Category Archives: Pigs

FIN

So it’s over. 31 days of hell, finished. Finis.

Lets look at the stats:

Total km: 350

Total amount of time running (hours): 34

Place on Janathon leaderboard: 8

Average km run each day: 11.29

PB’s achieved: 0

Times I ran as fast as I could: 0

Blog posts: 31

Blog posts that insulted the French: 31

Regrets: 6

Welts: 1

Bad backs: 2

Pairs of shorts consigned to dustbin due to excessive groinal ventilation: 1

Contact lenses lost in haystacks: 1

Pensioners scared: 3

Onions consumed on pizza: 0

Haircuts: 1

Good haircuts: 0

Piglets: 10

ZEST4LIFE: 0

Public wees: 16

Porcelain Jesus: 0

Chance of me doing this again, expressed in binary: 0

 

Big thanks to Cathy for organising the event, and I might see you all for Juneathon… maybe.

Inevitability, a swelling confidence and some pig sex

16km running today, and just under 20km on the bike. Both a bit slow, but it’s all about the distance. Also spent most of the day running round the pig fields i) trying to stop piglets escaping (there are 10 in total) ii) trying to stop pigs having sex.

The French have a saying “le client et roi“. Literally “the customer is king”.

Considering the French beheaded all their royalty long ago, the phrase has a certain truth to it. This was once again demonstrated today in the local opticians as The Glasses Saga entered its second phase. If you haven’t been reading the blog I recommend going back and reading the post with Daniel Powter’s mug at the top of it. If you don’t know what Daniel Powter looks like then just scroll down until you see a man who looks like a Freemans catalogue model with a beanie hat on. If the hat is black and the guy looks like he might be best suited to modelling footwear then it’s me. If not, you’re there. Read that, and then come back here.

Anyhoo…

I had a certain sense of foreboding this morning. Yes, for sure, I’d been told to turn up at 11am sharp on Thursday to pick up my new pair of glasses. Yes, for sure, I’d double and triple checked this and also told them to phone me if there was a delay. I’d covered all the bases. I had a bit of paper with a date and time on it, and that’s as good as a blood oath in France.

However, there was still a small flickering nugget of doubt in my mind. Not a linguistic doubt. Not a doubt that perhaps my average French had failed to get the message across. But a flickering doubt that if the French still had an opportunity to make my life a misery they would take it.

So, off I set to the local town. It’s local in the sense it’s 10km away. I debated running, but decided instead to take the bike. It was a fine day. My worries melted away. This was the sort of day when NEW GLASSES WOULD BE GOT.

I felt a swelling confidence.

At least I hoped it was my confidence.

I almost bounded into the optician. The French words and phrases for the conversation ahead had been prepared mentally (“glasses” “last week” “eleven o’clock” “Thursday” “brilliant, thanks!” “oh, they look lovely!” “thanks for all your assistance!“).

I was ready.

Ready for a world with the brightness and contrast controls set back to zero. Ready to see again! Whee!

The first tinge of self-doubt hit me when the original “optician” (or glasses sales representative as I suppose you need to call them, considering they can’t actually do eye tests) avoided me when I came in and ran off to hide in a back room somewhere.

10 minutes passed. Eventually she was forced to reappear and I collared her.

“I’m Mr Thomas” I said cordially “here for my glasses.”

I smiled in a way that suggested I was unhappy with the six day delay, but I was willing to put that behind us in the spirit of moving forwards towards a new situation where I was once again the owner of non-tinted glasses.

G.S.R’s face contorted like a dog sucking a polo.

“Ahhh” she said, like the air forlornly being let out of a child’s bike tyre.

“My glasses? ” I continued… “You said they would be ready today.” My smile had cracked slightly. I sensed something was wrong.

The polo was pushed around a little more. “Ahhhh…” (second tyre deflated) “…the glasses….” she said.

“The glasses….?” I prompted.

“…. they are not ready yet….the glass has not arrived in the post….”

Silence. A long silence. The Earth rotates. Civilizations rise and fall. Galaxies move apart. The sun begins to collapse.

She speaks again “…it will be ready on Saturday.”

“Saturday?” I say. The words croak from my mouth almost reflexively.

“…. Or maybe the week after. We will call you when they are ready.”

My mouth flapped like a goldfish. I searched for words, but none were there. So I just walked out (ss you can see confrontation isn’t one of my character traits. Mute acceptance of shitty things happening to me is more my style). As I went back out into the street my first thought was “At least it’s sunny! Maybe people won’t stare at my sunglasses!”

As I walked the short distance back to my bike I was proved wrong once again.

Seeing as the day was going so badly, I figured I’d go for another run after dark tonight, in the sunglasses and luminous cape, so I could terrify the local OAPs.

I figure if France is going to make me miserable then I’m going to make a few old French people terrified in return.

Until tomorrow!

Piglets!

Really, really, really, really, really didn’t want to go for a run today.

This running every day lark is punishing, but I dragged myself out and did the usual 10km course, still tracking about 13 minutes behind my PB for the distance. In the next few days I’m going to try a flatter course and push myself a bit, but today was not that day, and I was just happy to make it. Not a lot of interest happened. At one point I considered taking my pants off. I’m not going to go into any more detail than that, but I will assure you that I finally decided not to.

The big news in camp runningthomas was the arrival of 8 new piglets on the farm. Or possibly nine. It’s quite hard to count them. Here’s a photo of the proud mother:

Initially we thought we had seven, but another one or two popped out later on. It seemed logical at seven to name them after the seven dwarves. My 8 year old misheard and thought we should name them after the dwarves in the Hobbit. After some argument back and forth we decided that Thorin Porkenshield was quite a majestic name for a piglet, and we’d name the others along similar lines tomorrow.

I haven’t the willpower to write much more, but I did get an interesting spam message pop into my inbox yesterday in response to my rant against sports elitism. “Richard” from Human Kinetics says he loves the blog! Thanks Richard! He also wants to give me a free e-book about “breathing muscle training” and direct all of my readers to his site. Apparently the art of “powerbreathing” is all the rage, and taking the athletics world by storm. I’m afraid, Richard, that I must publicly decline your e-book and can offer no endorsement of your training methodology. I follow an alternative technique. Using the runthomasrun “Breathing Methodology” I simply consume sufficient oxygen to power myself through whatever task I’m performing utilising freely available gasses. My technique has certain dangers – if you refrain from my “Breathing Methodology” for prolonged periods it can damage brain function – however it is a tried and tested method which many carbon based life forms have been exploiting for millennia. My book will be out soon, and hopefully, dear readers, you’ll buy it instead of Richard’s.

Anyway, I’m tired and I need a poo. I will see you tomorrow – remember, Thursday is the exciting day when I finally get my new French glasses. I AM EXCITED! The perpetual nuclear winter I’m living in can come an end, and I can feel the sun on my cheeks once more.

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