Husbands. Seriously, they can be so frustrating.
Saturday night, the night before his run, Pauly is starting to get himself a little organised. After the umpteenth time of hearing Annie, have we got such and such? I stopped what I was doing and helped him get ready. (He only entered this event a week ago).
We live out the back of beyond. There are not equipment shops anywhere near and especially not at 8pm when he decided to start getting ready.
What did I do? Firstly I read all the instructions. You know those things that help runners be prepared for events? I read them, made a list and then set to organising Pauly.
After the gear was packed we had a conversation about the distance to the event. Did you know Pauly that Weldborough is almost as far as going to St Helens? Have you got a map? Do you know how to get there? I asked.
Some vague utterances were made that he knew he had to go through Scottsdale…
More time on the computer, map printed.
You do realise My Darling that this will be a tough run? I asked. Yes, he said. How are you going to be driving around those winding roads afterwards? I asked.
My lovely Sunday of running with The Running Group, then swim and breakfast were thrown out the window as I agreed to go with Pauly for his trail run. It’s a three hour drive over very winding roads including the infamous Scottsdale Sideling. After his disastrous run at The Great PukeokaHu Man v Horse last year I didn’t want to risk him not being fit to drive home and having to go and rescue him. You can read the race report here. Let’s just say it wasn’t a good day at the office for Pauly. An event that he thought he’d turn over in five hours turned out to be nearly eight and he was last runner in just managing to pip a horse across the finish line.
I changed my Sunday program and went for a 6am run in the dark on the farm before we left to go to Weldborough. Sunrise is 7:05am so I had to run by head torch. Being out in the country the only lights are those of cars, quad bikes and other farm vehicles and the eerie reflections of animal eyes. Give me a dark run on the farm any day, I feel completely safe unlike running in the city at night where I’m often hesitant when running passed other people… 12kms in the misty, dark morning air. It was lovely.
Run done, quick shower, car packed and we were off.
Thanks to my map we found Weldborough without any trouble and arrived with an hour for Pauly to prepare.
Bring on the race briefing…
I didn’t know there would be river crossings, said Pauly. I looked at him and shook my head. The instructions that I read last night clearly stated river crossings, rock scrambling, mud… A compression bandage was mandatory in case of snake bite! This run was going bush in a big way.
I wished him luck, reminded him that this was part of his preparation for The Great PukeokaHu Man v Horse race coming up in April and that he was NOT ALLOWED to burst his boiler! In fact no bursting of any parts of him thankyou!
It’s not often that this Unsporty Woman gets to sit in a deck chair and read a book for a few hours, but that’s what I did. Heaven.
I read. I sipped my coffee. I ate my picnic lunch. I had a lovely time! Of course, unlike Pauly, I was totally prepared for my day at Weldborough. AND felt rather virtuous because I’d done my training run already – thanks to Louise for teaching me the benefits of the 6am training run.
The first runners arrived back just after the 1:45:00 minute mark. I dragged my deck chair from my shady spot and watched as one by one they returned. Most muddied. Some bloodied and bruised. Some looking like they could do it all over again, others completely exhausted.
It was the bloodied and bruised runners that concerned me. What shape would Pauly be in when he returned? I expected him back at about the three hour mark but after waiting for hours and hours for him to return from that horse race I learnt that we can have an expectation but it doesn’t always come true with this trail running caper.
Finally an old man came into view. Blue shirt. White cap. Grey whiskers. Is that Pauly? I didn’t want to jump up and down and find that it wasn’t Pauly. But it was him – those long grey whiskers were confusing me! Just a shade under three hours! A little mud and one small cut on his arm.
He’d done a superb job and had done slightly better than expected. He managed to expel some doubts about trail running. The best preparation for that Horse race!
I was glad I was there and so was he especially when it was time to drive home. I watched him take his sodden shoes and socks off and his cramps were bad (true love? Removing disgusting, muddy, sodden running socks for someone – ewww). Those cramps were a worry so I chauffeured him home.
Sometimes I just have to shake my head at my husband. Just as well one of us likes to be organised!
Happy running 🙂
PS those grey whiskers of Pauly’s are for a fancy dress party coming up in a few weeks – that’s if he can put up with them that long! I quite like them!