Or, to be more precise, King Charles spaniel puppies, but more of that later! Today really should have been a rest day, but despite some soreness in the old leg muscles, after I had been up and about for a while I felt that I might be able to manage a short run. I had contemplated just doing a few ‘songs’ on the exercise bike, but really, the prospect of such a tedious activity filled me with such an overwhelming sense of all-consuming boredom that I could barely manage to remain upright in my chair. So, instead I plumped for the invigorating, endorphin-fuelled, life-affirming pleasure of a self-propelled tour of the local vicinity!
Endorphins are a powerful drug, and I knew that it was possibly a mistake to venture out this morning, but here we are, sucking in the cold air and heading out to goodness knows where. I say that because I haven’t fixed my route yet in my head. My initial thoughts are to just do a short loop of the park just to satiate my desire to run, but not too far to risk injury on tired muscles. Once I’m into it though, I feel fine, and decide that there is no reason I shouldn’t repeat my run of Saturday, just taking care not to overstride or slap the path too hard on downhill stretches.
Although it is cold, and there is a frost on the ground as I set off, it is not as cold as two days ago. In fact, it is space pants and t-shirt weather, so my legs are toasty and my torso cool. I have taken the wise precaution of wearing gloves though, since I will need to be able to manipulate the key into the door lock on my return, and it’s hard to do that when you have no feeling in your hands!
There are a few people around, mostly dog walkers, but I am also starting to recognise some of the ‘brisk walkers’ that are out each morning around this time. It’s quite comforting to know that, however much I have slowed down since my heyday, I am still running at a pace that exceeds a brisk walk, since I fly past them with ease. Of course, when you are passing someone you always have to make sure your breathing is carefully regulated for those few brief seconds so that they don’t realise what an eyeballs-out, lung-bursting effort it is for you! This particularly applies when passing a young lady, and even more particularly if she is a runner, which I guess is all down to evolution or something.
Out of one side of the park and across the road of a million queuing cars, headlamps ablaze, into the calm quiet stretch leading out to the bridge where I will turn. It’s particularly peaceful along here, being a more confined space next to the gently flowing river than the previous wide-open parkland. A few rooks are squawking and arguing about the early worms, but that’s about it. I can just about see in the distance another human accompanied by a couple of small dots, and as I approach I realise that they are tiny puppies, King Charles spaniel variety, with little comprehension of the world or how to walk in a straight line. Instead they wander and weave their way across the path, untethered and boiling with energy, as puppies tend to do.
Will they make way for me? Who knows? Well, I soon know the answer as I am upon them, and almost literally were it not for the fact that I still have enough spring in my legs to leap above their bobbing heads in a single bound, highly reminiscent (I think to myself) of Colin Jackson in his prime – a worthy successor to his crown, I am sure he would admit! The thought briefly crosses my mind that this was probably how the hurdling event was performed back in the early days of the Olympic Games, when standing jumps and Tug ‘o’ War were still premier events on the sporting calendar.
So, you will be pleased to learn, the puppies survive to sniff another day, as do I as I make it home all in one piece! I’m rather pleased to have managed three days in a row without hurting myself – quite an achievement for me these days, and the time was comparable to the previous couple of days so the consecutive runs haven’t tired me out. Will I rest tomorrow? I really should!
Fantastic news on the fundraising front – I have now passed the £300 mark! If you are enjoying reading this blog, and you haven’t sponsored me yet, please do – any sum, no matter how small, is hugely appreciated!
Time 35 mins 13 secs
Distance 3.61 miles
Pace 9:45 per mile
BG before 6.7
BG after 8.4