Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Snowboarding with Ryan and East Kilbride Half Marathon 21st and 22nd June 2008

I had promised Ryan a couple of months ago that we would go to the Ski centre at Bellahouston Park and he could teach me how to snowboard.

As you are all very much aware I am currently the best skier in the world, bar none, but I have been 'keen' to try snowboarding for a while now and Ryan was more than happy to have the opportunity to laugh at his old man.

He came over at lunchtime on Saturday and after we had eaten some lunch, we headed up to Bellahouston.

The centre was almost deserted, probably due to the crappy weather, which was good for us.

After deciding that I was 'goofy' and telling a small white lie to the man issuing the snowboard, "yes, I have snowboarded before, but I am still at beginner level". We headed outside and Ryan showed me how to fasten the bindings and gave me a brief tutorial on the art of 'boarding.

I managed to pick it up quite easily, despite falling over on numerous occassions with Ryan giving helpful hints in between laughing at me.

We moved onto the bigger slope, with Ryan continuing to snowboard effortlessly, while I had all the grace of a new-born fowl.

However, after a few runs down the big slope, I kind of got into it and as I have learned at skiing, sometimes you just need to go for it, which I did as you can see from the video clip below...

However, pride comes before a fall and my God, did I hurt my pride.

I started at the top again and decided just to let rip on the way down. It was going great until I reached the bottom and went over a bump. I flew into the air and just could not correct my posture and landed square on my ass. I heard a 'crack' as I landed and lay groaning for several minutes, knowing that I had done some damage.

I told Ryan that my snowboarding fun was finished for the day and hobbled into the clubhouse to ease my injured derierre into a soft seat.

We got changed back into our civvies and headed home.

When I got home, a look in the mirror revealed the damage that I had managed to do to myself.

Those of you who don't want to see a pcture of my bruised ass, please stop reading now.

You have been warned...

We ordered some chinese food and I booked tickets to go to the cinema that night to see The Happening. The food arrived just in time to watch Doctor Who then we watched the footie before heading over to the showcase just after 9.00.

The film was pretty good and it was cool just to spend time with my boy and eat popcorn while watching a good flick.

We were back at my flat just before midnight and had a good laugh watching Ace Ventura before I bailed out just after one o'clock and left him to watch the end of the film, but I advised him to go to bed soon as we had an early start the next day.

The alarm went off at 7.45 the next morning and after dragging sleeping beauty out of his pit we got ready and had some breakfast before Jim and Stewart picked us up.

Stewart and Jim were running the 10k and I was participating in the half marathon with Jim hoping to run it in under 50 minutes, Stewart was hopefull of a 42 minute run and I was remaining ever optomistic for the 'holy grail' of under 1 hour and 45 minutes for the half marathon.

I am in really good shape just now, but eating a chinese meal, large popcorn, large pepsi and staying up late before a big run is not recommended, so I was not going to bust a gut on this one.

We arrived with 5 minutes to spare and I told Ryan where to meet us at the end of the race, and that the other two would be finished an hour before me, then we headed off to begin the run.

Not a bad crowd had turned out, with most taking part in the 10k rather than the half marathon. However, it is not a patch on the Glasgow Half Marathon, which unfortunately I wont make this year as I will be cycling in Switzerland.

I managed to keep up with Stewart for the first couple of miles before he disappeared into the distance when I stopped for a water break. Flagged a bit around 5 to 7 miles as I trudged round the soulless town that is East Kilbride but a nice lycra clad bum of cute blonde made me refocus and I ran with her for a few miles at a fare old pace.

By the time I got to 10 miles I realised that I was making good progress. Dare I dream the impossible dream that I would break the 1 hour 45 and set a new personal best? One thing was for sure. My sore ass was feeling it as every step hurt just a little bit more.

Nevertheless, I romped home in a new pesonal best time of 1 hour, 41 minutes and 10 seconds!!! A full seven minutes off my previous best time, so I am chuffed to bits.

Stewart was a bit disheartened with his run being a minute outside his target time and Jim had a respectable time too. Ryan just looked totally unimpressed with our efforts!

So that is you up to date for now on what I have been up to.

I am off to Australia tomorrow to stay with Kath for a three week holiday of skiing, surfing, sky diving, binge drinking etc.

Expect a blog entry to end all blog entries for that one!

See you on the other side...