It was the end of the fourth kilometre of uphill huffing and puffing, striking out and stumbling through the mud and stoney trails of Calverley and Ravenscliffe Woods. Just another 500 metres, then it would even out, I might even be able to breathe. Yet I was still alone, they hadn’t caught me up – and they were on bikes.
Fleeting thoughts of Olympic glory in the Older Women’s Uphill 5000 metre Challenge (a new sport, I’m told), world records and a photocall with Lord Coe were quickly replaced by doubts, big doubts. I was alone not because I’d shown the biking duo a clean pair of heels, I was alone because someone had taken a wrong turn. The finger of suspicion in matters navigational always points in my direction, admittedly with some justification.
The expedition had started well. Noel’s running training is on hold until his suspected stress fracture is sorted, which could take some weeks. In the meantime, he’s cycling and I’m running. We’d tried it out the previous day, Noel’s slow cycle to pace my even slower running seemed to work. Today we were joined by Duracell Bev, who, when she’s not running and running and running and running, is cycling and cycling and cycling and cycling.
My last words to them as they headed off to do gnarly biking stuff were, woods circuit, right? And that’s where it started to go wrong. Their circuit was Calverley Woods, mine wasn’t.
Of course I had no phone, no house key, not even an emergency pack of jelly babies. Just the freedom of the run… I arrived home to find Noel waiting for me, after an unexpectedly lengthened circuit, after working out that we’d gone in different directions and going to look for me. How we laughed.
And the moral of the story? Clear communications…. and remind me again what job I’m starting tomorrow? Something to do with communications? Thank goodness they don’t read this blog…..