Wednesday, 4 July 2012

"I'd rather have a go and fail than be a successful moaner"

Thus spake John Bishop, comedian, ex-sales and marketing executive, and professional scouser (though aren't they all?) on Desert Island Discs last week. I'm not having a go at him, in fact quite the opposite; he spoke words that resonated with me more than any others in recent times. He was talking about his transition from deskbound salaryman to successful entertainer. He took a chance; it worked. He gave up something secure and went into something competitive and insecure. He did it because he was passionate about it. He and I are were born within a month of each other, and despite his accent he actually grew up in Winsford, Cheshire, not too far away from me. It's set me thinking....(even more)..........

But on less radical scale, it's surprisingly easy to let life get in the way of the things that really matter. What do I mean by that? Well, now I've got the freedom to exercise again, I need to be out there, hitting the trails, the roads and the forest. I've managed decent runs every weekend day for the last three weeks, but that pattern's going to be interrupted badly over the next few weekends, what with trips to London (this weekend), Paris (two weekends after), Plymouth (the weekend after that), Brittany (the weekend after), and the Shropshire hills (two weekends later). However, I fear I may have mentioned that before, so I'll move on...

Last weekend I managed a run of just under 20 miles on 500 ml of water and one energy gel. Which was good, though the step up from 13 was probably a bit too radical to be sensible. However, I've been reading one of Dean Karnazes' books (possibly the most prominent ultramarathoner of recent years), and just as when I read Ranulph Fiennes' autobiography, I was inspired. I also got out early, and it was cool, but not too cool, and still - perfect conditions. As I've mused before, and fool can run one marathon (hello...), but real fools want to do more. And why not go further? Ultramarathons start at only 50 km.

However, to do that you need to be running more than just at the weekends. Sure I do plenty of core exercises, squats and stretches during the week, but it's not the same as getting the miles in. And there's one major barrier to that - work, and the integral accompanying parts of that for me; being away from home, and long hours. Unpredictable hours and locations - it's not conducive to running. I did get a few miles in last week doing circuits of a cemetery just off junction 4 of the M4 by Heathrow, but it was like eating dry crackers and stale cheese - it served a basic physiological need, but it didn't go much further. It would be tempting at this point to link this back to the first paragraph, but it's a temptation I'm going to resist.

Instead, I shall recount another painful lesson learned. Earlier this year I bought my third consecutive pair of Saucony trainers. I bought the first two pairs from Up and Running, a specialist - you'll never guess - running shop. They were the Saucony Triumph 7 and Saucony Triumph 8 respectively. They were marvellously comfortable. So when I needed a new pair at the start of the year I decided to cut a corner, and buy a pair of Saucony Triumph 9 directly off a leading internet sports retailer, who had said articles priced most competitively, quite a lot of Wiggle-room between them and the next best price. However, those naughty product designers at Saucony had, for reasons best known to themselves, increased the size of the part of the shoe I now know to be called the front box, making them more suitable for the wider-footed gentleman, but loose fitting on a lithe beast such as myself. The consequence - on a long run, little toe blisters (that's big blisters on the little toes, rather than small blisters randomly located). So, I'm having to retire them early, probably to France for shorter runs. I've been forced to change brand - it feels like treachery - to New Balance. Which, this time, I did go to an actual shop to take advice on, try on, and do a deal on (free pair of quality socks). Lesson learnt. And that is a good place to stop.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Tweets by @skinsalive