Post Birmingham – week 47, run 49!!!

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Well – having run in Lancaster on Wednesday, I did a load of admin type stuff on Thursday, went to work all day Friday and then yesterday I drove to Birmingham.

I found the place to register and picked up my stuff. I was allowed to run the 10k only part of an Olympic distance triathlon and Keith Hancock, the organiser had let me do this for free to raise money for Luca. I was a bit concerned that my welcome pack contained a swimming hat but decided to ignore that bit. I wasn’t sure my taped knees and no swim suit would be up to adding a 1500 metre swim to my run so thought the organisers might be being a little optimistic.

I drove to my friend Kim’s house and we went out for a lovely stroll and supper and then a relatively early night. I woke the poor soul up to say goodbye as I was leaving at 6.30 this morning as I needed to be at my start and ready to go at 8am. Or so I thought……

It turned out the email had been incorrect and that 8am was the start of the swim. The run course wasn’t marshalled at 8am as the mens race that I was joining at the run part of the swim-bike-run had been going an hour and the leader was not expected to start the run until around 8.20 so they were planning on me going at 9 am originally but bought it back to 8.30 as I had rocked up so early.

The guy leading had already done a 1500 metre swim and a 40k bike by the time I joined his competition and he shot off into the distance as Vic, the very lovely PA guy started me on my own to a full announcement of my challenge and of Luca’s cause. He then said he hoped I wouldn’t overtake the first man as that would be embarrassing. I just thought – oh dear, you might have a very unrealistic idea of what my running is like!

The course was 4 laps of basically grass and lumps as far as I could work out. Apart from a lovely stretch of path, I had to permanently look at my feet as I could not keep my balance on the field surface I was running on. My ankles kept turning and I genuinely had to work hard to even move. Additionally there were a couple of uphill sections of the aforementioned turf stuff that totally killed me.

I think the combination of travelling to London, Lancaster and Birmingham and working 4 full days of the week, added to the very late 3am finish post Lancaster and the very early (for me) start to Birmingham alongside having not been able to eat this morning pre race, combined to make it a very painful and long run! I am really finding out how bad my diet and rest prep is at the moment as I lurch from one tired week to the next, counting the days till my week off in August.

Anyway, gradually more and more of the men overtook me but the poor souls looked thoroughly depressed and some even congratulated me. I then realised that they didn’t know I was only doing the 10k part and they must have thought I was some kind of super swimmer and biker to have started in the wave after theirs but still been with them on the run. Even the stewards kept congratulating me on being the first lady round the circuit. I therefore in addition to trying to balance (or by the end just keep going) had to keep shouting “I’m only doing the 10k part” as I felt so guilty!!!

I got a great welcome home and cheer for Luca from Vic when I finally made it and a lovely lady at the end made me take a medal even though I explained numerous times to her that I had not done the triathlon! She just kept saying that she was so pleased that I was the first lady she had seen finish the course. I gave up and took the medal which I will obviously have to hide!

I went to find Keith to say goodbye and thank you for letting me take part (I have NO idea how people do a triathlon at all!) and I drove home. I was hugely looking forward to a massage but unfortunately my masseur had to cancel and I think that finished me off!

I am absolutely shattered and have spent the afternoon on the sofa and am now going to bed. Think I may have to alter my diet and recovery strategy to make it through the final 5 months…………..

Oh yes – there were numerous cows (proper ones) at the triathlon – they looked very confused at the goings on and I found their staring quite disconcerting.

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