And still I struggle to catch up with what’s been going on over the last few weeks. I’m getting there but it doesn’t half feel like an uphill struggle!
So what have I been up to this time?
The other weekend I went to see the mighty Slayer! I’d missed seeing them back in 2010 due to a little stroll I took. It wasn’t my fault as I’d bought tickets to see them in November 2009, looking forward to getting into the pit to let off some steam [for obvious reasons], but they kept on postponing due to one reason or another. When they eventually settled on a date it fell when I was planning on walking and I wasn’t about to delay my adventure for them, no matter how much I wanted to see them.
So seeing them this year – again, tickets bought way back in November! – was something I’d been looking forward to for quite some time.
The gig itself was part of festival being held at Alexandra Palace so Tim and I got there early, meeting at the Goose pub over the road from Wood Green tube station shortly after 2pm.
First shock of the day: two pints of pretty good ale ordered and change from a fiver received! Unheard of in London!
Not needing to rush off – doors didn’t open until 4pm – we sat and chatted over a few pints, sat in the sun in the beer garden. A great way to start the afternoon’s fun.
We took a stroll up to the venue to get there for when the doors opened with the intention of going in and checking out the earlier bands. As it happens, we went in the bar outside the venue, drank more beer and stood in the sun chatting.
While we stood there waiting for Andy and Neil to arrive – they were drinking in the Goose enjoying the cheaper beer price – an old work colleague [Simon Reed] strolled round the corner. Talk about an unexpected coincidence.
Even funnier, he’d sent me a message on Facebook asking if I was at the Slayer gig as he’d spotted the photo I’d posted of the view of London from Alexandra Palace. When we spotted him he thought I’d seen his message and we were waiting for him but I didn’t see it until we were in the bar chatting!
Still, meeting up with him had an added bonus: he’d driven in and as he lives in Wokingham he offered me a lift home – bonus!
We waited for Andy and Neil to arrive and by the time we’d had a few more beers – Neil was pretty pissed by this point – we headed in with only a few minutes to spare before Slayer took to the stage. So much for the plan to see some of the other bands!
AS expected Slayer were amazing! I couldn’t help myself, and after a few opening songs I made my way through the crowd – leaving the others behind me – and entered the pit. What an absolute riot! I loved every second, staying in the pit for the entire Reign in Blood set.
The gig was just what I needed and it was great being in the pit again. I think all the training this year definitely helped as I’m no spring chicken any more and I was more than able to hold my own down the front 🙂
My trainers on the other hand took a beating. They were in a sorry old state by the time I made my way back through the crowd to meet up with the others for the final few songs.
After expecting a really late night train journey home, getting the lift was a godsend. Simon and I chatted on the way back and I was indoors shortly after midnight – thanks Simon, very much appreciated!
Bupa London 10K
After Slayer on the Friday night, Shelli and I took it easy on the Saturday but the Sunday we headed back into London early to take part in this year’s Bupa London 10K.
Much like last year the weather was ridiculously hot but they’d moved the start forward by an hour so we were hoping that we’d be done before the real heat of the day kicked in. That didn’t quite work out as it was almost too hot before we made our way to the start line!
We met up with Alex, his mum and little brother in Green Park and it wasn’t too long before we had to make our way to the start line.
Unlike last year where they seemed to take an absolute age between starting each block of runners, this year there was only 30 seconds or so between the blocks. This was a welcome change and got everyone off really quickly.
They’d also changed the route of the course too this year. This was because of all the preparation work for the Queen’s jubilee celebrations outside Buckingham Palace.
It was a great run but the heat was just too much to take. I managed to run the first 7K but after that I took a few little strolls to catch my breath and to take in some water.
It was really tough, made even tougher by the fact that the week leading up to the run I’d been suffering with flu! I’d not run for nearly two weeks and for most of the week before I didn’t have the strength to leave the house. I was very worried before starting the run, something that Shelli commented on, never having seen me like that before.
So, with the little strolls and making sure I didn’t push it too hard, I made it round the course in one piece. My official time was 1:05:43, 6826 out of 10512 people who managed to finish. Not bad considering my illness, the weather etc.
I was happy just to get round so to be within a couple of minutes of my time last year, that was good enough. I’m sure there were quite a lot of people who didn’t manage to make it round due to the heat so just reaching the finishing line was the main goal for the day.
Shelli and Alex did really well too, coming in at 1:17:21 and 1:13:58. Again, a great effort from both of them considering the temperature.
The best bit of the day? Seeing the massive smile on Shelli’s face when I met her at the finish line. That really was great to see and made the day so much better. Well done my love!
After we’d all finished and collected our gear we headed to Leicester Square for lunch at Wagamamas, something that seems to be becoming a tradition after our runs in London, not that I’m complaining as the food’s great.
Once we were fed and watered Shelli and I walked back to Paddington for the train home where we put our feet up and enjoyed a very relaxed evening. Well deserved, not only because we’d run 10K but also for the fact that we’d managed to walk 10 miles that day as well! We must be mad!
A great day, a great run, and fantastic to see Shelli enjoying this running madness!
The photos I took during the Bupa London 10K are up for your viewing pleasure. I’ve not ordered the official photos yet but I suspect I will soon. Once I do I’ll add them to the gallery – I’ll let you know when I do.