I’ve not posted since last Tuesday because, frankly, there’s not been a lot going on! I had a run down into Oxford on Wednesday morning to check out the mooring situation for the weekend, and was not impressed. Just around the corner from us though was Thrupp, with its service point and good moorings. So we took the decision to stay here, on the 7 day section, till after the weekend. I checked up on public transport for Sunday morning to get me into Oxford for the race, but decided to go for the easier option and arranged for a taxi to pick me up at The Boat Inn, drop me off near the start, and bring me back afterwards.
It was about midday when we pulled pins and travelled the ½ mile or so down to the sanitary station.
From Shipton to Thrupp
Having filled the water tank and emptied the loos and rubbish, it was just a matter of getting under the lift bridge. Then finding a spot on the 7 day moorings.
Under the lift bridge at Thrupp
We moored in front of NB Sunflower. I got chatting to Rob and Ann (on Sunflower) and it turns out that they’re both runners, too. In fact Rob’s club look after one of the finishing lanes at the London Marathon each year. So if I get a place, I’ll be looking out for him at the end. That’s if I get that far….
We had friends visit while we’ve been here. First Jan came over from Bicester on Thursday, and treated us to lunch at The Boat, then we had James and Gina from Abingdon yesterday for lunch and the afternoon. Very enjoyable both visits were too.
So on to today, and the reason we’re here at the bottom of the Oxford Canal. I got collected as arranged by a very pleasant gentleman from Kidlington Taxis, and was dropped off 15 minutes from the University Parks in Oxford.
The finish line of the Oxford Town and Gown. It gets busier later….
The course winds around the town centre, quite congested in places and the rain and blustery wind didn’t help, either. Still, the surface was good and the atmosphere kept the spirits up.
My time was disappointing though. When I first started running seriously, back in 2002, I pushed it too hard on the training. Most new runners will be able to recognise the problems. Inappropriate shoes, inappropriate training plan, inappropriate warm up and cool down. The upshot of my ignorance was injuries to the muscles in both my shins. Up until now I’ve not had a recurrence of the problem, but 5 or 6 weeks ago it came back. I’ve tried to “run through it” which is the worst thing to do, and it has compromised my ability to train at an intensity that would have given me a good time today.
So I was disappointed, but not surprised to be off the pace by 20 or so seconds per mile. I managed a couple of fast kilometres, but could not sustain the pace. Though maybe the half a dozen painkillers I took before the race didn’t help….
Anyway, for the first time in 3 years I’m not able to say I’ve improved my PB, In fact today it slipped back by 1:45. Ah well. There’s always Sheffield in September. I can take a month or so off now to let my shins heal properly.
At least I finished before these guys…
Just along the cut from here are Bones and Maffi. I’d seen their boats on my excursions out with Meg, and had exchanged a few words with Bones when she came up for water.
We were pleasantly surprised when we had a knock from them this evening, inviting us to join them for a drink in the pub.
So we’ve had a very enjoyable couple of hours in The Boat, meeting others of the waterborn fraternity and chatting. Thanks, both. We’d just have been stuck in front of the TV, otherwise. Meg enjoyed herself too, half a bag of pork scratchings and a chance to say hello to Bones’ pooch, Boots, and she’s in heaven.
The weather seems set to remain the same, sunny periods and showers. We’ll be heading down the last bit of the canal, through Oxford, and out onto the Thames tomorrow. Turning right, we’ll be heading upstream, destination Lechlade at the head of the navigation. Everyone we’ve spoken to says it a fine trip, so we’re looking forward to it.
Since last post….
Locks 0, miles ½. But 1 lift bridge…