After my post-op check-up last week at Brighton and my quick visit home I brought my running gear with me to Bristol. Shoes, shorts, socks, a couple of pairs of running tops, running leggings and a baseball cap.
No Garmin, no running jacket.
I'd forgot the Garmin and planned to do early morning runs up on Clifton Downs providing the weather was ok.
Last Thursday my wife drove back home to Yeovil; a big achievement for her as she'd never done that journey in that direction, let alone on her own. She refused to drive from our accommodation though the centre of Bristol but was willing, if a bit nervously, to go from Templemeads train station as its a fairly simple route out of Bristol from there. I ended up driving to the train station and watching her head off before returning to the hospital.
On Sunday she was due to return and the plan started off with her leaving about mid morning. By Saturday evening this plan had changed to a 6:30am start in order to avoid all the traffic. It didn't however, mean avoiding the weather conditions.
Saturday was a pretty nice day with a bit of sunshine. Sunday morning dawned overcast. From there it quickly got worse with drizzle and then proper rain.
And I had to get across to the train station.
I could have got a taxi over but in the end I decided I'd run. Of course no running jacket meant I'd only have short sleeved running tops, admittedly two of them. I'd stay dry enough, and besides I had running leggings to keep me a bit warmer.
Up early, wash and clean teeth; well you never know it always possible that something could happen and I'd end up being given the kiss of life by someone. On with my sports bra, running tops and ...
Shorts yes, as I'd planned to wear them over my leggings, but I'd forgotten the leggings themselves. OK, this was going to be an interesting run.
The nursing staff on the ward were a bit surprised when I wandered up to let them know that I was going to nip out for a run in order to collect my wife and that Rhys was awake. I ended up having several conversations with nurses as we were going down in the lift (Rhys is on the 7th floor and I had no intention of going down that many flights of stairs; no matter what any of the nurses might have said).
The run itself wasn't too bad. The first quarter mile started of with a downhill section before a short climb up from the shopping precinct. A very short downhill section and the rest was flat.
Running through the streets I found that I was fairly well protected from the rain by the tall buildings to one side of me. The odd car passed; more than would have gone by at home on a Sunday morning, and the odd person making their way to and from work plus a few workmen already busy with roadworks.
Surprisingly quickly I found myself at the train station and spotted my wife across the dual carriageway section in front of the station entrance. Stopping I waited for her to come round the roundabout and along the stretch of road I was on.
And waited, and waited, and waited.
Where was she, had she gone straight on to the hospital because the traffic was so light? I began to retrace my steps hoping I'd see her but there was no sign.
Fortunately I had my mobile phone with me so rang her's. When she answered she confessed she'd taken the wrong turning, after missing the correct one the first time and going all the way around the roundabout. Now she was a bit lost.
Getting her to describe what she could see I started off down the road that came off the roundabout before the one she should have taken. As I walked down the road I saw our car coming in the other direction and with a sense of relief finally caught up with my wife and got in the car and out of the wet weather.
In the end my first run since surgery was 1.30 miles in 11 minutes 39 seconds, a sub 9 minute/mile pace. I'm looking forward to my next run now as I plan on it being in nicer weather conditions, although maybe not as flat a route.
Its nice to be able to get back to doing something I love; it won't hurt to lose a few of the pounds that have crept on since I went into hospital either.
Oh, and as for my wife driving home and back on her own; I'm so proud of her for overcoming her nervousness and doing that.