I was home off work with a mystery illness on Friday and wasn’t feeling much better on Saturday, so decided not to run on Sunday. I had also decided to stay in bed and get the train later and meet up with the others (More To Life Than Weight, The Red Bucket, I Run Because I Love Food and Tracy) but Shaun begged and pleaded with me and put on his little disappointed face until I relented and said ok then, as I was up already, even though it was only 6am (5am in real life, with the clocks going forward) and I was ill and should be in bed and so at about 6:45am we go out into the freezing cold and drive to Reading and we get to Reading at 8:30 and I’m thinking the only time I’ve ever seen Reading at 8:30am is at the festival when I’ve still been up taking acid and drinking cider and we walk up to the stadium and I’m surprised at how small football pitches are and we go to the start line and although the little foldy out Reading Half Marathon information thing clearly states no urinating in Green Park, the path is lined with men pissing although there are plenty of portaloos and Shaun finds his spot with the other blue runners and the race starts and I decide to wait and see if I can see Leighsa and Tracy pass me before going back to the stadium and two people in horse costume go past and then a man decides to piss about three feet away from me and he’s so close I can even hear it and I think you dirty peasant and I move away and I’m thinking I must have missed Leighsa and Tracy as it’s been ages and if I hear the man on the tannoy say one more time that the bad news is you’re not even at the start line yet I’m going to take his microphone and shove it somewhere painful and then Leighsa and Tracy come over and make pitying noises because I’m not running and Leighsa goes to the toilet in a portaloo and doesn’t piss on the path like all the men have and when she comes back she sees the sweeper van and says oh, we’d better run and so off they run and I go back to the stadium and get a seat directly in front of where the runners will come in and I think hmm, I had only planned to watch the winner come in then go and get a cup of tea or something and come back for Shaun’s intended 1:48 time but if I leave, I’m going to lose my seat and a woman sits next to me and we start chatting and she says she’s called Coral and she’s come up from Dorset to support her step-daughter who’s running and she says she’s never seen anything like this before and the winner comes in at 1:02 and what a surprise, it’s a Kenyan, and I stay and watch more runners come in and think watching fit men’s not a bad way to spend a Sunday morning really and the woman on the other side of me stands up and starts shouting Shaun! Shaun! and I think eh? he can’t be in yet and then I think oh, it’s probably someone else called Shaun, duh, and Coral says I think someone called Shaun has just finished and I say my boyfriend’s called Shaun, I got a bit confused and her Shaun’s faster than my Shaun and she says ah, but your Shaun will be faster than lots of other Shauns and I say yes, that’s true and I think what a sweet thing to say and at 1:52 clock time Shaun finishes and I say bye to Coral and go off to the meeting point to meet Shaun and I’m standing there for ages and freezing and shivering and he eventually limps over and we walk back very slowly to the car park and he gets changed and we go into town and go to Superdrug for some painkillers and some Cold Heat or whatever it’s called and then we go to a strange pub which is covered in beer mats and doesn’t allow people to talk on their mobiles and has an outside toilet and then we go to the restaurant to meet up with the others and I get a pizza which surprises no one and it’s just as well I didn’t run as they all came in with great times and I would probably be finishing around now.
I don’t think I left the house on Tuesday, nor on Christmas Eve. Christmas Day I only left the house because Shaun wanted to drag me round the marshes for three miles and I didn’t leave the house yesterday either. Oops, well I’ve always quite fancied being a hermit. Still, as far as I know, hermitry isn’t the best half-marathon training in the world and I look at my training schedule and tick off how many I’ve done in the last two weeks and the grand total is 3 out of 7 runs. Oh. I seem to have completed all the rest days though so it’s not all bad. But I didn’t stay in last night and not drink for no reason so I get my new pink iPod Shuffle and take my hangover-free self out round the marshes for the four miles as prescribed by Mr Higdon.
