Monday, 14 October 2013


Sunday dawned dull, grey, damp, windy and gloomy. It was, in other words, cross country weather.
I had agreed a week or so back to put my name down as part of a Dunbar team who were going to compete in the East District Relays at Livingston.
Anne was going along as photojournalist for the day and we picked Ian up at his work, just after 12 to head along to Livingston.
Livingston is, to my jaundiced mind, about as far west as a person can travel before crossing that sort of cultural boundary between civilisation and the outskirts of the Third World.
We got to Livingston to find Grant and Nick already there and waiting with the numbers. We procrastinated as long as we could, before finally giving into the inevitable and headed off to the park, numbers on, ready for a bit of a recce and a warm up.
The course was quite “nice”. Mostly paths to be honest and had more of a “trail run” feel to it than cross country. Undulating without being overly hilly.
Grant, Nick and me did the entire route as part of our warm up. Ian, who wasn’t running until the last leg, decided to hold back his warm up for a wee bit (no point in warming up too early if you have to hang about for ages).
The route was very well marked and at a few points someone had even gone to the trouble of painting white all the tree roots that were sticking up out of the path. They looked like ribs sticking out of a decomposing body in some freshly disturbed shallow grave.

Anyway. What of the race? Well. I was second leg, after Grant. The handover appeared to go well and I was soon passing a couple of guys who had started just before me.
Then at about 1.25 miles it all went tits-up. I fell. I don’t know how or why I fell, but fall I most certainly did. Luckily I was back on my feet and running again in a matter of seconds. But I was aware of quite a pain in my right foot. The big toe of my right foot to be exact. Still with the adrenalin pumping I just kept the head down and got on with the job in hand.
Finished my leg having managed to “claw back” five places for the team and, happily, both Nick and Ian managed the same.

The toe was sore most of last night and quite sore this morning. Strangely though, by tightening my shoe as much as I can I managed a wee run this morning at stupid o’clock without too much discomfort. The only time I felt any pain was when I had to stop quickly when I came up to a road crossing.
Fingers crossed – if I take it easy between now and Sunday I should be OK for the marathon.

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