I may have made a tactical error. Running an Arethusa mile has been a velleity* of mine for a while and after my Strava timeline exploded with mile races last weekend, I decided to add it into the notes column on my training plan.
Knowing me as he does, my long-suffering coach queried my cryptic “(Arethusa mile)” as he assumed that the one thing it definitely wouldn’t be was a mile race. I confirmed that it was indeed a mile race, and added that it was both local and weekly…
…and when I next looked at my plan I saw that it was included not once, not twice, but three times. Which given that I was only looking at the new three week block meant it was in every week. Eek.
I texted a friend to ask for some information.
“When? Where? How?”**
“Then. There. Like that (with added bug spray because the midges are fierce)”.
I told everyone I knew that I was going to give me no chance to back out.
I went***. It was lovely****. I’ll be back*****.
* A mere wish, unaccompanied by effort to obtain.
** These were the questions I asked, but what I really wanted to know was “What are the unspoken rules? How will I know what to do? Will I stick out like a sore thumb? Will everyone look at me witheringly for daring to presume that I am welcome at a race for fast athletes?”******
*** Stupidly early. I mean, stupidly. I left two hours for a twenty minute journey and a fifteen minute warm up. I was nervous.
**** The mile itself hurt rather a lot and the uncontrollable coughing afterwards was distinctly unpleasant, but the chatting to familiar faces beforehand was lovely.
***** If I’m allowed. My mostly dormant competitive streak came out and I may or may not have elbowed two people out of the way as I dipped for the line.
****** The usual runner ones. Someone (or rather several someones) will tell you. No you won’t. Of course not, don’t be daft.