I knew when I started this that there would be highs and lows. The problem is it feels more like snakes and ladders where there’s a shortage of ladders and an Indiana Jones room full of snakes.

The Ironman training had been going OK. The Paris marathon is becoming very real, very quickly but I was slowly increasing the running, getting the bike together then a slip. The back twist at the last race followed by an almighty chest infection and cough has thrown me a bit. I’m sure it was a mere sniffle in the real world but it knocks me backward. Missing a week of training of any sort and I end up spiralling into eating crisps and drinking far too much tea.

I made a stand this weekend. Out for the night on Saturday I left the car at the station with the thought that I would have to run and get it on Sunday. Sunday came and went in the midst of storm Imogen*, so I was left with no option other than a 6:30AM alarm and a jog to the station.

I’m not a morning person but emotionally had convinced myself that this would be the start of something great. I could join the legions of morning joggers, happy in their lycra and then spending the day energised and full of vim. Bounding over misty fields and galloping through mysterious woodlands before running serenely alongside a stream saying “good morning” to the kingfishers and badgers that dothed their caps as I sauntered past.

The reality was that 05_tdaI got up miserable. I ran to the station and hated every mile of the pathetic distance that it was. I forgot my inhaler which when I have it, I never use. Sods law when I don’t have it I convince myself I need it.

There were no badgers or kingfishers, there were closed shops and cars belching deisel into the air. Uneven pavements and early morning commuters trying to understand what at unfit blamange was doing squeezed into black running gear and dribbling incoherently whilst running down the high street.

I arrived at the station, mid rush hour commute in a my skintight running leggings smuggling what looked like a small kernel of popcorn. With unkept hair making me look like an out of control Donald Trump I was frantically looking around to try and catch a glimpse of the accordion band that had been following me for the last mile. Turns out the noise of wheezing accordions was actually by lungs trying their best to turn me inside out.

I’ve discovered 3 things.

  1. Mornings are for other people : Running in the early morning sounds romantic and watching the sunrise over fog laden meadows must be lovely. Coughing and wheezing through a rush hour car park whilst berating the state of your fitness and muttering obscenities is neither pretty nor romantic. I assume people though I was a local tramp who had stumbled across some lycra. I’m not a morning runner.
  2. I am a psychic genius : I should take on David Blane/Derren Brown. My powers of suggestion are unlimited. I decided I was unfit within 300 yards and for the remaining 2.5 miles I felt every step. Every breath was like being waterboarded. If there’s a TV show about psychosomatic performance, I’m pretty sure I could convince myself to call in sick for the audition.
  3. Eating isn’t cheating, but it feels just as good : I eat like a particularly peckish equine when I’ve exercised. Even when I know it’s stress or boredom, a short jog promptly justifies a family bag of crisps and anything else I can lay my hands on. I suppose I should run tonight to even it up.


*I would have linked to a more local view, but images of our bins being blown over and the dogs refusing to go out in the rain would have been much less interesting.