The last couple of months have been immense in their frustration. Work has been mental; seeing me pull 7 day weeks and 12-14 hour days at times as well as a couple of nights as well. This meant an enforced period of no training through fatigue, as a man needs to rest and chill when he can, but this also afforded me the excuse/ justification of resting Bernard... This now means my stamina and fitness levels have dropped noticeably.
Unlike typical builders, Si and myself do not live down the pub/ greasy spoon/ Maccy D's for a couple of hours when lunch comes around, in fact lunch is a luxury for us. We just tend to work all the way through the day from start to finish merely powered by the occasional cuppa (milk no sugar) so weight gain has not been too bad despite the lack of exercise, but then again the nature of what we do is physical so we are continually on the go and not sitting in some office on a wheeled chair as most people spend their lives.
A while ago I entered our village's running race. Each year Hook has a fun run, a 6 & a 10 mile race which despite living here for over a decade I only ran for the first time last year. This year I entered thinking I would have had around 5 madathons under my belt by the time it came around so fitness would be good and I could improve on the marker time I laid down last year, again not a brilliant time coming a little after recovering from a bad groin/ hip extensor tear. Unfortunately as you know, this ideal training scenario was not to be, so rather than being a mere walk in the park with my body tuned to the 26.2 miles I went in to the 10 miler having not run a step since December. I had also entered the race under an alias for fancy dress purposes... I was down as Elwood Blues.
Realising I would be lumbering around rather than running, this did give me a good excuse for a crap time by sporting fancy dress. Needless to say my time was absolutely pants, coming in at just 95 minutes, nearly 15 slower than last year. The positives though were the cheers and comments I got or making the effort to run in fancy dress, the only person to do so in the 10 miler, honestly some of these runners take themselves too seriously!
By the time I crossed the line I was breathing out of my arse, but I made it and Bernard had not really grumbled so at least that was a big plus :) although I did find out the next day that I was suffering from shin-splints again for the first time in years. It took my body a good 3 days to return to normal, climbing the stairs being rather fun over these days!
As I walked home clutching my finishers medal, which looks rather like a 'Jim'll Fix It' badge, I bumped into Pini and Vics. Pini did not realise I was running because of Bernard so was surprised to see me, especially in a suit, tie and hat. As we walked along, Vics told me that she measures Pini's success in a race by the number of people in costume who finish before he does. Apparently his last race, the Reading half marathon was his best showing yet, only being beaten across the finish line by two bananas and a jar of marmite :)
With no time for training to the level required I'll have to bail on the South Downs Marathon I have a place in. It is great after this 10 miler to know that I can finally run, but there's still a nagging doubt at the back of the mind that I shouldn't really be pushing it too hard just yet, and a madathon like the South Downs which is probably a 4/5 difficulty with the heat probably is not the best place to start.
Well here's some shots of a fat bloke making an attempt at running: