There was no stinging

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.  It didn’t happen.  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.  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.  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.  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.  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?).  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.  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.  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!  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.  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).  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.  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.

Maidenhead parkrun

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