Saturday, 20 February 2016

Royal Signals Relays 2016

I woke up this morning with a thick throat. Not a good sign. I had a lemsip. I then put the tele on in bed while I had my grapefruit and toast. Well, the tele wasn't in the bed, you understand, but I was.
I got caught up in a 'House of Cards' re-run from the 1980's. Francis Urquart. Compelling. You might say that; I couldn't possibly comment. They then put another episode on, and then another, all back to back. I had some porridge. Before I knew it, though, it was time to get out the door for the Royal Signals North East Road Relay Championships.

I got to Hetton Lyons in good time. I eventually found the gang and was advised I was running 3rd of the 4 legs in the men's over 50 geriatric race. I usually run the 4th leg. By that time, I reckon the hard work has generally been done.  The over 50's men and over 60's men's race are combined with the women's race so the crowd is healthy and pretty vocal. The Signals is a whose-who of the North East and Teesside running club scene.

I decided to keep my 'hell of a nice' OMM tights on, and coupled the look with neck tube/neck warmer (or whatever they're called now) and, of course, odd gloves. Zoolander. The hat was still on. The supporters at the edge of the 1.1 mile park circuit in Durham decided that I was simply attention seeking.  Blue Steel. When someones dad asked if I was fit, I actually said yes. Its the truth. Apart that is for the scratchy throat.

Rob H got our first leg off and looked to be working hard over the 2.2 miles (twice around the park) landing around 5th. However, our second-legger, PaulB, had that 'far away look' and clearly his thoughts were elsewhere as Rob landed. He only 'came to' several seconds after Rob, breathless on one side, and me on the other, stood shouting at him to go, he eventually getting the 100 decibel stereo-phonically delivered prompt.

PaulB worked his way round the two laps and I was next I took off not knowing quite where I was in our race, but with the objective to get around the course as fast as I could without going into the red. Its true as you come around the top of the course at the end of the first lap, you up your game and re-engage the running technique for the punters as they shout encouragement. Trying to look polished and in control isn't easy when your gasping like some old wraith with tunnel vision from oxygen deprivation. Thankfully, I never go off quick enough which meant that I had a bit in hand, and by the second lap, was not too far off Tyne Bridge's 4th placed runner. He was at Carnethy last week, and while I put time into the team, I couldn't quite catch him at the end as I handed over to PaulW. He claimed to be suffering another cold, but he still put in a solid shift (to land us in bronze position as it turned out).

I did another few laps to get my mileage up was chuffed to hear we'd managed 3rd, having assumed we'd been stuck with 4th.

Next on the running schedule is the exotic and flat as a witches trafford 10k in March. If I am going to thrash myself in a 10k this year, I want to know I have a chance with a flat course. If I can deliver a sub 39 minuter I'll be pleased.

In the meantime, I need to buckle down and keep the progress going.  Missus Mac is off Choc for lent, but I've had a big night out (more than a babycham and 2 pints of pale ale) so I've come in and savaged the box of maltesers hiding under the cooker. No self discipline; Thats me. Pathetic. I only did that cause there was no lemsips, you understand!

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