R, R & R

IMAG0217

London at lunchtime. by Moi.

So, a quick check on my blog before I started typing this, says it’s been 5 months since I posted anything. In that post, I was talking about how I’d signed up to a half marathon in Essex. Well, it just so happens that this Sunday is that very race.

The final training run was completed yesterday. 177 miles of training have been run over the past 11 weeks (with some bike rides too, but that’s a story for another blog)

I wouldn’t say I decided specifically to not blog during my training, it just never really happened, plus a week by week account would be very similar to my original marathon blogging, only half as impressive so probably just as well I didn’t.

Being out on the streets for 9,10, 11 mile runs, taking over an hour and more has given my inner monologue its mojo back, and I have been thinking about posting this update for quite a while. One of the main surprises has been a lack of any major injury. I’m ignoring a persistent ingrown toe nail as that’s a bit lame compared to my marathon attempt with its £350 cortisone knee injection. What I have had, however, is an overall ache and full body exhaustion at times. That’s just because I’m officially old. Jokily blaming things on age when I was still in my 20’s, early 30’s etc is gone. Now it’s just fact, my body is talking back to me a lot more these days. How depressing is that?!

I’d scoff at footballers when…hold up, I’ve never scoffed at anything or anyone. Who scoffs? Maybe some elitist public school arsehole in a Dickensian story? I’d roll my eyes when a professional footballer nearing their retirement age of 34 spoke of not playing midweek games because they need more recovery time than they did in their youth. Turns out there was a wee bit of truth in there…

So anyway, overall training has been pretty good but I have tried a new training plan which  has been a bit more full on and has less of a taper which I’m not sure yet if it was a good idea. I personally think I peaked about 2 weeks ago but that’s partly down to my old glass half full crap again. So hopefully a PB is on the cards instead. I’ve run 2 half marathons before, both in the pouring rain (1 in London, 1 in Glasgow) and did them in 1hr 52 mins and 1 hr 51 mins so I absolutely have to get at least 1 hr 50. Ideally I’d like to see a good few minutes taken off of 1hr 51.

One of the best things about my training has been my new location at work, which is right on the Thames. So many lunchtime runs, trying to find new routes around some of the most famous landmarks in the world. If you follow me on twitter, (and why wouldn’t you?) you’ll probably have seen a lot of #LoveLondon tweets from me, usually involving pictures of some of the amazing views you get around the capital. 17 years after moving here I still get excited when I watch shows like Luther and spot somewhere I recognise! (I used to do the same years ago when I watched Taggart, and saw areas of Glasgow that I knew) BTW Luther & Taggart, what a pairing they’d be! An uncompromising Scottish nutcase detective, and a fairly dodgy cockney copper with scant regard for the rules. I’d buy that box set, but I digress. My original point was, I was looking forward to my lunchtime runs, as the scenery was amazing. Crossing the Thames on any of it’s bridges, on a sunny day is one of life’s good experiences. I got to do it multiple times on my lunch break. There was a 5 miler which took in the London Eye, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey & London Bridge. Or a shorter 3 mile run past the Ministry Of Sound, across Tower Bridge, and past St Paul’s Cathedral, and many many more. Best of all it all adds as a distraction to stop your brain worrying about the fact you are out running. again.

There is a caveat to this though, the fact that they are famous streets & landmarks means they can get pretty busy with tourists. Tourists are one of the key groups when it comes to folk that lack spatial awareness, which is one of my personal hates*. (*was gonna say bugbears, but the word ‘bugbears’ is another of my personal bugbears, so ‘hates’ it is.) If there is ever a Walking Dead style zombie apocalypse in London, my months of running down small lanes, weaving in and out of slow moving bodies who have no coherent strategy of how to walk, or have any consideration for anything else will have stood me in good stead. There’s been a few times, I’ve wanted to go Rick Grimes on some folk when they’ve doddered into my path during one of my quicker runs.

Running 16miles avg per week burns a lot of calories, so I’ve had a ridiculous appetite at times, which is great because I’ve been able to eat loads, without any of the lardy side effects. The other positive effect has been the old mental clarity. Since my last blog there’s been some tough things to deal with, and yet the past 3 months especially I’ve been pretty on top of things and dare I say it, fairly chipper (Not sure this last sentence will survive the proof-read by my wife). To be fair there’s been some cracking happenings of late too. Holding the daughter of friends’ who had a real struggle to have a child being a highlight. There’s been a few other baby announcements and it’s another multiple stag weekend/wedding year this year, but there’s been some big lows again too, and I guess that’s just life when you are (theoretically) grown up. The difference is I’m feeling mentally equipped to deal with it at the moment. All that from a half marathon training plan. who knew?

Its probably even more amazing that I’m trying to find the positives, when the world as we know it is entering its end game. There’s a very real feeling from this Trump madness in America, that the age we live in is gonna be a history subject for kids in about 30 years time. If they do in fact teach history to the last remaining 5 human children, on the national space station after the Trump vs Kim Jong-Un oblivion nuclear death match. But that circus is too crazy to worry about when we have Cameron & Osborne at home.

You may have noted the title of this particular blog is R, R & R. This is something that I want to apply to all future posts, where possible. to give a bit of structure. So I’d have a section on my Run, then I’d Reflect: which is basically the bit where I talk about the mental side of exercise etc before finally having a Rant about anything that’s been annoying me of late. This is again linked to the mental side of things, because typing out the nonsense in my head, is a good way of getting it out of my system. There’s only so much of it I can talk about with Ann-Marie, before she’ll get bored so better I burden you faceless web entities with it instead. It’s also a very clunky play on words of the more common term R & R. (aren’t I all clever and that)

If you made it this far, you might be thinking “He did the Running bit, and the Reflect bit, but there wasn’t much of a Rant“. Well to be honest, my first rant was gonna be about Cameron & Osborne’s lunatic 1st year in their majority term in office but there’s so much I want to say on that, I couldn’t tack it on to the bottom of this post which is long enough already. So I’m gonna devote a separate post to it in the near future.

So until then, I’ve got a lot of relaxing, hydrating and carb loading to do before Sunday’s half marathon. Actually sounds like a good way to spend a weekend, if only I could add alcohol…

Graeme

 

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