A good week back to my running almost as normal, with a massive weekend of officiating fun.

Monday – I went for a lovely run with Claire – although I did struggle a bit, at least I was struggling around 7 miles rather than around 4 (and I promise I wasn’t pushing it, I just walked a lot). We did a  bit more of the canals than we have been recently and spotted this excellent heron.

Heron plus reflection

I went for another of my weird buffs:

I thought it was just a nice blue and orange pattern but no: Fish Heads In Circles!

7.1 miles, 13:13 mins per mile

Tuesday – I needed to fit in all my miles on weekdays as I had a weekend of officiating, so went to club run. Ran up there the long (ish) way round, not as long as I’d hoped: the nights are starting to draw in a touch so there were long shadows in the park at 6.45pm

I met up with Ruth and jeffed most of it (we did 1 min run, 30 sec walk except on down and uphills!) and then run home with Trudie. A lovely evening.

1.25 miles, 11:28 mins per mile / 4.8 miles, 13:08 mins per mile

Wednesday – went to Dave yoga and did everything fine except I tried to go up into a shoulder stand but came back down again (in a controlled manner).

Thursday – A pre-breakfast run with a section with Jenny in the middle. I’d hoped to do more before I met her as was time constrained on my return home, but events conspired. THEN I thought I’d take a special detour to make up my miles to 5 but it gave me more extra than I’d thought (d’oh!). Lovely to catch up with Jenny and I got another burst of controlled speed (all being relative of course) in the first and last miles.  Again, the dawns are getting later so there was still something pretty to catch when I left home about 6.45 am.

Dawn over my road

5.3 miles, 12:30 mins per mile

Saturday – Off to Alexander Stadium on two buses for the Masters’ Track and Field Championships. I was fortunate to be offered the opportunity to do Field officiating today and Track tomorrow, giving me two different experiences for my qualifications from the same championships.

The old city council logo on the old sign

It was pretty rainy and I was glad I’d packed my Sealskinz hat AND worn the waterproof socks!

Alexander Stadium track in the rain from the officials’ room.

I picked up my duty sheet: this had 30 different competitions (some of which included more than one age group, for example I had a long jump competition which was for Men 50-54 and 55-59. I had six competitions, each with a certain number of officials and each with a leader (none of whom was me, as I’m not qualified enough for that, yet). This is what I did:

  • Mens 35/40/45 Long Jump – spiked for the EDM and raked the sand. We used an Electronic Distance Measuring machine which looks like this (used later in the field):  the EDM operator focuses it on a prism at the end of a spike held by the spiker, presses a button and it measures the distance for the EDM operator to call out and write down.

EDM machine from the operator’s side

Spiking involved standing the spike up with the prism facing the EDM, held upright (it’s longer than a normal spike or screwdriver and has a little bubble to show when it’s upright) with my legs behind it to help the operator find the prism. Then if needed I would rake away the footsteps I’d made.

  • Men’s 50 and then 55/65 Long Jump – for both of these I was the EDM operator. I hadn’t actually done this since last August but I was firmly encouraged to give it a go and it worked fine once I’d got my eye back in.
  • Men’s 60/65 Javelin – spiking for the EDM but on a much longer distance and a green field. We were out of the stadium on a special field behind it and the wind was so strong, all the javelins were flying to the right!
  • Women’s 50/55 and then 60+ Weight. Weight is a special event used only in Master’s competitions here – it’s a heavier ball than the hammer but on a much shorter handle. Pretty impressive to see women in their 70s and 80s wielding it and they were a lovely, jolly lot, all celebrating when one of them did well. I did retrieving for both competitions – the 50/55 weight was pretty heavy!

This was a very busy and physical day and I was pretty tired at the end, but I enjoyed learning a new discipline. I’d hoped to get a Report at this match (when you have a higher-level person write a report on how you did, especially around the safety involved in Long Throws) but I learnt enough new things in the javelin (how to block the run-up when running a warm-up, what to indicate when you’re in the field and a throw goes wide) that I realised I wasn’t ready for my report yet.

Sunday – Track today and on a team with one person I know well from Endurance officiating and one (our ref) I’d worked with before. We worked around the track but centred on the Track Officials’ Stand, seen here (just in front of the high jump bed, close to the finish line) from the officials’ room.

Track judges’ stand

And this was the view of the dear old stand, soon to be demolished to make way for the new Commonwealth Games stand, from the top of the Track judges’ stand:

Dear old Alexander Stadium

Another duty sheet, this time with 44 races, some of which were split into heats (and some which were a final instead of having heats, meaning a final further down the sheet would not need to be run), and some of which were for more than one category at a time. I moved around the track doing various jobs for one long or a few shorter races, including:

  • Judging a steeplechase hurdle to make sure there were no infringements
  • Judging the bend on the 200m
  • Judging a section of a 5000m race
  • Judging the break line on the 800m and removing the tiny cones used for that on the inside lanes
  • Recording the final three finishers’ numbers in a race
  • Recording all the finishers’ numbers in a race
  • Taking down lap charts for 5000m race walk and running races
  • Operating the lap board (seen by the runners) and lap bell – which is less scary than it sounds as your assistant tells you which runners are on the bell and which ones have been lapped
  • Operating a wind gauge and reporting the result to Photo Finish
  • Taking down results in number order on a duplicating sheet and running them over to Timekeeping to have the times added

We did of course get breaks but it was pretty full-on and, as it was only my second track experience and my first independent one, without shadowing someone, there was a lot to learn! It was good fun though and quite a few of the athletes gave us a personal thank you.

Weekly total 18.5 miles. Total this year 649.3 (I need 666.67 at the end of this month to be on track for my 1,000 miles in a year total)

weekly-run-down-final-300x300The Weekly Run Down is run by two wonderful running women and joined by lots of other inspirational women. Kim’s weekly wrap is here and Deborah’s is here.