Category Archives: Ill

Day 19 and 20

  • Total Distance – 137km

Well, I ran both days. Odd distances I can’t quite remember (almost 7km and almost 8km I think). I forgot to blog yesterday because I got attacked and rendered unconscious by some very strong cider.

The leg was sore both days (and is bloody agony at the moment), so clearly I haven’t shrugged off whatever the injury is. The pain only seems to kick in past about the 4km mark, so I might just have to accept a few more days of rather crap distances.

As I was rather disenchanted by everything and had nothing in the fridge for tea I went to get a kebab. I was proud to see that my local kebab shop has reached the final round of the national kebab championships (Outside London category) and had a congratulatory letter from the local MP on the wall. There is a strange mixture of pride and self-revulsion when your local kebab shop is in the running to be the best in the UK. I feel conflicted emotions.

I also feel sick after the kebab, and like every time I eat one swear I’ll never eat one again. This time I really mean it.

Day 1 – Welsh Feet…. Welsh Roads?

  • Distance: 6km
  • Total Distance: 6km

So, Day 1 of Janathon. Quite a lot has changed since the last one. I’m no longer in France, no longer with my original partner (and midway through a bitter split) and no longer capable of running 500km in a month. I now live in the sleepy seaside town of Aberystwyth in West Wales. Aberystwyth is famous for many things – its cliff railway, its camera obscura and (most importantly) the fact it has only a single escalator (which runs upwards). Aberystwyth is divided from civilization by a couple of A-roads that wind their way through mountain ranges so treacherous that even Hannibal would think twice about crossing with his elephants (I’m not talking about the A-Team’s Hannibal – as due to the complete lack of airports in the region it would be easy to get BA Barracus to visit without resorting to drugged milk). What am I doing in this remote corner of the world? Well, with a view to getting back on the job market I’m wrestling with a Master’s degree in Food and Water Security at the 116th best university in the UK. I am a Master of many things, but this is my opportunity to get a piece of paper that proves it. So far it’s going quite well, although generally speaking the summary of the degree appears to be the world is finished, there is no hope and we’re all going to die.

Still, chin up eh?

Running wise for the first 3 or 4 days I’m going to be plodding around France as I’m staying with a friend here at the moment. I started off today with a gentle lollop through the Sarthe countryside in sub-zero conditions. 6km in all, at an ambling pace, but I felt fine and it was nice to get out and about after months of stooging about writing essays or running on a treadmill. After last year’s incredible (worth pointing it out for the third time) distance I think I’ll be a little more reasonable this time out and just aim for a comfortable top 10 finish. I’d like to do a couple of half-marathons in the spring and summer so this is a good way of kicking off the training as well as reducing the additional runthomasrun that I’m building up around my waistline….

Good luck to all the other participants. Apart from Andrew Fletcher, my nemesis. I don’t think he’s doing it this year, but he will remain my nemesis until I select a new one.

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BAD WEEK – WEEK 2 AND A BIT

What a hellish week that was. It all kicked off with a well intentioned run last Saturday (er… the last but one Saturday) where I was aiming for around 20-25km. It was hot, and from the off I didn’t feel entirely good about the endeavour. After labouring to 15km I stopped in a village about 10km from home and felt so dizzy and sick I had to compose myself for a good 10 minutes before I could move on. It was now blazingly hot and I think I had dehydrated pretty spectacularly. This is never usually an issue (I’m not a big drinker when I run), but as the week progressed I think it was fairly clear I had a lurgi of some sort (which I didn’t know at the time) so perhaps this contributed in some way….

Having no money and there not being any shops open anyway as it was midday (yay, go France!), I decided to jog/trot/walk 5km to a village I knew of that had a water fountain in its graveyard. This short hop was utter hell. It seemed to go on forever. By the time I got there and crouched in a dark corner next to a gravestone swigging water out of the communal watering can I knew I was having a bad day. The 5km back to the house was also pretty bad, even though I walked it, but at least I wasn’t thirsty. It was comfortably, by some margin, the worst running experience I’ve ever had, and I took it quite hard.

Well, after that the rest of the week was pretty terrible too. My asthma was awful, keeping me awake at night and I felt sick, weary, dizzy and generally off colour. I managed to rouse myself slightly for my running club’s six monthly VMA (Vitesse Maximum Aerobic) test. This involves running around a track, going faster and faster until you collapse – which sounds less fun than it actually is. I put in a reasonable performance, but the rest of the week was a series of laboured 5 and 10k runs I hated. My bad right leg was also playing up, which was making me extra miserable. To top it all off, on the last run of the week I realised I’d forgotten to charge the GPS which switched off mid-run – this corrupted the data sitting on the watch I hadn’t uploaded and I lost days worth of cycling and running info as I had to hard reset it after it recharged.

I tell you, on Friday of last week I was about ready to chuck the whole lot in and choose a new hobby.

Thankfully Sunday and Monday of this week have been much better. I did a perky 5k yesterday which I was expecting to be awful, but turned out to be OK, and a decent 10k tonight that felt pretty good – it was a hilly course and I didn’t get much lung or leg gyp. I also feel almost back to normal and my breathing seems to have settled down, so that’s good. Asthma really sucks. I notice one of the kids now has a cold, so I imagine I had something nasty but without the usual sneezing and coughing. So yeah, hideous week all told.

In brighter news – I finally assembled the elliptical trainer I bought the other week at the supermarket (it took hours and hours thanks to the terrible instructions). I haven’t used it in earnest yet, but it looks like a promising way of supplementing my training with a bit of lower impact endurance building. It also means I can train and work my way through the backlog of DVDs and TV shows I’ve never got round to watching. Yay!

So, not a very amusing update, but it’ll take a while for my humour glands to refill….