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Date : 13th November, 2015
Time : GARMIN DATA CORRUPTED
Total distance run to date : 660 km
Run map and details :
Sienna (my youngest) had been selected for the London Youth Games. Hooray. Her race was on the same morning as I was due to run my Indian 10k in Delhi. Not so hooray.
It’s the kind of scheduling dilemma every parent faces. In the movies the choice is always simple. The good parents attend their childrens’ events ; the bad parents put their work and their own lives first.
In real life it’s not so easy. My flights were booked. I was meant to be spending the week-end in Delhi with my old college friend, Josh. I had hopes of the run being a well-attended and high profile affair which would be good for Run the World and for my fundraising efforts. And it’s not as if hadn’t missed both Freya and Sienna’s matches, races and school productions in the past.
On the other hand, this was the biggest race to date of Sienna’s nascent running career. And sport’s the special thing I do with the girls.
I hesitated. I rang Luke the ever patient travel agent. Was it even possible to change flights. It was – but only if I changed them in the next 2 hours. Otherwise I’d have to buy a whole new flight back from Delhi at who knows what cost.
I hesitated some more. The alternative flight times were horrible. I contacted Josh. He was very understanding. I changed my flights.
And so it was that Josh and I got up before dawn on the Friday morning knowing that we had no time to waste if I was to complete my run and still make my flight back. We’d planned it like a military operation and, unusually for us, we were sticking to schedule.
And my body was hating it. I desperately needed more sleep. And my knees had achieved the seemingly contradictory state of being simultaneously frozen in place and on fire. Getting into the car to go to Nehru Park was hard enough. Would I really get round my sixth 10k of the trip?
We started off slowly. Very slowly. My right leg wasn’t really flexing and I was having to drag it along. Josh, who hadn’t run for more than 5 minutes in twenty years, was keeping me going. Company can make all the difference.
But the good thing about jogging is that it warms you up. Your legs may be hurting but they do ease a little. And Nehru Park’s a great place to run with a dirt track around its perimeter that’s relatively kind on the knees.
Regular readers of this blog will know that I give myself a 1 hour time limit for these runs. It’s an arbitrary limit but one that I needed to beat today if we were to stick to schedule and make the flight.
We were a couple of minutes behind schedule after the first 2 1/2 k. But then the pace quickened and I started to claw back the lost time. I relaxed. I know that once I get going, I can keep going.
Except not this time. Inexplicably I started slowing again. No particular reason. Just knackered I guess.
Eventually I scraped in just under the hour, fell into the car and we rushed back to Josh’s place. My legs were no longer really working and the shower, packing and breakfast took longer than we’d allowed. Somehow we’d fallen 30 minutes behind schedule. We left Josh’s house at the time we were meant to be at the airport.
Josh gave the driver succinct directions. “Airport. Quickly.” In the end we had Diwali to thank for making it. Almost everyone was on holiday and Delhi’s notorious roads we’re relatively clear.
Thank you Josh. It was brief but we’d got the run done – my 66th in total – and I made my flight home.