It’s coming to that point in my training as one week gives way to another that get progressively more knackered. When the working day is done I’ll be staring down the barrel of a eight mile run thinking “Jesus, really?” and drag my weary, sweating carcass around Cardiff Bay to the amusement of tourists, and - to my to my horror – friends. (Random friend – “How you doing?” Me – panting with a pained rictus grin “….huh…huh…yeah, great…sorry…huh….give me a moment”).
When I’m training for a race I get a phase where I’m sorta enjoying it, my pace is improving, the weight is coming off…but this morphs into the latter stage where it’s a real chore. For me, the one thing that gets me out chewing the miles is the experience of doing a marathon and being under prepared, t’wasn’t pleasant. So hey ho out I go, although my MP3 player’s decision to only play only ‘Something 4 the Weekend’, ‘We Will Rock You’, and ‘The Mess We’re In’ doesn’t help matters, when I go for a run currently it’s without musical accompaniment. Instead I hear the Cardiff chavs shouting at me and my occasional strangled encouragements to “…come on…”.
I made a decision at the start of my training that I was going to do the lion’s share of my running outdoors. Apart from a – now sorted – back problem it’s worked out well. The catalyst for the decision was the purchase of a chunky Buck Rogers style wrist Pedometer. I gave a girlish giggle when I switched it on for the first time and it told me that it was “Locating Satellites” wow, what an age to be alive! My delight was short lived when I put my – perhaps optimistic – pace into the watch. This resulted in angry beeps from it when I was running telling me to “Speed Up!” it was like having that little bald guy from Bennie Hill in a side car next to be poking me with a stick. Having the Pedometer has undeniably sped me up, but I can frequently be seen running round Bute back with a pained expression on my face while looking at the beeping watch and saying – aloud – “You’re kidding?! ‘Speed up’? But you just told me to ‘Slow Down!’ I’m not going any bastard slower than I just was!” The Pedometer is a harsh master.