Friday, January 11, 2008

Save the Leeds Half

I remember a day in May 2005 when I was getting to the stage where I was nearly ready to run my first 5k (Race for Life). I'd just about managed 5k on the treadmill for the first time.
I made a weekend trip to the gym and saw all the preparations for the Leeds Half. That put a thought in my head that changed my life. It was the first time I ever really considered taking my running further and building up from being a treadmill jogger and charity event participant to being a Runner. With a capital R.
My mind started ticking over, and I came up with a vague plan to build up to a 10k then a half. As it turned out, I did run a half (or three) in 2006, although not Leeds because I was on holiday, but I finally lined up at the start for the 2007 race as I'd planned two years earlier. It isn't the most scenic half I've ever done, and it wasn't my fastest, but it was significant for me to have achieved that aim.
But, it seems, it's a good job I managed to fit the race into my Edinburgh training schedule last year, because the council have scrapped it for this year and, once a race is scrapped, who knows if it will ever be revived. I'm gutted, and more than a little annoyed about it. They've already tried to kill my club 10k race by refusing to let us run it on the roads, and now they're taking away the Leeds Half too.
They claim that they are still committed to running, because they've got the new Jane Tomlinson 10k and the Abbey Dash. I'm sorry, but those are both 10ks, and they're both overtly charity focussed. They're not the same type of event by any means, and if anyone thinks that a charity 10k is a suitable replacement for a half marathon they're clearly not a runner. To use the Jane Tomlinson race as a way of killing off a long running half seems like an appalling "tribute" to someone who was far better known for running endurance events than 10ks.
A campaign is afoot to save the race, with emails flying all over the place, a facebook group, and there's talk of doing a protest "unofficial" Leeds half on the date it would have taken place. Which led me to wonder whether I've turned into not just a runner, but a militant runner...
Meanwhile, my quest for sociability continues with a shameful confession. I am going for my first ever proper thai meal tomorrow for someone's birthday. It's something that I've never really fancied, but the time has come to take the plunge and see what I've been missing.
When I've tried thai inspired things in pubs or as ready meals (back in the day when I did ready meals) I was never that impressed, so never really gave it a go. If I'm going out for a meal in Leeds I have so many places that I absolutely love that I never take the risk of trying this place, even though everyone says it's really good. But as someone else has chosen, it's time to take the plunge.
Tips and suggestions of what to try would be more than welcome!
Apart from the food side of it, I'm a little concerned that I'm only going to know one other person there (ie the person whose birthday it is), but I'm working on the assumptions that conversation round a table is an easier way to get to know people than mingling in a bar, and if they're people who are friends of one of my friends, they should be the sort of people I'd like. You never know, I might even have a really good time.
Operation clean up my eating continues, with a week in which I have made no trips to Starbucks (not even for camomile tea, which was last week's half way house), a mere one trip to the vending machine, and drunk precisely 0 units of alcohol between Monday morning and 5pm on Friday. I'm still eating up my christmas goodies, but not bingeing on them, and I'm craving fresh fruit and veg more than I am chocolate.

I wish I'd taken a photo of my shopping before I put it away too, I'm even tempted to scan the receipt for posterity. Even by my standards it was a remarkably clean shop and very colourful!


Blogger fluffyhelen said...

Woohoo! =)
I always shop "through the rainbow". =)

8:28 PM  
Blogger kathrynoh said...

I always go for the worst possible choices with Thai food, like Pad Thai and coconut rice, but nothing bets a great Thai stir fry with lots of sharp flavours. I'd go for something with lemongrass and basil :D

10:01 PM  
Blogger Mel Starrs said...

Which Thai is it? I LOVE thai food. Ton Yum Gai for starters (spicy hot and sour chicken soup) or Tod Mun Pla (fish cakes - more eggy than usual and no breadcrumbs). Or mixed starters are good to share. Then I like basil based stir fry dishes or steamed fish dishes. Oh - I'm salivating just thinking about it...Enjoy...

3:57 PM  

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