Embrace Sports 10/10/14 Targetted long run

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It was the last full day of the Embrace Sports camp, so it ended in the traditional way with a targetted long run. I had discussed my goal with Neil the night before. I wanted to complete 13.1 miles in 1:59:59. This would mean running at 5:40/km. I was confident that my fitness had improved enough that I would achieve my goal… but I did still have a slight niggle in my leg.

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We all piled into the minibuses and headed to the starting point of the targetted long run. There we posed for the obligatory group photos:

Before the targetted long run
© Embrace Sports, 2014.
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© Embrace Sports, 2014.
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© Embrace Sports, 2014.

The team set out all of the necessities for a long run: drinks, bananas and some Haribo!

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© Embrace Sports, 2014.

Starting my targetted long run

I headed off down the hill but realised fairly quickly that I had a problem. My leg really hurt. I definitely had a hamstring issue. I decided to give it five minutes to see whether it would ease. Sadly, by the time I had run a kilometre, I knew that my leg was not going to get better. I decided not to risk further injury and started walking back to the start.

I’ve only run or cycled through Lagos before, so it gave me a chance to look out over the water. I was absolutely fascinated by all of the tiny black crabs that were scuttling on the rocks and harbour wall. Watching them was a good way to take my mind off my disappointment.

I got back to the start and had a chat with Graeme who resting his injured foot.

Watching the other runners

It wasn’t long before we saw Neil running towards us, with Gaby in hot pursuit.

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Gaby always looks like she should be on the cover of a running magazine. The next runner to come along was Nico followed by Alan.

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After that, everyone came past in quick succession.

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Dan ©Embrace Sports
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Darren ©Embrace Sports
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Marcus ©Embrace Sports
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Keith ©Embrace Sports
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Ian ©Embrace Sports
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Rache ©Embrace Sports
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Ed ©Embrace Sports
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Jan and Paul ©Embrace Sports
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Richard ©Embrace Sports
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Sandrine and Rachel ©Embrace Sports
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Rachel ©Embrace Sports
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Pamela was running strong ©Embrace Sports
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George ©Embrace Sports
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Bernadette ©Embrace Sports
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Nadine ©Embrace Sports
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Ruth ©Embrace Sports
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Graeme tried to lure in Caroline and Liz with some sweets ©Embrace Sports
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Stu ©Embrace Sports
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Rache ©Embrace Sports

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Jeanette looked so happy every time she passed ©Embrace Sports

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I had plenty of time to look at my surroundings as I knew that some people’s targetted long run distance was 20 miles. There is quite an impressive statue of St. Gonzalo of Lagos overlooking the harbour.

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Pamela had helped to keep me going several times during the week, so it was great to be able to cheer her on. She was working really hard and was only able to squeak out “Juice, juice!” as she briefly paused for refreshment!

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Richard was clearly enjoying his long run. When I started cheering for him, he came over and did a little dance. I think it was something from early ’90s Madchester!

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Nico did one five-mile lap very fast, as preparation for Amsterdam half marathon and Berlin marathon, so he treated himself to a little lie-down.

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Success!

Most people achieved what they had set out to do, so they were happy to pose for some photos, before heading back over to cheer on the people who were still running.

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The highlight of the day was when Jeanette finished with the exclamation of “15 chuffing miles. 50 years old and that’s the first time I’ve ever run 15 chuffing miles!”

Relaxing after the hard work

We then headed back via the German patisserie, which had a fine selection of cakes including apfel struedel, apfel torte and  schwarzwälder küche. I hadn’t earned it, but I had a slice anyway!

In the afternoon, we headed down to the beach for a swim, before going to the nearest bar for a drink.

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When we got back, there was port and cheese and a recap of everything we had done during the week (including photos).

Evening out

We went out for a boozy meal. The lovely Ed came over to pose for some photos with me:

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Then we had a full ‘Smith family’ photo:

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The evening was rounded off by Jeanette and Al playing the spoons for us.

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After the meal, we had our final group photo before most people went off for more drinks and Stu and I headed back to our apartment.

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