An interesting week last week. It started on a bit of a weird, low-ish note, bumped around a bit, finally ending up on an exhilarating high.
So, Monday and the low-ish start to the week. My wife sent me an email saying that she’d starting looking in to filing for a divorce. I knew this was coming as we hit the two-year separation mark a couple of weeks ago on the 13th September, and to be honest I’ve been expecting the paperwork to greet me one day after work so I guess it was “nice” of her to let me know that it’s coming at some point in the not too distant future?
When I read her email it winded me and I couldn’t stop myself from shaking which was most unexpected. I feel nothing for her and for all parties this is the best thing to do so why did it hit me like that? What’s it going to be like when it’s all done and dusted? It’ll probably be best not to be around me that day me thinks!
I replied to her saying that it should just be a box-ticking exercise from my part as we’ve already agreed access and maintenance; I don’t expect to have to represent myself that’s for sure. She said there won’t be any surprises but I guess only time will tell on that one? It’ll come down to who has her ear at the end of the day and what, if anything, they/she think they might be able to get out of me. I hope it doesn’t turn nasty, as divorces can often do. That wouldn’t help anyone especially the girls. We’ll see how this plays out over the coming weeks/months.
On a related note, has it really been two years since we set the official separation date? Where’s that gone? Time seems to be whizzing by at a remarkable pace these days!
With all that out of the way it was time to focus on the next challenge: the Blenheim Palace 10K run Shelli, Alex and I had ahead of us on Sunday. We’d put in precisely zero training in for this one and worse still, we were in the middle of a bloody heat wave! Not a pleasant thought, running that distance in the temperatures we were having…and with no training too?
With that in mind, Shelli and I went out for a gentle 4Km run Monday evening. I’m pleased to say it went well, covering the 4Km in 27 minutes – slower than I normally would have done but we were running at Shelli’s pace, me being the pace maker. More to the point, Shelli managed to cover the entire 4Km without stopping, something she’d not managed to do before.
I also did a gentle 5Km on the treadmill on Wednesday. The heat, even with the fan blowing right into my face, was almost unbearable and I was really worried about Sunday as the weather reports were saying it was going to be ridiculously hot. In for a penny, in for a pound! There was no way I was going to drop out regardless of how I thought I was going to do. It was agreed by the three of us that Sunday was more about getting round than thinking about times and the like.
I had Friday off as Shelli and I were attending the MHS Homes Group’s charity ball in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support at Priestfield Conference and Banqueting Centre. It was in a “Hollywood Ball” theme so it was another opportunity for me to put my kilt suit on, on strict orders from Shelli I hasten to add! Saying that, I’m completely at ease with wearing it now and I don’t really need an excuse to put it on.
We had a lazy morning, popping in to Reading to pick up a new black tie for my suit and to have a spot of lunch, before heading round the M25 to Val and Tony’s place to get ready for the evening’s festivities.
It was a great time, started off with a few pre-event drinks next door. There was a lot of entertainment put on throughout the evening and we had a three course meal too. Knowing that I had the run ahead of me on Sunday I took it easy with the drinks but it was a very late night which meant Saturday was spent mostly feeling tired. Still, a great evening out and a really good laugh. I’ve posted some photos from the night.
All too soon Sunday morning was upon us and it was time to make our way to Blenheim Palace for the run. We got there in plenty of time and slowly got ourselves sorted out. We waited around for Alex’s mum and little brother to turn up which wasn’t a problem as the start of the half marathon, and therefore the 10K afterwards, had been put back by 15 minutes due to traffic problems.
We hung around chatting until it was time to go to the start only to find that when we got there, there was nobody else there! They’d started the 10K at the original time and, as far as we can tell, didn’t make an announcement about it. No bother as all times are sorted out from the tags you’re given to attach to your shoe so off Shelli and I went while Alex waited for his mum to come to the start.
By this time the temperature was really heating up and after a short down hill bit from the start we were confronted by the first hill of the course. Shelli told me to not worry about running with her and to go off at my own pace so I left her behind and settled in to my usual pace. It was tough going but I seemed to be keeping a reasonable pace, checking my watch at each Km marker.
By the time the course took you round the back of the palace the half marathon and 10K courses diverged, the 10K doing a loop round a field before rejoining the main course again. Before getting to the loop I’d passed the 4Km marker and by the time I’d done the loop I was expecting to see the 5Km marker…but no. I’ll be honest, I walked a little bit – just a few minutes due to the unrelenting heat – but even so, I couldn’t believe my pace had dropped that drastically?
Confused, and ever so slightly frustrated, I plugged on eventually hitting the 5Km marker around the 40 minute mark. This was bad. At this rate I was going to come in around 1 hour 20 and I wasn’t sure that I could last that long in the intense sun and heat. There wasn’t much I could do about it so I tried to get my head straight and get on with it.
Some of the downward sections really did a number on my knees but other than that I seemed to be doing okay when, to my amazement, as I came over the brow of a hill I could see the finish line not too far off in the distance. Confused? I certainly was. I wasn’t expecting to see it anywhere near that time and I must admit, I did begin to wonder if I’d missed a bit of the course or something, but that didn’t seem possible.
I got to the line in an official time of 1 hour 5 minutes and 31 seconds, about a minute slower than the Bupa London 10K back in May, which considering the hills and the heat wasn’t bad at all. Well, I didn’t think so anyway.
I got my medal, caught up on some water and then made my way to the finish straight to see if I could see Alex or Shelli.
Alex wasn’t too far behind so having seen him I walked back down the course to see if I could see where Shelli was. She was a little bit down the course but nowhere near as far as I thought she was going to be due to the heat and hills and, as I could see she was beginning to fade, I ran along side her to spur her on and help with the last uphill stretch.
So the scores on the doors. Considering we all went in to this just wanting to survive and get round the course we all did amazingly well. The times were:
Me: 1:05:31 (424th overall, 187th male)
Alex: 1:08:33 (501st overall, 211th male)
Shelli: 1:14:27 (600th overall, 372nd female)
Alex and Shelli both beat their previous 10K times which, considering the course and the conditions, was a fantastic achievement. Well done you two!
In case you wanted to know, 706 people ran (249 men, 457 women) with the last person coming over the line in a time of 1:49:12. You can also see the course route here and I’ve posted a load of photos I took including ones as I ran round. Hopefully I’ll have some official photos from the day too soon. I’m just waiting for them to be sorted out so I can order some.
All in all it was a great week and really ended on a high, with a great sense of achievement after a tough run in the sun! It’s certainly spurred Shelli and I on to go out running on a more regular basis so that the next 10K – currently the Bupa London 10K next May – will be a lot easier for us. We’ll see if we can keep it up won’t we, especially over the dark, wet, cold winter evenings!