This post could have had two other titles:
Pissing in other people’s sinks
A trick I learned in the army
(I was never in the army but I am pleading the 5th on the first optional blog post title).
If you pester me or if you use negative psychology and leave me alone I promise to do two more posts on these topics.
The main reason I didn’t want to use the two optional titles (the first one will be the title of my biography, by the way) was because once either the title or the contents had been read somebody somewhere would have been pressing the ‘mature content’ button or I’d have been getting massive numbers of hits from the dark corners of the internet.
Now, before the meat and two vege of the post I’ll get the running bit out of the way first.
I arrived into work today to find that my ever-reliable brother-in-law, Stuart, had sent me on 2 new pairs of last years New Balance 1064s (all the dodgy non-wife friendly stuff gets sent to his house). That means that yesterdays long run of 20 miles was the closest I’ll come to barefoot running for another 1,000 miles.
Last week was a 40 mile week with an extra rest day on Tuesday. To be fair, I was down in Kerry sleeping in a field with my family for the night so a run was not really possible. The 40 miles was made up of an 8 on Wednesday, a 6 on Thursday, an 8 on Friday and a 20 miler yesterday. If you add them up you’d get them up to about 41.5 miles but as befits my relaxed attitude to running for this ultra event I’m not really counting.
The 20 miler went better than expected. By that I mean that I got up on time, left the house on time and ran the whole thing and was back on time for my wife to take the 9-year-old to see holy God.
The 20 miles was made up of two 8 mile loops of the Mahon/Blackrock loop and an out and back 4 miler. The weather was beautiful and I fell into the trance required to do the big miles within about 3 miles so it all went by fairly easily.
I was out early enough on the first loop that I could have run it naked (but I resisted and didn’t). It was mainly insomniac granddads out walking in their ‘going to mass’ clothes.
the second loop was a bit busier – plenty more runners and a fair number of people hoping that a mile or two of walking will negate the weekend of binge drinking (y’know the type – yer man being dragged around on a slightly too fast pace by the busy looking girlfriend/wife who has mistaken him for one of her ‘he said she said he said she said….’ power walking gang.)
And the final out and back 4 mile was plenty busy with the kids on bikes and olympic race walkers.
And then I had my first blog-recognition moment.
It was around mile 17 and I spotted a fella about my age (or younger in case he’s reading) who I’d seen once or twice on the local 5k to 10 mile races and who looked like he had a lot less than 17 miles in his legs. As he passed he waved and told me what an amazing blog I was writing and how it gave him inspiration to get out and put in the hard miles because it was all worth it in the end. I replied by saying thank you very much and that it was this sort of recognition that would one day get me published.
the conversation went something like this:
‘Hey, great blog!’
So, from now on I’ll have to carry one of those jumbo ‘back-of-the-toilet-door-graffiti’ pens with me when I’m out running so I can sign running vests and sports bras and stuff like that.
Of course, he could have mixed me up with a whole heap of other bloggers who actually keep proper running blogs.
The 20 miler is that it went by with little or no fuss. The pace was pedestrian slow. The banana milk seems to be working as a fuel and I never had the urge to stop (except to indulge in a spot of urban pissing).
After 40 years of living in one of the wettest places on earth (outside of an Amazonian rain forest or a hollywood movie) I have gone out and bought a proper rain coat.
For the past 40 years I’ve avoided buying one for a myriad of reasons:
- I was still growing (vertically)
- Only wankers wear gore-tex (walkers wear them as well)
- I’d lose it in a pub
- I couldn’t part with €350 for a rain coat.
Notice how none of these reasons include things like ‘I like rheumatoid arthritis’
So what changed my mind? Am I at peace with my inner wanker? Do I now love gore-tex? Have I won the lotto?
The main reason I bought it is because I lost my cycling jacket but the added reasons were that I was able to pick it up for half price (and it is a nice normal colour – black) and somewhere deep down I probably am at peace with my inner wanker.
Something that the running has give me is an ability to float away from others’ opinions of me. (See that there? A bit of a zen insight).
So, it rained today – the first proper day of rain since the jacket arrived last week and I’m out and about looking like a gore-tex wanker.
A dry one, mind.