Thursday, 10th September, CVFR Handicap


4:31pm. I had a good nights sleep but woke with mild stomach ache which I didn’t want for my CVFR Handicap run this morning. I still needed to do it today though as I would be going flat out and I wanted two days to recover from it for the Yorkshireman Half on Sunday. So at 7:30am I was in Stubbs Field with Dan Howard ready to do my first race since February with a dicky tummy and feeling slightly fat. Dan suggested I set off first and he would chase me. This benefitted us both as Dan had someone to chase and I had someone to get away from.

I set off and felt good. I ran to the bottom of the first climb and all the way to the bottom of the big climb where it gets steep. The grass was damp with morning dew and I walked up the steep bit not wanting to overdo it and have nothing left for the finish. At the top of the climb I looked back and couldn’t see Dan so carried on over Erringdon Moor as fast as I could. I ran well over the moor, breathing heavily but going well and getting faster.

After the moor it’s Dick’s Lane usually a segment that I do well over but not today. I did as well as I could and didn’t panic about it, there was no point. I got to the stile, looked behind and still no sign of Dan. I was getting faster and faster despite my stomach ache and after around 33 minutes I was coming back down from Stoodley Pike and finally I saw Dan on his way up. I knew Dan was going to catch me at some point but I was going to make it as hard for him as possible, it was a race after all.

I back along Dick’s Lane, the only place where it felt my legs might go and back across Erringdon Moor. I upped my pace, going as fast as I could and then I heard Dan behind me say he was coming past. I had done 4.10 miles before Dan caught me. I was very pleased with my performance. I only had a mile to go and Dan is quite a bit faster than me so I had performed beyond my expectations. Dan took off after this and I did my best to keep him in sight. There was one point near the bottom where it gets a bit tricky and I lost some time there but then sprinted down the field and across Stubbs Field to the tree. I finished in a time of 58:41 around 5 ½ minutes faster than my handicap time of 1:04:18. I was shattered, dripping in sweat but happy. I had given it everything I had on the day and was rewarded with a great time. Dan congratulated me on my run and said I was faster than he expected me to be especially going up the hill. Apparently he didn’t see me for a few miles!

Running done I went home, showered and had something to eat still with an upset stomach. I felt ok after. My left Achilles was aching and still is but that is it and is the reason I ran today and not tomorrow so I can recover for Sunday. After having something to eat I went round to my neighbours to try and set up her internet on her TV. After spending 40 minutes talking to someone on the phone about it she is now waiting for a new lead to come through the post to see if that resolves it. I was nearly falling asleep at one point and I was worried about the amount of time this is taking me to do as I have a lot to do myself and I’m not getting any of it done.

Afterwards I popped to Tesco’s to get some loo rolls as with the possibility of a second lockdown looming people are panic buying already. I had an email from the local publisher saying to send my synopsis and first 3 chapters to him and had a funny moment with Claire who suggested I take out a bit in the book that had her in it. I thought it was because she didn’t want to be in the book as I have written about her before and she asked me to take it out. This time it was because she felt it didn’t fit but at least I got it wrong in a nice way rather than upsetting someone unintentionally as I usually do. It made me laugh that I had got it wrong as usual but I don’t want to upset Claire and lose her especially if it’s something daft I do.

And now I’ve just had a coffee and I’m struggling to stay awake. I’m going to do some organising of my stuff for my book and some other stuff as it’s too early to be going to bed just yet.

8:22pm. I’m sat in the club writing this. I had to go to bed for a nap I was so, so tired. I decided to come to the club for an hour after just to relax. I’ve made some notes about what I should write about for my life story to make it more interesting and to fill it out more. This is another step on my way to being more productive and creative, using technology where I can and not limiting myself to just using technology at home. I have the means to write down my thoughts anywhere. I need to use them now to my advantage.

10:47pm. Everything has synced from my phone. I’m really happy about this because now I can be more creative and write more down before I forget it. This is a big step forward for me. Had a couple of pints in the club and a chat with mates. It made a nice change and helps with my mental health. It also proves to myself that I don’t have to get hammered to have a good time. My left ankle still aches so I’m going to have to be careful over the next couple of days with it. I feel like I’m finally freeing my mind from the self imposed prison I had put it in to protect myself from a world I didn’t understand and now the possibilities are endless and limitless. Time to see how far I can go.

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