#1 has swim training at 8.30am until 10am. She normally takes herself there and back on the bus, but not without waking the whole house at 7am. Bang goes any hope of a lie in.
#3 has dive training 9am-10.30am but needs taking and picking up. Despite her instructor being in the lobby of the pool from 8.50am until 9.10am, you guessed it, he did not call the kids in until 9.10am. That gives me 1hr20 to do something - not quite enough for a Saturday long run though. And then of course, #2 has dive training from 10.30am until 12.15pm. Meaning any hopes of ever getting to the country place on a Friday night have been dashed forever. Couple that with #3's "spiritual guidance" on a Sunday morning (don't even ask), and #1 and #2's youth group on a Sunday evening, and it's almost like there is no weekend at all any more.
Mrs R and I did manage to take the Dogs for a walk whilst #3 was diving, though, and they loved it. 5km or so incorporating introducing Jack to the sea, and a cappucino at Plage Marquet. I suppose with the sea on one side and a cliff on the other, they can't really run away but we were pleased that we managed to return home with 2 dogs post the walk anyway.
The rest of Saturday passed in a blur, and then I left around 3.30 ish to drive to a race which was an hour from MC, but only 15 mins from the Country Place, although as previously mentioned we were no longer able to get to the country place....
Les Foulees Roquettanes was a seriously underpublicised race, with little or no information on it at all. I had pre registered for Eur8, and all I knew was the start time (5.15pm), the place of the start, the fact that it was 14km and had 650m of cumulative positive altitude change. I did not know the terrain, the finish (it could have been a point to point - I had no idea), or any idea of the profile.
The initial 500m was down - about 100m of vertical, so quite steep and the pace was quite high. Normally I would tend to set off pretty steadily, but I like running downhill, train for it, and I figured I'd run down fast as I was well warmed up. I was in the first 20 or so runners, and we seemed to be leaving the rest behind. As the slope bottomed out, we set off up to another village - about 100m of vertical in 1km, up pretty steeply, and I slowed right down per the Mad Dog plan. I was overtaken by 5 people and it was all I could do not to set off in hot pursuit as I still had plenty in the tank it being so early in the race. Then we headed downhill. Bearing in mind that this event was very much "local" and village organised, so I had no idea of what profile to expect or what the terrain was going to be, I just charged downhill as quickly as I could, careful to be within my comfort zone, and tried to do the fishing game as we went downhill - casting my imaginary fishing rod and hooking the chap in front, and gradually reeling them in. After 10-12 minutes I started to overtake the walkers. From what I could see of the valleys and hills, I was pretty sure it would be downhill until about 7km into the race. So I continued to charge almost flat out down the hill, taking a nice line through the corners. I had a guy on my shoulder the whole time, but he did not seem to want to / be able to overtake me, and we quickly reeled in the 5 people that had overtaken me on the up.
At the bottom of the hill, bang on 30 mins for 7km, I heard the chap that had used me as pacemaker buckle and peel off. I went along the flat for about 1.5km - I say flat, it was more gently undulating. Very quickly, those that had stayed just ahead of me on the downhill capitulated and I overtook 3 in quick succession, one chap stretching his ham strings and lower back. We went along beside the motorway for a few hundred metres, through a supermarket car park, and then back up the hill again. Relentless, and I knew where I was because I had driven the truck up this road to the village for the start. It was steep - about 400m of "UP" in about 5-6km. I could see a few people ahead of me and began to play the fishing game in earnest. People were struggling up the hill having gone out too quick and blown up on the down hill. I gradually reeled in first 1, then 2, then a 3rd, and was overtaking heaps of walkers all the time, despite being handicapped by my back pack. Eventually I made it to town and then the last 100m of "UP" in the last 500m, to the finish, having covered 14km in the race, and 1km previously. After catching my breath (hands on knees) for a few minutes, and grabbing a couple of Cokes, I asked someone where I had finished in terms of ranking. I had done the race in 1hr 10 mins, and was 14th overall, which I was pretty pleased with. I then continued my run to cover a further 15 mins of jog:walk in an easy 3 mins jog:1 minute walk ratio, to the incredulity of some of the runners who asked if I was doing another lap, as they were coming in to finish their first.
After I had finished, I then did 150 partial squats for the quads, 1 minute chairless chair, and then another 150 partials and 1 min chair. Then, I drove home as Mrs R was putting me under pressure to help with the kids. Which actually I am a little gutted about as looking at the results I was effectively 3rd in my age group and would have received a cup had I stayed. Fortunately #2 made a call, and the organisers have promised to dispatch the trophy to me at some point.