I AM SHATTERED!!! This week I wrote my blog late after having spent the evenings of the week doing a presentation for work and thus not going to do any exercise. I arrived at mam and dads on Thursday afternoon to drive up to Liverpool to stay with my lovely Aunty who is now living alone after losing my Uncle Rob to a stroke only recently. My planned runs coincided with her birthday and so it was a great opportunity to see her again and hopefully keeping her company helped a little in keeping her mind off the sadness of the situation.
We arrived in early evening after the usual journey – mam and the trees (now in green bloom although “late this year”) and the origins of the saying “ne’er cast a clout till May is out” pretty much lasted us until our regular stop at Keele services. We completed the rest of the journey discussing the arrangements for Sunday’s Mersey run (what time, where, when, how, who with, why, why, why etc) and we made good time.
We had a lovely evening with Aunty Vi and this time we all managed to share a room without anyone falling over, dropping water, or doing housework in the middle of the night.
We had a lazy start to the day and then drove to Chester. We got the park and ride into the City and then got a little sidetracked with the amazing public toilets (mam forgot to lock hers but luckily no one came in to join her), the lush poundstretcher (mam loved the click lidded storage boxes – great value at 2 for a pound – “I might have four”), and the generally lovely architecture of the City. We had help from two lovely people fishing at the canal side who suggested a run around the walls of the City. Since I hadn’t done this in Derry and had regretted it, I decided to make the most of a second chance.
The run itself was a bit of a disaster. I have been pondering for weeks, the reason for my toes going numb and usually manage to run through the loss of sensation and then they go back to normal after the run. In addition, I am still having bother from the other leg where the Wales on Sunday guy asked me to jump over a log for an “action shot” (not only does this not look like a cool action shot, my ankle turned over and I felt something “go” on the inside of my leg which has pretty much plagued me since). Anyway, the walled run started off ok except it was boiling, I hadn’t eaten as I had felt generally off colour and my foot became really, really sore at about 2k.
I managed a circuit of Chester racecourse (not on a horse obviously – oh and not Cheltenham racecourse as I had told mam – which made her think I had taken to speed running to get there and back in an hour) and then for some reason, despite being told to keep the wall to my right and I cant go wrong, I turned a corner and lost the wall.
I was a bit gutted about this in hindsight as I wanted to run around the entire City. Anyway, not only did that go wrong but also my foot became too painful to run. I hobbled, limped and hopped my way round for around 75 minutes and in usual style got cross and depressed. We had lush food at an outside pub, went to look round the Cathedral (amazing) and mam had the usual struggle taking a photo with the ifone culminating in a very oddly proportioned shot of me appearing to have 2 teeny tiny people in my hand. We both gave up!
We went back to Vi and had a lovely evening and the next day went out for a pub lunch to celebrate her birthday. We stayed most the day and then went off to find our hotel for the Liverpool run on Sunday. Mam spent HOURS organising this hotel, was on first name terms with the race organiser, knew the entire make up of the hotel (“of course we have en suite bathrooms madam”) and knew the whole of the Liverpool rail network by the time she had finished. Fair play – it went like clock work!
The race started in one part of Liverpool and ran under the tunnel and finished somewhere else entirely. We did a walk from our hotel to find the end of the race (about 15mins eventually but we went the long way round and turned it into an epic trek – very, very bad news for my foot as it was painful on walking for the first time ever – cue more sulking!)
Dad pointed out landmarks of note with his lethal walking stick – fortunately managing not to injure me, mam or poor unfortunate passers by (however mam and I have developed a kind of nervous tick now, so when he goes to point stuff out, we both duck!) We made it safely back to the hotel and settled for the night.
I had an awesome room! It had a 4 poster bed and a bath and was the size of my house – not sure what mam was doing booking it but it was amazing and fab and I had a lush bath and sleep. Actually I didn’t sleep that well but that was more because I was tired and still feeling generally off colour (in addition to being depressed about my foot).
We got up early, got the train to Liverpool to the start and met lovely people as usual. A lovely girl was running her first 10k and we were chatting (about my challenge as usual!) and she took my just giving site to donate to Luca. How fab was that?
Mam and Dad left me at the race start, hot footed it back to the railway station and then walked to the end of the race to meet me again! I set off at a reasonable pace, very, very wary of the foot pain. The run down into the tunnel was pretty fab but it got really quite hot in there at one point and I started to panic about breathing fresh air! Had to calm my self down – doh!
My runkeeper lost signal and so by the time I had come out the tunnel (cue long “gentle gradient” back up out the tunnel) it told me I had done 2k less than I actually had which took me a while to realise. It then spontaneously reset itself to 1k more than I had actually done so that depressed me even more as it kept telling me I was closer to the finish than I actually was.
My foot just about made it to the end. I ran an ok time ( 63 mins ish) and really think that I would have done much better if pain hadn’t played such a huge part. Anyway, I managed it which was a pretty big achievement as I had felt pretty unwell at the start and mam said I looked awful!
We all made it back to the hotel where I hadn’t got to check out time yet so I was able to have a lush bath (again!) We then went to morrisons, got food for lunch and drove gently back.
As soon as we re entered Wales, mam and I had the usual conversation about the pronounciation of Croeso I Gymru and Sir Fynwy. Honestly – I nearly cried laughing – if you have ever watched the Friends episode where Phoebe tries to teach Joey French then you will appreciate how funny it is to try and get my mam to say Croeso.
We gave up!
We stopped to buy petrol and mam bought a road atlas because it was on offer. Even though we are well on the way with the challenge, there have been many journeys when a map would have helped despite the sat nav. As mam sagely pointed out, the good thing about a map is that it helps you to know…….where you are. Fortunately we had just about come to the end of the journey!
Thanks for your company and entertainment mam and dad – couldn’t have done this one without you!
Am seeing a Doc about my foot and and having a rest week so signing off until a week on Weds when am running in Ireland again – hopefully just about in one piece!