Wednesday, 27 August 2008

25,000 things

Well, that's how many it seems like I'd have to mention to fit everything in.

After a quiet spell the tiler finally finished the bathroom! It only needs lino and paint now. (And a light that feckin works. New light was fitted, light still does not work. I've checked all the cable in the loft, I've tried a new bulb. I've checked the fuse box. I. JUST. DON'T. GET.IT. Any and all ideas gratefully received.)

Managed to fit in a wee bit of kultcha and see the Vanity Fair exhib in Edinburgh. It was truly delightful if you ignore Princess Di. Some were hilarious - Jackie and Joan Collins obviously pissed and wearing too much animal print (any is too much) in the back of a limo; some were quite moving (Thatcher), and others were designed to make you vomit - the Cruise/Holmes family portrait.

Surprisingly for an exhibition it didn't provoke much discussion. I think images of the good and great (as they were before celeb culture made it anyone who wanted to be on tv for 5min) often leave us a little blank now and the power of photography lies in the images of unknown people whose expressions say far more than a celebrity status ever could. (But then I'm a huge fan of Diane Arbus.) Luckily we needed no additional impetus to conversation and all (CheeseB minus HH) had a great meal at the Grain Store. De-lish.

After than wee sojourn the next day was hectic. I was off to Oban and TheO should have been at her course - but she knackered her back and couldn't massage :-(. I managed to set off only 25 min late (practically a record) and the road to Oban was kind. I checked into my expensive B&B - with no ensuite - and was pleased to find it smelt clean and was quite warm and welcoming. Thank god as it was the only room I could find and Spartan & Blarney were also staying.

A short stroll saw me arrive at the restaurant we'd booked. The others all turned up in Norman (the camper van) and we ate until we could eat no more (which really takes some doing in our case). All tasty and some of us took our half marathon prep a little less seriously than others. (Chips! Cheesecake! G'n'T!)

All went well the next day. RF had a bad night mostly thanks to her pooch. (Don't they always have the best timing.) But we all made it onto the ferry and the eating continued... but the less said about CallMac and panic-carboloading the better. Needless to say, no matter how many rolls with stuff in them you order, to have something 'on the side' is still a crime in Scotland. That single egg deserved a roll of its very own.

Ah well. The entire Coll clan were there to greet us on arrival. I was delighted that Godlet knew I was Auntie-A instantly. Eldest was on good form and loved the vast array of adults, all of whom he'd met at the Nedding. We were whisked away to register (quick) and then taken home for cake and tea. Then delicious soup and rolls. It was v v strange preparing for a race at 3pm when you'd been up since 6am. The excitement didn't really take hold until we made it to the start line, on the pier, in the biting wind.

The first 7 miles were really quite tough. For the first time during a race I questioned what the hell I was doing. It was hard in the damp (not quite rain) and the head wind made it tough. As did the terrain. It felt all up hill (not dramatically, but gradually) for about 4 miles. Then at the 6 mile point we came to the sand. It wasn't too bad, better than expected but I had a grey ghost following me. Bro-in-Law had laughingly claimed that we'd all easily beat a wiry old guy (of 74, who Sis-in-Law later told me runs 10s of miles every day). At this point - 7 miles in - he was breathing down my neck. This was a prospect that depressed me greatly. Luckily I managed to pull away over the next mile. (Sadly I later heard he got cramp and had to retire - I wouldn't wish that on anyone!)

Once I saw the 10K to go sign everything picked up. I knew the course from then on. I knew my relations would be out in force (a force of 2 + kids), and 10K never seems that far. I kept getting stronger and was much cheered by Islander running down the hill outside the farm playing the bagpipes. Genius. (I may also have been cheered by my sports beans.)

Things were looking good and I was on for a PB at mile 10. Sadly, at mile 11 we turned into the wind. It was v v hard. It was also pouring and I was wet to the core. So wet I got nipple chafe. Man does that hurt. The last 2 miles were unbelievably hard - my pace slowed from 9 to 11 min a mile, I just couldn't get fast enough against the wind. But I still managed to overtake 6 people in the last 2 miles. I might not be quick, but I'm consistent. Managing to keep pace at the end enabled me to overtake at least 3 irritating people who'd overtaken me at about mile 4. (When I was questioning the rationale of running.)

Made it in 2.11.11 - not a PB, but not bad given the terrain. I definitely feel fitter and this is the level of fitness I want to hold at year round. Needing 4 weeks notice for a Half.

Must go to bed. More later.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Considering the difficult weather conditions you have done very well - brilliant effort.....Alaistair