Sunday, 22 January 2012

Nice weather for ducks

Nice weather for ducks....one of the favourite sayings of my old dad, long before it was the title of a song on an album by Lemon Jelly that was nominated for the 2003 Mercury Music Prize. Normally it meant the weather was really, very, extremely, quite wet. Well, it wasn't this morning - the rain had been and gone overnight - but that didn't stop there being dozens of ducks wherever I ran. This is perhaps not surprising by the side of a waterway, but the Macclesfield Canal (which runs for 26 miles from Marple to near Kidsgrove) seemed to have become the duck equivalent of Britain in the EU - they were all flocking (geddit?) here for its benefits. It was also very windy today, maybe that had something to do with it - do ducks not like flying in windy weather? Perhaps an ornithologist can enlighten us. They were certainly pretty ungainly when they were taking off as they moved out of my path.

Anyway, today was the only run I've managed in the open air this week. I did manage to get to my glamorous (hmm) new gym in Southwark 3 times during the week for a run, but good grief, it's warm in there. I'd forgotten how warm gyms can get not having been in one for 4 years in so. After one run there this week if I'd have stood by the side of the road for too long the traffic would have stopped my head was so red. And normally I aim to do 2 outdoors runs at the weekend, but this weekend it was not to be...

...I woke up yesterday with the beginnings of a cold; sneezes, sore throat and the like. It was hardly surprising really. This was the first week in my new job, and not only was I frantically busy for all the reasons you usually are when you start a new job, and I was also mingling with Joe Public all week - 4 nights in a hotel, 4 train journeys, 2 flights, 2 buses, countless tubes, and 23 meetings - being exposed to their full range of germ warfare. Combine that lot with not sleeping brilliantly, and the immune system had taken a bit of a battering. So I overdosed on fruit, vegetables and fluids yesterday, and got in two nights of 10 hours sleep each.

All of which combined to leave me just about in a fit state to do something this morning. The training plan said 8.4 miles of easy running, and when I left home that felt ambitious, but as so often happens when you hit your stride and don't go off too quickly, a second wind came from somewhere and I ended up running 10.5 miles in 1 hour 25 minutes. That's not an especially quick average speed, but given the state of the canal towpaths at the moment, about 8 miles felt more like a cross-country run than a proper running training session. I came home caked in mud from the knees down, which was a great excuse for a bath (Mrs M isn't keen on me having baths too often due to her utility bill-phobia. Normally I sneak them when she's out, but today I seized the bull by the horns, manned the you-know-what up, and declared I was going to use those 4 inches of water and be damned with it. She acquiesced, but the look on her face meant it's not a stunt I'll pull too often I fear).

I've some strange aches and pains in my right foot and ankle at the moment, but they don't seem too debilitating, so I'm just going to carry on running and trust they disappear. Sensible heh?! Right, that's it I think for this week. Few shafts of inspiration, radical polemic-starting stuff, or frankly anything that interesting, but the year is young and I'm not, so there's hope for the future.

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