Tonight I thought I’d try orienteering, seeing as there was an event starting at my children’s school. I obviously knew the area, so what could possibly go wrong?
On a very hot evening the day after a 5K race I went to Chippenham, I got a map and a dibber, and a very nice man explained how it all works. I had to get myself from control point to control point, finding my own way, and blip* my dibber at each control. Easy peasy, right? Erm, no. I got lost, I got hot, I got thirsty, and I managed to make the 4K route into 5.5 miles. I obviously took the scenic route.
It WAS fun, but I hadn’t appreciated that orienteering maps are a little different to OS maps. On studying the map safely back at home, I realise that a couple of the footpaths I was trying to follow were actually contour lines. Sigh!
* blipping isn’t an official technical term, but dibber is.
On a morning that started with snow on our velux windows and roof, knowing I had to squeeze a ride in was not a delightful prospect. I had planned a short route to a Costa Coffee which felt like a cheat because it’s a cafe I visit every Monday morning between my swimming lesson and my Italian lesson. I have never been to it by bike though – so it still felt like a worthy challenge.
The cafe is on a small retail park just outside Chippenham and as I cycled around the car park I saw there was nowhere to lock my bike up by the cafe, but there was some cycle parking right over on the other side.
It might have been a distance away, but it had the rare luxury of a roof. It was immaculate so although the park has been open for several years I think I was the first cyclist to use it!
I had a hot chocolate and sat in the window anxiously watching the dark skies before pedalling hard and fortunately beating the weather home.
7.6 miles on the trusty “Happy Shopper” bike, and just one more Coffeeneuring trip to fit in before the end of the weekend.
So after nervously panicky all of Wednesday about the Chippenham harriers 5K River Run, I am more than pleased to announce it all went well. Very well. Really well. Astoundingly well, actually.
To cut a very long story short, after frightening myself with a pace to aim for of 9:12 minute miles, I actually managed to average 9:00 Minute Miles, My last mile was run in 8:51 – never had a split that began with an 8 before!
Total time was 27:46, which is a shiny new PB (last year’s time was 30:20 and I remember being so gutted that I’d not broken the 30 minute barrier).
My lovely running partner also got himself a sub 30 PB, although I’m afraid I did abandon him (sorry!)
Now I really must concentrate on some longer runs, ready for the two half marathons on consecutive weekends I have planned for September. Don’t think there’ll be so many splits starting with an ‘8’ in those!