Well, a week after the marathon of smiles I should be back on track for the September ultra. My head was totally in the right space for the training. The relative ease of the marathon had me working out a race strategy for said ultra – would it be 20 to settle in, 10 of hard work and 10 of hanging on? (I am discounting the last 3 miles) or would it be 10, 10, 10, 10 & 3? Would I start bringing hot tea and mars bars with me on my long runs? Do I need to start wearing a skirt and lose some teeth(Ultra in Scotland)?
All questions and no answers.
Then I had my second sporting challenge of the week. All I can say is that what ever money I had in the bank of Zen I had spent it all at the monday marathon.
I was at the school sports and the call came up for the………… Dads’ race.
Those two words spell only one thing
Now, the school is pretty middle class so by some standards it could have been mistaken for the grandads’ race but don’t let the balding paunchy looks fool you, no sir.
The nervous giggles and the slagging were a faint mask for the utter terror that coursed my veins. If you’d taken a blood sample at the start line you’d have found that I was mainly pumping adrenaline around my system (at about 140bpm).
The flag dropped and like greyhounds (emphasis on the grey) after the rabbit we took off. I had conditioned everybody that I was only 4 days after a marathon and was mainly made up of slow twitch leg muscles (they looked bewildered by this nerd fact) so I was happy to not win but an easy second or third would have reflected my sporting prowess. Not to be.
Y’know when you’re watching a David Attenborough documentary about big apes and you wonder how could the small fat old gorilla beat the young fit looking one. Well, the answer, I have discovered, is because all the lady gorillas are watching. I was amazed at what a Chelsea Tractor, a pair of skinny jeans and a bottle of blonde hair dye will do for a 50-something 5 foot something bellied man. I’m sure some of the older readers will nod sagely at this amazing deduction but I just hadn’t spotted it before.
So, I finished my week with a 4th in the Dad’s race at the school sports. My daughters were clearly disappointed having come first in the relay and picked up a silver in the wheelbarrow race themselves (not together mind).
The up-shot of this is that I used muscles that you don’t need for running marathons and now have a pair of hips that are so tight I could start making diamonds with a bag of coal. The Ultra training will have to wait a week or so while I get over this sprinting injury and the indignation of being whipped by my elders.
Still, I made myself feel better by putting myself in the position of the older bull and feeling all zen again:
Bob Hodges: [to his new partner] There’s two bulls standing on top of a mountain. The younger one says to the older one: “Hey pop, let’s say we run down there and fuck one of them cows”. The older one says: “No son. Lets walk down and fuck ’em all”.
(For the younger readers out there that is from the film ‘Colors’ from 1988 and I’d advise you to watch it to show you that the 80’s wasn’t all McGyver hair).