Until I began running out of time.
I set two early morning dates at the track, persuaded Trace to join me for both dates, and roped in Adele, Edward, and Hector for the two relay events.
When I was training for the Freyathlon marathon, I used to join Kent Athletics Club at their weekly track sessions. As Trace and I did a warm-up trot around the track, I started to remember how much I’d enjoyed the sessions and how my running had improved.
We made our way to the 100m start line.
Wardrobe malfunctions are never welcome. I had one about 30m into the 100m: the waist of my leggings began to creep down. I spent the rest of the race hoiking everything up. I was relieved it was an early Sunday morning and there was only one other person at the track.
After the 100m, we did 200m, 400m, 800m, and 1500m.
We were finished within an hour, and back home for breakfast and The Archers omnibus.
‘What about batons?’ Adele texted. And I thought about looking in the shed for something suitable. Adele texted again: ‘Hector’s suggestion: banana batons.’
On the day, my relay team ran, cycled, and scooted to the track. I was driven. In my defence I was planning to complete Day One of the heptathlon, and had a radio interview lined up with BBC Scotland.
We selected our team relay places by numbered bananas, and took up our places on the track for the 4 x 100m: Edward, Freya, Adele, Hector. Trace was on stopwatch and videographer/photographer duties.
We ran. We finished.
And lined up in the same order for the 4 x 400m.
On my lap, I noticed two men warming up on the track.
‘Love your banana relay,’ one called. He ran past us later and realised he was running barefoot, proper barefoot.
We finished the two team relays before 8am. Bananas were eaten or taken for later. Trace and three-quarters of the team departed, and I stayed on to complete the hurdles, and the three track events for the heptathlon.
I’d thought about doing the steeplechase at the track but, after inspecting the water jump, decided I needed an alternative.
Instead, I did three laps of Mountsfield Park: huffing up the inclines, puffing down the declines, and leaping over the rubbish dragged from the bins by foxes. It was muggy. It wasn’t fun.
I don’t plan on getting better at leaping over the steeplechase waterjump, but I can see plenty of trots and runs in parks, rubbish-strewn and not-so rubbish-strewn, in my future.
Athletics – track. 14, 16, 19 August 2016
100m hurdles 0.35mins
400m hurdles 3.02mins
3000 steeplechase 31.26mins
4x100m relay 1.28mins
4x400m relay 8.29mins
Ladywell Arena Athletics Track and Mountsfield Park
TeamFreya: Adele, Edward, Hector, Trace