I wrote earlier in the week about heading to Staveley to beat the “Sting in the Tail” and have a better race there than I did last year. Â It didn’t happen. Â It didn’t beat me but in the end I decided that it was a long drive for a very short race and that actually it just wasn’t worth it. Â When I signed us up for the race we didn’t have that much in the calendar apart from the BUPA 10,000 and Coniston marathon, so it seemed like a good idea. Â Fast forward slightly and our race calendar for 2015 (I have 2 races booked for 2016 already) contains the following (booked or pencilled in for when entries open):
- 2 Mile races (one of which we will be ditching)
- 2 10km races
- 1 Half marathon
- 4 Marathons
- 6 timed, multi-lap races that we aim to do ultra marathons at
So all in all driving around 800 miles this weekend for a 10 mile race seemed a bit silly!
Instead we headed to Maidenhead parkrun to catch up with the lovely Louise, Vanessa and Norm. Â The purpose was not only to notch up another parkrun location (it was our 25th) but to have a chat with Louise about our latest step towards craziness. Â After Louise completed the Thames Path 100 (100 miles from Richmond to Oxford) last weekend, I (I did discuss it with the Boyf first) thought it would be a good idea to volunteer as crew/pacers for her upcoming South Downs Way 100 (she’s going for the 4 event Grand Slam don’t you know?). Â I figure what better way to get to know some of the race routes we plan on doing in the future whilst also helping a friend along the way. Â Louise already has another crew volunteer lined up in the awesome Jovial Gnome so it looks as though the Boyf and I will help Andy a bit with that and then join Louise in the second half of the race to help keep her on track and make sure she’s eating & drinking when she should and also goes as fast as she can without braking down before the finish line.
I admit to having second thoughts about the pacing side of things on Saturday when she eased alongside me on the second lap of Maidenhead parkrun. Â I can’t even blame my pace on the fact I did a 5km warm-up before the run given a week earlier she had run 100 Miles! Â As she cruised round nice and easily I was definitely a bit on the puffy-side and I wouldn’t want to offer to pace someone and then be responsible for slowing them down. Â She has assured me though that by mile 89 she will be MUCH slower than she was at parkrun, so I may be able to help out after all.
After parkrun we all caught up for a drink and breakfast (bacon filled Yorkshire puddings!) and had an enjoyable catch-up whilst I showed off my shiny new watch (Garmin Fenix 3….more on that another time). Â Now the Boyf and I just need to work out where it is best for us to pace in the race and double-check our thoughts with Louise. Â It will be a totally new experience for me as normally I am the slow, tired, grumpy one being encouraged by the Boyf but I suppose now I have started running with some work-mates in the evenings that I will get used to being the one who is doing the encouragement.