And just as I’ve got round the corner the boring dark grey Beetle comes down the road and I think why do I see that same boring dark grey Beetle every time? and a woman with a dog says hello and I think that’s politer than the miserable gits on Christmas Day and then I get to the marshes and a runner goes past and says hello and then further up two more runners go past and say hello and then I get to the bridge at the marina and there’s a man with a dog on the other side of the gate and he waits for me to go through first and I say thank you and I wonder why everyone today is polite and friendly and maybe the people on Christmas Day were people who only ever go to the marshes on Christmas Day as a special treat for saddos or something and then I get to the bridge and there’s a woman at the end of it with a dog just standing there like people who stand at the gates at the tube so you can’t get through and she eventually moves and I go past the ice rink and the stables and I’m feeling paranoid but I go down the path anyway and up to the footbridge and I think maybe I should have gone back the way I came but I get over the footbridge without getting murdered and I look at my Garmin as it ticks over to 3 miles and I think fuck, that’s slower than I did on Christmas Day and a few days ago I decided to go raw vegan for January but I can’t find any decent blogs or websites on it and it all looks a bit difficult so I think I might just be the usual kind of vegan instead and at least then I can still have a pizza, albeit one without cheese.
Distance: 4.14 miles
Time: 43:54 minutes
Days of hermitry: 4
Polite women with dogs:1
Polite runners: 3
Polite men with dogs: 1
Stupid women with dogs on bridges in my way: 1
Decent raw vegan websites: 0
New Model Army
Although my training regime for the Royal Parks Half Marathon consisted of only doing a maximum of 7 miles and drinking a bottle and a half of wine the night before resulted in me finishing only 5 minutes slower than the Roding Valley Half Marathon which I did train for properly, doing 12 miles in training and drinking nothing stronger than water the night before, I decide that this time I will train properly(ish) and print off the Hal Higdon’s novice half marathon training program and I print off the novice one instead of the intermediate one as the intermediate one has all that confusing 5 x 400 5k pace stuff on it and I don’t have a 5k pace, I just have a pace, a slow one, and the novice one has less confusing stuff on it like run 4 miles on Sunday and I decide to be a rebel and switch Sunday for Saturday as I don’t think Hal Higdon would really care and anyway he looks too old and feeble to come after me and tell me off or give me a scary face look or something and I go and put my new Asics Cumulus 9s on which are the same as my old shoes which I got for the bargain price of £35 from Start Fitness
and because they were such a bargain price I got myself a new running top too.
And I head off on day 1 training for the half marathon that all the cool people are doing, i.e. me, Shaun, The Red Bucket, irunbecauseilovefood, Sore Limbs, Mrs Sore Limbs, my web designer friend Boris (er, about time you updated your blog, eh Boris?) and our mountain mate Leighsa and I get to the marina and a girl passes me and smiles and says hello and I say hello back and then I’m over the bridge and the cows have been moved but they’re miles away and a group of six runners are coming up towards me and taking up the whole path and I think uh oh, are they going to move and let me get past? and they do move and I think that’s nice and polite and more polite than people who steal blogs and if you look far down below at the end of the page, you’ll see a copyright notice that most of you won’t need to concern yourselves with as you are nice people who won’t steal my blog but one of you out there, and you know who you are, but if you don’t here’s a clue – you have the words “road” and “running” in your blog title, STOLE MY BLOG and republished it to make it look like his own and when confronted with oi, why did you steal my blog? (hmm, could work on my tact a bit more perhaps), instead of saying I’m sorry Miss JogBlog, Your Royal Highness, but because your blog is the bestest blog in the whole wide world, I thought that if I ripped off your content and made it look like it was my blog it would make me more attractive to the opposite sex and maybe I’d get a shag, I was told that it wasn’t stolen but he had just taken the feed. WHAT THE FUCK?!! Taking someone’s content and republishing it to make it look like your own to make money on the back of it isn’t stealing? Listen, go back and re-read ProBlogger, then come back and tell me where it says it’s ok to steal someone’s blog. Although I can save you the bother. It doesn’t say that. Anywhere.
Distance: 4.16 miles
Time: 44:27 minutes
New pairs of shoes for a bargain price: 1
New running tops: 1
Manic Street Preachers
Auf Der Maur
Adam & The Ants