Saturday, 4 August 2007

Day 29 - I'm glad we crashed the wedding!

The day started with a breakfast of cereal and beans on toast (AGAIN!!!). I'm almost as sick of eating beans as Rab C is of smelling the after effects in the car on the way to the start point.

Today's start point was a lay by near a small village called Cambridge on the A38. I decided to run without the strapping that had held my hamstring togther for the last week.This turned out to be a decent decision as I felt no pain at all. I really struggled to find any pace in the early stages and the monotony of the A38 was starting to take hold. It appeared I had a new enemy on my hands. Boredom! The main contributor to this was the fact that the surroundings just looked the same, mile after mile. The villages looked the same. The county pubs looked the same and I lost count how many times I passed the Gloucester/Bristol sign posts. In my mind I didn't appear to be making any progress. I tried listening to some different music on the iPod. That didn't work. I tried counting the passing cars. I soon lost concentration and that didn't work either. I found myself needing a break and took a very early banana stop at the 6 mile point. The banana stop was a little longer than usual and I had to force myself back onto the A38 and on the way to Bristol.

At the 9 mile point and just as the boredom was at it's worst again I felt a tap on my left shoulder. It was none other than my regular training partner John Brettell (pictured). I nearly jumped out of my skin because during all of the 660 miles done so far I'd not once been tapped on the shoulder! John and his wife Annie had been down to Plymouth the previous day to watch their son at his passing out parade. So while they were in the vicinity John decided to join me for a few miles. Rab C was in on this little surprise and had been in contact with John in order to home in on my progress. I had another break at a beer garden at the 11 mile point where Rab C and Annie were waiting. Rab C was on the non alcoholic Becks again! I had a good 45 minute break and when I set off again I had a good spring in my step.

At mile 14 the repetitiveness of the A38 started to hit home again. I felt at this point that there was only one course of action to take. That action was to RUN FORREST RUN! I started to pick the pace up steadily. I went from an 11 to a 10 to a 9 to an 8 to a 9 minute mile pace over the course of the next 5 miles. I think it was about the quickest running I'd done since trouncing the mackem on day 7 of the run. I took a well deserved break at the 20 mile point where Rab C was on the Becks again and had found himself a little "Shop" in which to get a few "presents" for his missus.

The last 3.3 miles of the day were mostly downhill and I stopped right on the edge of Bristol City Centre. I would have gone for a bit on but the route clearly needed some further planning and fine tuning. The plan is to start at this point at around about 10 on Sunday morning when the traffic is hopefully a lot quieter.

I had a nice steak for tea and after a quick shower Rab C thought it would be a good idea to invite himself to one of the two weddings that was going on in the hotel. Of course, I stayed in and watched a bit of TV! HONEST! I ventured down the function room later on and found Rab throwing some shapes on the dance floor. He seemed quite friendly with a couple of the bridesmaids and I'm afraid I gave the game away when I joined them wearing my Newcastle shirt. We clearly were not wedding guests! Rab wasn't that disappointed as he'd had his fill from the buffet, danced with some lovely ladies and enjoyed some free bevvys. Pictured are Rab and best man Justin, just before we were ejected from the festivities (at midnight). This almost turned into a case of 2 funerals and a wedding!