When the young un’ asked last week what I was doing on Saturday I wasn’t sure whether to say ‘something’ or ‘nothing’...that sort of question can be loaded, and a potential trip hazard unless you’ve years of experience under your belt (like what I have)! The only answer to a question like that is ‘why’?. ,,As it turned out, she had entered the Norman Woodcock Memorial Race but couldn’t run it.It’s a five mile, three lapper around the race course in Gosforth on the edge of Newcastle. I called the Organiser and changed the details. It’s not one I would do from choice at the moment, given my indifferent form, but I really need to make the effort. However, I had a hard 4 miles in the woods on Friday afternoon and Friday night got the better of me, finding myself in the local hostelry for a couple of hours.
As a result, I muddled around the house this morning feigning DIY and around lunchtime decided to try out the new breadmaker that’s been sat around for a few months. The basic recipe for a small white loaf takes about 3 hours, so after I stuck in the various component parts, it was grab the shoes and off to the races.There was around two hundred runners and riders and it was a cold, clear and still day. There were plenty from our club present, it being a championship race and at the start I fell into line as we swung our way anti-clockwise around the inside of the course. It’s quite flat with a small drag to the finish and I caught up with Peter Grey of Alnwick, early on. Without a watch I had no idea how things were going, other than I was experiencing some discomfort in the ‘body and lung department’ as I clung to the little group as we made our way around the second lap.
My focus began to waver at the beginning of the last lap when I thought about jacking. Thought it, but didn’t. Mentally softening like the bread-dough, my pace dropped a little and Grey began to put some space between him and me. But there’s nothing like a bit of club support and one of the lads who’d come to watch shouted ‘come on Ally, stop surveying the countryside and get after him’. I didn’t think staring at someone’s soles and the tarmac three metres ahead constituted taking in the view and I grafted onwards.It was a case of damage limitation in the last stretch as Brannon of North Shields and then a rangy Claremont and a Newcastle Uni runner came past. I got to the finish 3 seconds inside the 30 minutes I dared to hope for. I was done-in though. I warmed down with the lads and waited for the presentation. I had finished well down in the field. However, I can’t be disgruntled at all and came away pleased enough that the recent patchy training hasn’t been too detrimental. Maybe time for some new trainers though. The ones I’ve got now feel like flip-flops. The bread was great when I got back. Just needed a bit of chocolate spread on it.