Today was my birthday so I ‘celebrated’ by going for a 24km run in the snow this morning. Senility comes with age right? Anyway, if I’m to be an old biddy, I may as well be an eccentric old biddy…
Although ‘Spring’ is due in 3 days’ time, it was once again bitterly bitterly miserable this morning (strong wind, snow, hail, freezing temperatures – the full monty…). I even managed to fall over in the mud along the canal – thankfully, the momentum built from running makes you fall forward onto the stony path instead of sideways into the frozen canal. Come to think of it, small cuts and bruises are probably preferable to actual hypothermia.
Another sexy outcome of these runs, which was particularly applicable today, is the charming ‘frozen snot moustache’ you get from the cold, a bit like in those milk adverts. Pippa made me wipe it off as I got home.
In order to prepare for all these races, I’ve upped my training a lot since October and have trained almost daily, be it by running or doing other sports.
In doing so, I have already managed to run in 6 different countries (Scotland, England, Spain, France, Belgium, Uganda) and see a bit more of the world, including: Edinburgh’s Arthur’s Seat, London’s Green Park, Northern Uganda’s ex war-torn towns (Gulu), Kampala’s suburbs, Brussels’ Cinquantenaire’s Park, Barcelona’s seafront, Newcastle’s Tyne riverside and a local town in France called Craponne, to name but a few!
For the last three weekends, I have even run a half marathon or more for “fun” (and as part of the training slog). So far, my PB stands at 1h20 for 20km which is about double the speed I thought I could do a year ago!
On the plus side, this means I have even managed to develop those sharp little muscles at the bottom of your abdomen which girls apparently like. However, the rest of my upper body still resembles a dry chicken drumstick so my t-shirts will be staying firmly on for now.
On the downside…well, there aren’t too many actually, apart maybe from being a living scientific experiment on how to avoid pneumonia in Siberia.
For now, I am just about coping ok injury-wise: I’ve had a knee niggle since coming back from Uganda which is either a hamstring injury, a tendon injury or a meniscus cartilage injury (which means I either need to rest for a few days or get a knee transplant). Skipping in some old shoes recently gave me some really badly bruised foot soles and, well, that’s largely it.
In actual fact, it’s an invisible ‘niggle’ which has caused me the most hassle and I blame this solely on, somewhat dumbly, going for a swim in the Nile in Uganda: flatulence. Trying to run at pace while being repeatedly punched in the stomach by a small alien growing inside you does not do many wonders to your speed!
Other than that, all is well and the first run is in four weekends’ time. With a bit of luck, the snow may have melted by then…