Firstly a huge congratulations to my bestie, Lou, who gave birth to her beautiful baby boy, Henry, on Saturday! Everyone is doing well
This weekend was fairly busy but a good’un. I drove up to Bristol (again) Friday evening to stay with my friends, Kate and Jamie. They were hosting a BBQ the next day for a bunch of us and they’d invited me up early so we could do parkrun beforehand.
This is amazing as previously when I’ve gone to Bristol to spend time with my friends I’ve always done parkrun in the morning and then rushed to drive up straight afterwards. It’s always a bit hectic. So it’s so nice that my friends are now into parkrun that I can do it with them on their home turf without a big panicked rush afterwards to get ready.
Jamie cooked once again that Friday night and made some really good lamb koftas and Greek salad. It was pretty damn tasty!
After dinner we watched some TV, which included the most bizarre programme I’ve ever seen: Naked Ambition. It was like car crash telly. One person selected their date purely on the basis of their naked body. It was hilarious, cringy and unbelievably crazy all at once. Very odd.
Like last time I was in Bristol we did the Pomphrey parkrun, and Kate’s friend Katherine joined us again.
We all knew what to expect now having done it before. We knew the hill that awaited us and this made us all a bit nervous and slightly dreading it. We all had ambitions of doing it a bit faster than last time which added to our nerves. Though it was cooler and a bit overcast which was good.
During the race briefing the run director once again went through the course and this time, now being seasoned Pomphrey pros , we joined in on the “then you go UP PROMPHREY HILL”. It was less busy than last time so this meant the start was easier with people quickly spreading out rather than tripping over people behind and in front. The run went well. It was hard and I definitely felt like I was giving it some. The hill was awful as usual. I wondered briefly if walking it would be better than the slow plod I was doing but I kept running anyway not wanting to ruin my flow. Though the 100m post-hill felt terrible, like my legs were jelly, but I pushed through.
I’m amazed at myself that somehow I seem to naturally negative split during parkruns now. Previously I used to literally run like my feet were on fire for the first mile then slowly die during the next two miles until crawling to the finish. But now I somehow manage to just hold back a bit and then push hard at the end. Have no idea how or why I’ve started doing this though!
I finished in 22:40 which I am so pleased with! The last time (two weeks ago) I ran this parkrun in 24:01 so that’s quite a chunk I’ve taken off. And Jamie, Kate and Katherine all got faster times too
We were all over the moon. We all agreed it was very tough though.
Kate’s parents had come this time to see us run and they brought the lovely adorable Lola again. She is just so sweet.
Though tricky to get a photo of when she’s bouncing around
Then we headed back for the BBQ extravaganza. We showered and got the food prepared and then the others started arriving. I probably say this every time but it’s always so nice when we’re all together and just chatting away. It’s a great group and we always have such a laugh. And after my post last week about feeling left out (thanks for all the lovely comments and messages – it really did mean a lot to know I’m not a weirdo!) it just made me feel so much better.
We made up some delicious strawberry Pimms (only one glass for me as I was driving that evening) with berries and fruit in and lots of nibbles while we waited for the main event.
Of which Jamie was very much in control of.
He is the BBQ Master.
I feasted on pork belly, pork ribs and some insanely tasty chicken thighs and lots of salad. So good.
We then had the BEST cheesecake for pudding. My friend Charlotte’s husband, Paddy, always makes the most incredible cheesecake and this time it was blueberry, white chocolate with a STUFF OREO biscuit base. Be still my beating heart.
Paddy is a very talented baker!
He also provided fresh blueberries and a blueberry compote to go with it. Oh it was divine. Hilariously when they sliced me a piece it was a huge slice called an “Anna Slice”. Happily a few other people also requested an Anna Slice so I wasn’t the only greedy person Let’s not talk about seconds either…
As the day went on and the feelings of fullness slightly dissipated, Kate lit the chimenea and we started toasting marshmallows and making s’mores. I’ve never had s’mores before so it was very exciting. It did take a little bit of a practice though – it’s quite a tricky thing! Especially with giant marshmallows and big chunks of Cadbury’s Dairy Chocolate!
But I did manage to perfect the art of toasted marshmallows. The s’mores, oh god, were so good. Very messy to eat and fairly sickly but oh so good. Definitely happening again! I now understand the craze in the States for them.
Eventually we said goodbye and I headed back home to Southampton. The next morning I had a 12 mile run planned and after taking Alfie for a quick walk knew it would be tough. It was very warm and sunny and I felt a bit lethargic (probably entirely due to all that yummy food). I wasn’t looking forward to the run.
It felt like running through porridge and it was really warm. I knew at seven miles I’d get to the Dodgy Tap again and planned to drink from there again after having no ill effects from last time. Yes it’s probably not hygienic at all but it’s far better for me than carrying water which I find so annoying. I also carried some cash with me so I could buy water if I got thirsty again. Well as soon as I got a mile from the tap I knew I would try and find somewhere to buy a drink. Luckily on my route there was a petrol station and this would be about three miles from home so not too far to carry a bottle.
I stopped and picked up a water bottle from the fridge section and standing in the queue cracked it open and drank straight away. I just couldn’t stand in the queue with an icy bottle of water staring at me and not drinking. I apologised to the cashier lady but she just laughed and said that was fine – I clearly needed it, standing there dripping with sweat.
Because I ran from my parent’s house (sounds a bit dramatic doesn’t it?) my dad had asked how long I would be and I said roughly 1 hour 40 minutes. Well, I got back and my time was 1:40:10! Though I did stop my watch at the tap and the petrol station, but still fairly cool.
It was a tough run due to the heat and food yesterday but it felt easier to get to nine miles than my nine mile run last weekend, which I guess shows my endurance is improving. Happy days! The rest of Sunday was spent having a Starbucks, doing chores, walking Alfie, watching Breaking Bad (trying to get back into it after I gave up a few years ago) and just chilling. Perfect!
Do you visit friends often?
What’s your favourite cheesecake flavour?
Do you prefer to know what a course is going to be like before you run it? For example, knowing there was a hill and what it would be like?