I was woken up by my daughter FaceTiming me. She never fails to make me laugh as she snatches the phone from her mum and scrambles across the bed, as if she’s making a break for freedom. I then spend the next 10 minutes looking up her nose.
I was determined to enjoy the rest of my trip. After all, what is the point of being in another country and being grumpy and miserable, right?
I strolled down to the local Maxima supermarket to get some breakfast essentials. I’m still too scared to use the hotplate in my room, so my breakfast consisted of bananas and bread, washed down with some water.
I’m still struggling to come to terms with the way Latvian people just barge into each other; nobody seems to take offense to it. Today, I witnessed two men bumping into each other multiple times until they had literally circled each other and could continue on their way, resembling a couple of zombies from a computer game.
I walked to the expo to pick up my bib number. I was surprised at how easily I found the venue, navigating streets and roads with ease. Am I slowly becoming Latvian? Will I start barging into other Latvians? Will I become an alcoholic? One of the volunteers at the expo mistook me for being Polish and started talking to me in her native tongue. I panicked and blurted out that I was English. She apologised and said that I looked Polish, then showed me where to go. After picking up my bib and walking through the tiny area of expensive items for sale, I was soon out again.
I had a wander around and found a park that I thought would be perfect for a little 5k run to ease some of the nerves building up regarding tomorrow’s race.
A quick change, and I was soon back at the park for my easy-paced run. I wasn’t aware that the hotel where the elites were staying was directly across the road, and I started seeing people running in their country’s tracksuits. I recognised some of them and even got a couple of nods from the Great Britain runners.
I was behind a group of runners, and I recognized one of them as Aussie Stewart McSweyn, who looked at me and probably wondered which country the fat guy was representing. Our easy paces were completely different, and they soon moved away, leaving me running alone.
I saw two runners in Maltese tracksuits and shouted, “Merħba” (Welcome) as I approached them. One of them noticed the Maltese flag badge on my hat, gave me a smile, and a big thumbs up.
After my run, I had another wander around the old town before going back to my room to watch Millwall lose.