool off nicely but by the time I cycle to Breaston where the race starts from, it's started heating up again. I get there over an hour before the start but it's pleasant in the sun watching them set up. I’m feeling as knackered as a Mini Doggo, so I might have to jog along at the back, as usual.
L and the dogs turn up, Mini Doggo fresh from his second jab at the vets. So there's potentially three of them standing on the sidelines, yapping and supporting me. Except that my most fervent supporter, Doggo, gets dumped in the boot of the car. Mini Doggo got to watch but seemed a bit nonplussed by it all.
We start assembling in the middle of the road and then suddenly without any forewarning we're off. I can only assume that they didn't want to obstruct the traffic but it leaves me struggling to reset and start my watch. When I look up around ten seconds later I discover I am far too far up the field. The pace is quite slow and although one guy has disappeared into the distance, all the others are vying for second and I'm currently mingling among them. I drop back, knowing that if I don't, I'll regret it.
Half the course is along part of the Erewash Triathlon bike route, mainly the stone-chipped bit. Thankfully, they are now bedded in and it's not a bad surface to run on. At first, I don't see any markers, mainly because I don’t know what I'm looking for. Then I see a little post with 1.5 miles on it. Excellent, marked every half a mile, what a good idea. Shame I missed the first two.
Most of the first part of the course is undulating and mainly uphill. As is usual I take places uphill and lose them again on the downs but I think I gain more than I lose. At the three-mile point, I feel good and decide it’s time to lose the two chaps who've been shadowing me. The final stretch is along a footpath, which is strewn with horseshit, so you have to do a bit of a zigzag along it. Its funny how there's signs everywhere saying please pick up after your dog and special bins strategically placed for this very purpose but where are the signs saying please shovel up after your horse?
So, despite hopping between the piles, I have a good pace on and I'm therefore starting to die. I plan to review my pace at the 3.5 mile marker but this marker either doesn't exist or I miss it. Finally, I see the Navigation pub and therefore the finish. I even ease off a touch because I have shaken off my two shadows. I finish in under 26 minutes which is slightly better than the Rushcliffe four mile race and I suppose on a harder course but still some way off my 2007 best. I nearly get a prize for top three V40 but naturally, they give it someone else, just because they beat me. All good training for next week's Jagermeister 10k.
I cycle home. L does a fantastic pasta and chill chicken. Out of a jar she tells me but even so beautifully prepared.
L proposes an early night because she's at her early tennis session in the morning and needs to get up really early to take Doggo out, because she says that post-run I won’t be up to it. I assume she means not up to taking the dog out. I consider offering to do the deed anyway because I'm sure I could manage it but I don't wish to jeopardise the early night.