Didn't make 10K, but I balanced the books

Yesterday I set out to do a 6 mile/10K run along the Thames path. After a week of 5 mile runs I was confident, but a slight hangover meant that I missed the dawn run and it wasn't until after lunch that I had a window. It wasn't a wasted morning though, as I picked up a bargain from Mountain Warehouse in Witney, a bum-bag with 2 water bottles for a tenner:

mountainwarehouse.com/~/tra...

I had to smile when I bought it, as not only did the assistant shout "do we have any fanny packs?" (our US cousins may want to check out the UK usage) when I asked for the already amusingly-monikered bum-bag, but the correct name, waist bag sounds a little colostomic to me (reminiscent of Monty Python - "Snivelling Little Rat-Faced Watson's just as bad"

Anyway I am very pleased with my purchase as it is roomy enough to take a large flask of coffee, my lightweight coat and some emergency rations with plenty of room to spare.

I had already placated the dog with an earlier walk so I snuck out the back on my bike and was soon down at the river. I stashed my thermos and waste bag as I wasn't keen on running with it for the very first time on a 10K attempt. Also my planned route was going past 2 locks and a pub so there would be plenty of oppurtunities to rehydrate (locks usually have taps for boaters to replenish their water).

It was quite warm as the sun came out as I set off and all was going well. I reached the first

lock (Radcot) and even managed to go through the gate without feeling like a plonker. It was at this point that I made a crucial error. It turns out that the Thames path isn't well sign-posted so instead of following the line of the river I merrily set off along the access road for the lock, assuming that at some point I would see signage. About a mile later I realised that I was not on the path and so called up maps on my phone. I found that I was near Thrupp (the sound that a ruler makes when twanged against a desk) and so set off on a route that I hoped would bring me back towards the river. Unfortunately when I closed the maps app that caused Endomondo to crash, so I ran on unaware that I was no longer tracking my time or distance.

After three quarters of a mile (as I calculated later) I became suspicious that Robo-Laura

hadn't given me a lap time and looked at my phone, bugger. I restarted Endmondo and carried on through a little hamlet that I had never heard of and joined a bridleway. I had a bit of a shock as I was running behind a rather plush house with a giant chess set when I suddenly felt a cold nose nuzzle my hand and found that I had been joined by a friendly golden retriever. He paced me for a few hundred yards until I came to a gate. Beyond the gate the bridleway became a quagmire and having had enough of mud and reckoning that I had done 3 miles by then I turned back and was escorted off the premises by my new friend.

When I got back to my bag I was very hot and sweaty so I drank a whole bottle of water, then had a coffee and a granola bar, boy did that taste good. I did some rough calculations of my total distance and was annoyed that although I had run my furthest distance yet, at 5.8 miles I was tantalisingly short of my 10K. Bloody technology, bloody poor sense of direction.

After a 15 minute rest I decided to ride home via a slightly longer route to make up for my shortfall and I was happy to see that even after my longest run I was still able to manage a 8.5 mile bike ride. Also I had managed to burn a total of ~1400 calories which meant that I had paid off my calorie overdraft from Friday night's curry, so the day wasn't a total wipe-out, even if I had missed the actual river!

One day I plan to have a weekend run that doesn't involve, mud, cows or getting lost.

4 Replies

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  • Thrupp! I love it! Good run though. I also loved that when I went to the linked website to look in detail at your "Active Waist Bag" the page also featured the "Active Bum Bag". I used to suffer from this latter ailment till I went to see my gp :-D

  • Ha! I thought I was the only one who could get lost on a river-side path! You'd think it would be a simple as 'keep the river on your left/right' wouldn't you? But no.

    Anyway, it sounds like you still have a good run even with being escorted off the premises of the posh house.

    I've yet to do a cycle-run-cycle, but have a few routes sussed out to explore. Did you lock your new bag to your bike when you left it? I usually use a handlebar bag on my bike, but think I may take an old rucksack and stuff that into a bin bag and hide it close to my bike.

  • We have a small boat in a by-water on the Thames so I was able to padlock my bike to the mooring and stash my bag under the tarpaulin. I'm going to go out running with the bag this week to get used to it as after 5 miles I need to rehydrate and I'm going back down to the river if I get a chance to proove I'm no Zoolander.

  • I would be worried about my bike being stolen! Do you have a tool proof lock?

    Sounds like a great day, despite the frustration. You did great!

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