Saturday, 8 September 2012

Sore nipples

The title of this post is, I confess, a shameless attempt to boost my viewing figures. Pregnant women, mastitis sufferers and the plain perverted will stumble across my humble blog, and to a man and woman, be roundly disappointed. But if that's you, read on! You never know what you might find.

Actually, the title isn't completely gratuitous. I was standing in the shower earlier today with the warm water coursing across my body (steady, this could get a bit 50 Shades...), warming me up after my cold bath - the reason for which will be revealed later, not that it's especially exciting to be frank - reflecting on the differences in injuries, pain and discomfort you get between running and riding a bike. I can honestly say that I've never had sore nipples after a bike ride, whereas after any run over 20 miles or so, even when they're dosed up with lashings of vaseline, ooo, they do tingle a bit.

In fact, I apply so much petroleum jelly (I'm too tight to buy vaseline when Bodycare do a bumper-size jar of the generic stuff for 89p) to my feet, ankles, hips, war wound (big scar on my waistline, dating from 1977 when an inch-wide drain was installed to siphon pus out of my peritonitis-afflicted stomach cavity), perineum, and of course, nipples, that I do wonder what the nice lady in that very Bodycare shop thinks I do with the stuff.

I'm not sure there are a lot of common injuries for cyclists and runners, at least if I take myself as an example. OK, it's a sample of one, but that's all that's to hand. Cycling generates stiff hamstrings and back, particularly if it's been a big uphill day, tenderness in the undercarriage of course, and, well, assuming you don't fall off, that's about it. Running, on the other hand - well, everything below the waist (plus nipples of course) is a bit sore. Left Achilles tendon is especially troublesome tonight, and indeed was so when I was out running this morning....

.....the soreness came on at about mile 10, but it wasn't till I stopped on the canal towpath just past Little Moreton Hall, in the shadow of Mow Cop, did I realise quite how sore it was. It made the return 13.5 miles quite a trial. I should have felt fantastic out there today - after the early mist had burned off the sun came out; dog walkers were minimal as I was out so early; there was nothing pressing to get home for; nature was rampant with spiders' webs as far as the eye could see, and countless herons fishing for their breakfast in the canal; and the countryside was idyllic. However, the reality was the Achilles wrecked, I sweated something rotten in the morning sun, and I ran out of energy - baked beans on toast the night before a big run probably not the best thing to biggest boost your glycogen stores. But I still bagged just under 27 miles, a decent training run, and that cold bath helped ensure that I haven't started hobbling around the place just yet. I'm aiming to do marathon-plus distance every couple of weeks now till my ultra-marathon on 20th October. I have no idea whether that's a sensible training strategy or not (I am doing other, shorter runs) - time will tell.

It always seems a bit odd writing the kind of nonsense like that above when there are bigger things - much bigger things - going on in the rest of your life. They all affect others much more than me, but you're not normal if you too aren't touched by those things. So in case any of them read this, I hope you don't think it's crass or insensitive, it's certainly not meant to be. And if this has been even mildly diversionary for a couple of minutes, job done...

And finally, the Tour of Britain comes to town on Monday. Actually, it turns off the main road just before it reaches Macclesfield, but I've managed to organise things to work at home, and I've got a top secret place which probably only a couple of hundred others will have thought to stand to get a great view of the riders. Should be good.

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