Ah, that’s better

Before I start I should really clear something up. It’s been mentioned that recently on this blog I’ve been coming across as a bit of a grumpy old git. A curmudgeonly plodder if you will, constantly moaning about my own performance or lack thereof. The thing I need to point out is that this is just the way I write, and without the odd self-effacing whinge this blog would be as short as the author. See? I did it again.

Anyway, the thing to bear in mind when reading this nonsense is that despite the moaning, despite my shouty inner-critic, despite the occasional colourful metaphor*, I bloody love running. Even the slowest and most awkward run is punctuated with moments of sheer unadulterated joy, whether it’s relishing nature’s soundtrack on an early-morning plod, or the triumph of nearly tripping over but then not tripping over even though I really thought I was going to trip over**.

Which brings me to today’s run…

This one had to be good. In order to go out for this run I’d passed up the opportunity to go and see the Winnie the Pooh movie with my family. Who knows how long it’ll be until I finally discover why he’s not just called Winnie the Bear? So I set off. I’d originally planned to get up early and head out before it started to get warm, but I’d overslept and it was now 11:30am and 18°C (and if you’ve read my earlier post about my relationship with hot weather you’ll know that anything over 10°C in my little world means that I’m in imminent danger of catching on fire).

I won’t go into every last detail of the run itself, but suffice to say it was the polar opposite of my last one. After a gentle mile to warm-up my legs felt light and loose (make up your own jokes there), and I soon settled into a comfortable stride. Well, as comfortable as it can be for someone who naturally runs with the elegant gait of a broken washing machine. I slowed to a walk on a couple of occasions, but I like to think that this time it wasn’t so much due to physical exhaustion or mentally throwing in the towel***. It was more to do with the fact that, as I’ve mentioned before, I’m VERY easily distracted and kept seeing things that demanded my immediate attention, such as mysterious winding paths or an oddly shaped tree stump. I’d love to tell you what shape the tree stump was, but I think my Mum still reads this thing. Want to know what I looked like? Okay… Picture a long, straight dirt track through some woods. Now picture a man running along it in a straight line, taking long purposeful strides, his face set in stony determination. Well, the person you just pictured wasn’t me. I was the one zipping from side to side like a grinning human pinball occasionally stopping to look at something small and shiny before shouting “ooh” and skipping off to the next thing. See if you can guess which one of these diagrams represents me…

But distractions didn’t matter, because I wasn’t aiming for any kind of Personal Best. I was just out there to enjoy the run and hopefully crank up the miles a bit, and I certainly succeeded on both counts. As I drew close to home my legs were more tired and jelly-like than they’d been for a long while; I felt like I was running on a mattress and although it’d been a great run I was glad that it was nearly finished. It was at this point that I glanced down at the GPS thingy on my phone and saw that for the first time ever I’d cracked the 5 mile barrier, and that I’d done it in just a smidgen over an hour. For some that might be no more than a brisk walk to the shops, but for me this was a real achievement and I finished my run with a warm fuzzy feeling in my stomach, which admittedly may have been because I was on the verge of throwing up with exhaustion.

All in all, a really good run that’s once again left me hungry for the next one. And to top it off I got home to find that this very blog has now had over a thousand hits. That means either there’s a lot of people reading this nonsense, or (more likely) a handful of very strange people reading it hundreds of times each.

Happy plodding 🙂

5.21 miles (8.38km) 1:03:51

*True story. Movie adaptation is in the pipeline.

** If you’re me, and want a quick metaphor to sum up your running style, there’s a simple formula to follow. First, choose a suitable running-related adjective and couple it with an animal or type of person not normally associated with said adjective. The final flourish is to them give them an extra reason to be slow, clumsy or graceless.

Examples:

“As fast as a hobbit with a broken foot”

“Has the nimble fleet-footedness of an asthmatic turtle with its flippers tied together”

“Runs with the grace and poise of a hippopotamus that’s been startled by the paparazzi and is now angry, confused and temporarily blinded by a dozen flashbulbs. Oh, and also someone has smeared margarine over the bottom of his feet”.

*** Of course, we’ll never know how far I’d have got if I hadn’t had these breaks. Let’s assume “really far” and keep my ego boosted.

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For sale: 18th century colonial-style cabin. Some assembly required.

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