Race: Piathlon, Huddersfield
Date: December 2017
Supporting Runners: Tom Kharchi
Fundraising to date: £840
Finishing Time: 00:50:37
Today’s run, and the last run before Christmas, was a 6.5km ‘Piathlon’ in the snowy hills of Huddersfield, with every 2km being a pie stop instead of a water station.
I was joined by another of my colleagues and friends, Tom Kharchi. It was great to have Tom there, not only for moral support for the run, but also to eliminate the office Christmas party beer fear that had taken over the weekend. The big weekend wait after a Christmas do is never fun. But it was nice to see Tom and be reassured that I didn’t actually ruin my life.
Talking of Christmas dos and beer fear, I thought it would be a good time to discuss my love/hate relationship with alcohol. After all, this is a blog not only about each race, but also discussing my thoughts, opinions and experiences with mental health. And as alcohol is classified as a depressant, I thought it was worth bringing up…
Since losing Adam, I sometimes find it difficult to shake a hangover like I used to in terms of mood. Not helped by the fact that now classed as in my ‘late twenties’, I’m quite often nursing 2 day hangovers. At certain points when I am missing Adam or on the lead up to days that are significant to us and him, I have to watch out and sometimes just go home instead of going big.
When I saw my counsellor last year, she taught me all about self-care and knowing what you need to do to not self destruct in difficult times. It’s hard to do nowadays when going out and boozing with your mates is such a big part of socialising, and saying to people “I’m not drinking tonight” can come across as being really boring.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a good cocktail and going on a night out, and 9 times out of 10 I am absolutely fine – but on the lead up to Christmas when living with the loss of a loved one is significantly worse, it’s something that I need to watch out for.
After putting up the Christmas tree this week, I got a bit emotional thinking about Adam and our 2nd Christmas without him. I thought to myself that I wouldn’t drink much at the Christmas party as I didn’t want a wobbly weekend moping about. HOWEVER, I am only human and once faced with a free bar at a swanky Spinningfields bar (Thanks Interact) all self-care advice went out of the window.
This morning, I woke up with my head still feeling like it was in a microwave and I was almost crying at the thought of doing this Piathlon. I felt pretty down and just wanted to stay in bed. But as Tom had signed up to do it with me, I knew I couldn’t cancel.
What I am trying to say with all of this rambling about alcohol and hangovers, is that running/exercise and fresh air is the best mood booster, hungover or not. Once I had done the run this morning, I was a different human and back to my normal self. No matter how hard it is, no matter how crap you feel, try and get out for some form of endorphin boosting activity.
If any one is feeling ‘meh’ this winter and just wants a weekend off the booze to do something great, feel free to join me on a race. I’m now looking at races to enter in Jan-Feb.
ANYWAY… now on to today’s race.
I met Tom at the office and it turns out he was feeling pretty similar to me and just wanted to cancel, but didn’t want to be the first to initiate a 30for30 drop out…
We cruise controlled in 50 all the way to Huddersfield where our view for the whole way was pretty much this…
It was 0° and we both had 3+ layers on and were absolutely dreading it.
We arrived to find that we were the only people there that made no fancy dress effort what so ever (awkward). We quickly registered and went back to sit in the warmth of the car until the race started.
My biggest fans (Mum and Andy) soon turned up for some pre-race chat and photos and we were already feeling better about the whole thing.
The race started at 11am and it took 7mins of more complaints before our hands were a bit warmer and we were looking out for the first pie station. What pies would there be?! Will we be able to eat a pie and run without being sick?! Will there be any left by the time we get there?!
Pie station one was soon upon us where we grabbed a pork pie and had a quick break to eat it (not long enough to freeze though) and continued round the corner where we saw a big white field with faster runners racing up it. It dawned on us that that would soon be us and I was instantly regretting the pork pie.
This field in the background, modelled by me, is where we were aiming for.
Upon arrival to the big white field it took us approx 30seconds before we decided to walk up it instead. We tried a bit of walk/jog/walk/jog but in hindsight the jogging was definitely no faster than the walking.
I discovered that what we were running across was a golf course, which reminded me of happy memories with Adam, and we had a nice little chat about Adam’s love for golf and how he coached me on my swing at the driving range.
From this point onwards it was just a mixture of running and walking across snowy fields, trying not to slip or go over on our ankles. I was looking forward to the downhill bits which were actually no safer, covered in black ice where we had to save ourselves from slipping a fair few times. Little did we know, the worst was yet to come…
I can’t really describe what happened next. All I could hear were a load of spectators cheering and laughing, and the host of the event (a guy wearing a chef outfit waving around a rolling pin?!) was encouraging runners to “just go for it, straight ahead”.
Turns out it was a big boggy bit of land where you could either get lucky on the hard bits of ground, or sink ankle deep in pure mud. Bet you can guess which end of the deal I got.
We were then at the second pie stop where we grabbed a mince pie and made guesses at how long it was until the finish. (Getting a bit tired and over it at this point, just like writing this blog 😂)
A bit of downhill > uphill around the residential streets of Huddersfield and we were at our 3rd and final pie stop, half way up the steepest hill I have ever attempted to run up.
We walked up the remainder of the hill and then started running as soon as we saw Mum and Andy, to give the illusion that we had effortlessly ran the whole thing.
All in all in was a great run and like I said, I was driving home less monstrous than when I woke up and have managed to have a really nice end to the weekend, watching Christmas films and feeling festive having witnessed the first bit of Winter snow ❄️
So there we have 5 races down, and at least one a week since I started the challenge. I now have a couple of weekends off until my next run on…BOXING DAY.
Visit the donation page if you wish to sponsor me doing this challenge, and/or contact me if you would like to sign up to run with me. I’m not sure if I could have done this one today without Tom so running partners are always welcome!