Without further ado, here is my hubby's race report for you all to enjoy, in the humorous style you've come to expect! My race report will come tomorrow with some more pictures. Enjoy!
Basically, in the last instalment of this critically acclaimed piece of literature, I had discovered that speed was good for my legs but bad for my heart and lungs. My next run was painful and I had to stop and I got grumpy. If I remember correctly I almost threw Mrs. Latte into the Thames, but she over-powered me and, picking me up by my testicles, actually threw me off Chelsea Bridge. Thankfully, I survived to run another day.
But seriously (no, really, seriously) I was starting to find running less painful in my legs but I was getting tired about halfway through the run. This had the interesting side-effect of pissing me off. Therefore in most of my runs last week I was prone to spells of grumpiness and of course dwelling on negative thoughts and topics of conversation whilst running, which led to an awful run. I would end up returning home ready to throw it all in and give up. And indeed I would have if it weren't for Mrs. Latte...after all she bought me all the gear in the first place.
We had another run early last week during which I discovered something even more remarkable; when I started getting tired if I lifted my legs using my thighs instead of my knees it took the pressure off my lower legs and I would be able to run for longer. Eventually I was able to run 7km without stopping.
By the time Saturday rolled around, and it was our last training run, I was feeling quite confident! I started to mess about, running along benches, running backwards to show off (I think Mrs. Latte was impressed) and even managed a little victory finish as we left the park. All in all I felt amazing on Saturday and it was the first time that I had had a genuinely great run and had fun while I was doing it. I didn't get grumpy and I certainly didn't feel like hurting anyone, which was most fortunate for our annoying neighbours. That was Saturday.
On Sunday we awoke to Mrs. Latte cradling a massive swollen cartoon foot. It throbbed in time to her heartbeat and it was looking as though she would not be able to run the race on Monday. You may be wondering how her foot became damaged in the first place. Well, we wondered the same thing, but I can assure you that it had nothing to do with me or the frying pan that I chased her round the flat with.
I also noticed that I was going off my food and my stomach was a bit jumpy. I put this down to drinking far too much coffee in the mornings during our days off. I assumed that the caffeine was doing something to my tummy. Then it dawned on me on Sunday night that perhaps I was nervous. Me? The ALMIGHTY Mr. Latte? The husband of Skinny Latte couldn't possibly foul himself at the thought of doing a 10km race...surely? Oh, but I could and I was and I did! Sorry to shatter your illusions, dear readers, but I am as fallible as you mere mortals, despite being married to a Goddess (more on that revelation next week).
Despite my stomach's best efforts to make me stay at home and quiver in bed watching episodes of 'House' (not sure about the finale of Season 7 BTW - WTF. BRB. LMFAO. ETC.) Mrs. Latte and I advanced on Green Park (by foot because the Victoria line was down) and I found myself impressed by the professional readiness of the organisation (Bupa) and the spectators and runners who gathered there. The toilets were particularly impressive as they were clean and provided hand wash. Wow. Even my last job didn't provide such facilities! The atmosphere was really positive and the weather was warm and sunny.
Mrs. Latte's foot had returned to normal and so it was looking like she was going to be able to run the race with me. I must admit that I had been miserable at the thought of running my first race on my own. The one thing I was looking forward to the most was running with her, so I was and still am so pleased that she was able to run and that the frying pan (or whatever it was) didn't do any lasting damage!
We were in the Green A start wave which set off at about 11:30am from St. James's Park. It was such a thrill to be running with my beautiful wife at my side and to be running through Parliament Square and passing Big Ben. What struck me at first was the sheer number of people cheering us all on. Kids were holding their hands out for high fives and whistles were blown and flags waved. It was a real boost and was only the beginning of such generous spectators we would meet along the way.
Running down the Embankment towards Tower Hill we passed the tube station and started to speed up. Mrs. Latte and I were side by side the whole time and kept encouraging each other. She has been so supportive this last month and today was certainly no exception. What a lucky guy I am.
The first spot of bother (or pain in the arse) was an incline in the road just after Millennium Bridge (on which I proposed) and people started to struggle. With the general pace of runners slowing I found myself having to jump onto the pavement to get around people who were falling back. It reminded me of how I felt at kilometre 7 in Battersea and that I probably needed to start pacing myself.
There were some amazing drummers and bands along the way. In particular I want to mention the guys playing 'We Will Rock You' along the Embankment, the taiko drummers at Bank and a Caribbean band that I can't remember the location of. These musical interludes gave the race a pulse and really pushed us all further but I reckon I burnt myself out a bit early in the middle and by the 5km mark I was starting to think I couldn't do the rest. We hit the 5km mark at 32 minutes and 15 seconds.
It was at the 7km mark that people were starting to stop at the First Aid points and there were people walking, stopping and looking terribly exhausted. Despite this, Mrs. Latte and I, still side by side, marched on and our pace remained strong. We looped round Bank and headed back down to Embankment where we headed towards the 8km mark. There was a shower which I ran though drenching myself thoroughly and a water stop that I literally caused a pile-up at (well, it was my first time).
Taking it easy, we glided over the 9km mark in Whitehall and rounded the corner onto The Mall. My legs were tired but my heart and lungs, the two pieces of my biology that had let me down previously, now pulled in the extra fuel from nowhere and we both charged through the finish line at 1 hour, 4 minutes and 24 seconds. I was so pumped that I almost forgot to stop! It was amazing and the rush of running the whole way without stopping, or even really seriously considering stopping, was the biggest high of all.
After all of the races I have been in the crowd waiting to see Phil so I can cheer and maybe steal a kiss from her, I finally got to run one with her. That was the best thing I could possibly have asked for today, getting to be with her every step of the way and not just on a corner at kilometre 4. I even said to her at kilometre 9, "now I know why you love running!".
Now I know why she does it and it only took me three years!!
And that's it. The best result in a challenge that only needed me to trust Phil's belief in me and what my body could do.
I fully intend to keep running, perhaps not as often, but certainly once or twice a week.
I have also got over my fear of wearing shorts.