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wk8/13 and 32 k – Amsterdam Marathon prep

September 7, 2011
The wind and watermill complex at Guilden Mord...

Image via Wikipedia

As you have probably gathered, my husband and I lead extremely busy lives so to run for more than 3 hours is quite tricky. This w/e I was at my parents in the UK– its a long story as to why but suffice to say that Joost cam home on Sunday and I had an enjoyable rest of Sunday and Monday with them. SO when to fit the 32K in?

They were off to a party in the afternoon which left me the time! The entire morning the weather had been dodgy and by lunch time it was chucking it down.

Around 2.30 pm is stopped. At 3 pm the sky looked iffy but I had to do it – so off I went. I had forgotten my drinks belt so had a make shift bum bag (which stunk of dog as it is also Santa’s biscuit bag for his training) and daddy had provided me with his motorbike reflector. The latter was, of course, massive!

The bum bag (lined with plastic bags to protect against the smell) worked well and it even had a separate section for my Sure2Endure.

The reflector flopped about.

I had a sort of route mapped out and hoped that my RunKeeper would help me sort the details out.

Of I jogged towards Hinxworth. The road outside my parent’s is treacherous. In the UK there are – by them anyway – no cycle paths – even if there are – its a thin line on the side of the road which is an imagination of a cycle path – absolutely not like in The Netherlands.

Reflector flopped open and I had to click it closed again.

I jogged along FACING cars so I could stare them in the eye before they ran me over. It was good to turn left down the narrow country road and be off the main road.

It was a bit like going back in time. Whilst I had never run along these roads, they were familiar childhood roads – either with the ponies or visiting friends/ school journeys and the like.

Hinxworth flashed by and I padded along to Ashwell. Phew – I remembered the hill from riding Kate. I entered Ashwell. A chocolate box village. Although I reflected – a different chocolate box to e.g. Ankeveen which I always think of as a postcard village. Ashwell has thatched roofed cottages, a village pub and a few shops – including a naughty looking cake shop.

Hardly any people – very quiet.

I trotted off to the Mauldens – Guilden and Steeple. Umm a cross roads – no too soon to go to Dunton & Wreslingworth – so continue to Guilden Morden. Another chocolate box village. Also with a familiar pub where I have had Sunday lunch with family.

Now in the direction of Wreslingworth. There seemed to be many miles between the villages. This was no exception – probably due to a very long steep hill…a good time to reflect upon what a fantastic w/e we had had – especially for our business.

Wierd – a sign saying “welcome to Central Bedfordshire“. How could this be Central Bedfordshire if I was on the edge of it?

Running through Wreslingworth. I remembered old school friends  – including one of the first boys I ever fancied, lived here. Also another familiar pub – a few months ago we ate here. Sign outside: Under new management; new menu – oh, what a shame the couple that ran it were super and looked after us well  – let’s hope  that the “new management” are also good.

Direction Potton. Another open space with such a long windy uphill road that I could not see the top of the hill. I COULD see Sandy Mast (transmission mast) – was I that close to Sandy?

In Potten and a sign to Sutton left. Umm too soon that would be too short. Let’s see what Potton holds. I skirted round the centre – where I used to catch the bus for school – and then a choice – Biggleswade or Sandy. Sandy too long – so Biggleswade.

I was checking the average speed. I had started a little fast but was now on target of 5, 50 min per klm. I was just thinking where I would end up if I followed this road – could also be too long…

As I rounded the corner there was my Father’s golf club – The John of Gaunt. My Grandmother was also a captain many many years ago. It crossed my mind to drop in all sweaty and in running gear and introduce myself as her grand-daughter just to see what the reaction would be. But I was on a mission so no time for this – I carried on.

Agh – a sign for Sutton. This should work and then I would not need to go all the way to Biggleswade. Sutton is a very pleasant village. Some very large houses and I used to know people who lived there so tried to remember which houses they lived in. I do remember well my Uncle Trevor’s house and then a pig farm. I noticed that 2 bungalows had been built where the pigs used to be. I seem to remember that he had arranged that. I suspect that the village was pleased.

Pleasantries exchanged with dog people who stood to one side as I trotted of the bridge over the ford – always a great feature when we were children! We wanted to make a BIG splash but our boring (sensible) parents were always careful as they drove through.

At the other end of the village – would not be enough klms if I turned down the home straight so I carried on to Eyeworth. Also a long steep hill. A cyclist passed me but did look as if he was struggling. Eventually I reached Eyeworth, where my Aunty Jasmine lives and I thought of her as she was probably enjoying a wonderful tea with my parents at that very moment.

I could see the church that Joost & I were married in. I could also feel my legs and bottom!

I knew that the next part was a long boring road with always the wind against you. I remember it from cycling it a few times when I was younger. Actually it did not seem as long as I remembered and I was soon in Dunton. Now this is really the home straight. RunKeeper was not clocking up the klms as fast as I had hoped (although I was not doing badly with estimating the distances. Ummm 28 something klms – I should JUST make the 32 klm to my parents’ but there was a danger of coming up short.

Indeed as I approached the house I was not there yet. I ran past. I took the RunKeeper our of its pouch. Just the wrong time for it to freeze. Ok back to life. I did a few straight runs back and forth and – at last – 32 km!!!

Took Santa out into the field – he was pleased to be out – I was pleased to be walking!

Excellent and hardly any drip off in speed 🙂



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