A few weeks ago I blogged about running the Tonbridge Half Marathon and the huge sense of achievement my new ‘hobby’ has given me. What’s that old saying about tempting the devil…?
After running the half I was a bit worried when waking on Monday morning to find my legs had been replaced with those of a (post crash) Douglas Bader. I hobbled stiff-legged down the stairs, fell into a chair and ordered my son to bring me a cup of tea.
‘I wonder if I’m meant to feel like this?’ I said.
‘Get your own tea,’ the lazy little git replied, realising I was in no fit state to catch him.
Fortunately it turned out I was meant to feel like that – or at the very least, that I wasn’t the only one suffering from post-run Bader Syndrome. As I logged into the Sarah’s Runners Facebook page I found that my fellow thirteen-milers were all equally immobilised, and I was immeasurably reassured by the assertions of more seasoned runners that it had been a particularly gruelling half on account of the unexpected arrival of an equatorial desert island sun that had somehow lost its way in mid-June only to reappear over Tonbridge on the last Sunday of September. It was ‘ot, ennit.’ Dehydration and all that.
By Tuesday I was fighting fit again, and set off for gentle six-miler around my favourite local park. By the time I was two miles in I was, not to put too fine a point on it, fooked, and decided to cut my losses after three. Then the ol’ competitive spirit kicked in and I thought, ‘oh, I’ll just do another one.’ Then the ol’ competitive spirit kicked in again, and I did another one. And then another one. I was very very pleased with myself for having battled on in the face of adversity and my Morton’s Neuroma to complete the intended six miles. I woke on Wednesday with a mild dose of the Baders, but was raring to go again by Thursday night when I joined the crew at S R’s for our regular circuit of the town. All good so far then, and so it was the following week. Until Sunday. Which is when I sprained my ankle.
Well I say sprained, but that really doesn’t do it justice. I went down, dear reader (and not to put too fine a point on it), like a sack of shit bricks, my left foot (not to be confused with the film starring Daniel Radcliffe-Lewis or the book of the same name by Bobby Brown) folding under me in precisely the same way that left foots* are designed not to fold under.
Ow ow ow ow ow.
This of course happened when I was around 3 miles out, so as well as suffering the indignity of having my fellow runners see my graceless fall from grace I also had a 3 mile hobble home. This in full running gear on what turned out to be the busiest morning for casual joggers since… [tries to think of an hilarious punchline to standard comedy ‘since…’ feed but fails miserably]… the last very busy morning for casual joggers. If there’s one thing worse than going down like a sack of shit bricks while running it’s walking home in shorts and an ‘excellent wicking properties’ luminous hi-viz t-shirt, because Captain Paranoia immediately kicks in telling you that all the other runners you encounter will just think you’re a lazy old lead-swinger who’s thrown in the towel.
The first two dozen people I passed were warned, with a sickly grin, ‘watch out for that pothole ahead – you don’t want to sprain your ankle LIKE I JUST DID’, but by the time I got past three junctions this was becoming impractical (‘if you’re going straight on at the crossroads and turning right at the T junction and bearing left at the fork watch out for the pothole near the tree past the bus shelter… …’). Instead I affected an exaggerated-to-the-nth-degree limp reminiscent of Marty Feldman’s Igor in Young Frankenstein, thus brilliantly indicating the terrible nature of my injury without recourse to words.
Ha! Hoisted by my own petard!
Cutting to the chase, dear reader – as I am sure you have been hoping I would – I have been unable to run for almost two weeks now and I am bored off my tits! My left foot (not to be confused… …), over the course of the next few days, swelled to twice its normal size, blooming into a variegated club of meat encompassing a veritable rainbow of colours from sickly yellow through to iridescent blue and green by way of purple, brown, yellow, grey and stygian black. It looked like I’d slipped my foot inside a mallard. I will be uploading a Dulux colour chart and paint-by-numbers diagram soon, so please look back and download later. There will be a prize for the best colouring in (top tip: stay in the lines – our judges are sticklers for accuracy) and entry is only £5.00 per submission.
So there you have it – proof indeed, if proof were needed, that pride doth come before a fall and one really does need to keep an eye on the ground ahead when pounding the pavements for pleasure. I hope to be running again very soon, and may even attempt a jog walk this evening to test the lie of the ligaments…
IN OTHER NEWS: Gone from Twitter but not forgotten… If you’re still reading these blogs, Sally in Sussex, a quick heads up that laughing boy Lanegan has a new album, Phantom Radio, out this week. It will undoubtedly be every bit as wonderful as the other Mark Lanegan Band albums and just the thing for those late night Whisky and Regrets redemption sessions when sleep proves elusive.
IN OTHER OTHER NEWS: Sarah, the lovely lady who IS Sarah’s Runners, completed the Himalayan Challenge earlier this week, running 100 miles over five days while gasping for oxygen (it’s the altitude) and avoiding Yetis. What a gal! Well done Sarah!
IN OTHER OTHER OTHER NEWS: Tunbridge Wells’ finest hot pop garage punk duo Slaves were on Jools t’other night and you can catch them again on Friday. Well done fellas! Bless their cotton socks, eh, Ms Gray!