"for the happy, the sad, I don't want to be, another page in your diary"

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Fainting In The Gym

I don't bike today as heavy rain has been forecast, so it’s the bus again.

They do turn out to right about the rain and I don’t even manage to get out for a sandwich at lunchtime. I’ll be fainting in the gym if I can get there without drowning because, after slowing to mere heavy drizzle, another downpour arrives at dead on 5pm. I get drenched and its only five minutes away. I have to spin my legs extra fast on the Watt Bike to dry my shoes out.

By the time I’ve done my 15km it’s fine again. So L walks to meet my bus with the boys. Then it's a bonus Friday night, a couple of beers and L cooks.

Meanwhile I’m still trying to digest the phone call I got earlier in the day to say they’ve pulled a body out of the River Trent. Not good news at all.

(Thursday 19th October)

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Guaranteed Arrival Time

The old legs are probably not quite fully recovered but it’s time to get back on the bike as this at least guarantees my arrival time at work, punctures permitting of course.

The police email me about my missing friend, asking if I know anything. Sadly, I don’t. I suppose it’s good news if they think there’s a possibility he’s voluntarily disappeared but I’m not sure that’s very likely.

It's looking very dark and wintry by the time I come to cycle home, I certainly won’t need my shades. Daughter is waiting for me when I get home and we go out to run 5k. My legs manage it quite well although the fact MD joins us does slow things down somewhat.

(Wednesday 18th October)

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

GP Fraud

I'm on the bus this morning as my legs are still not working properly after Sunday. There is an accident on the A52 so the driver takes the scenic route, meaning I’m late for work and arrive at 9.30

L reckons her back is starting to feel better and surreptitiously cancels her GP appointment. She says she couldn't go, she would feel such a fraud. That's honourable but it doesn’t stop everyone else. She goes for a ‘gentle’ gym session instead and then goes to her old book club for the first time in ages as it’s the Booker Prize tonight and they always make a big thing of it.

The dogs and I are dog training but, as L isn’t with us, without the pint afterwards. 

(Tuesday 17th October)

Monday, 16 October 2017

The Impending Apocalypse

L asks if I’m basking in the glory at work. Not really. Most of my colleagues are simply shaking their heads but a couple of folk were impressed.

I’m impressed when I bump into a chap in an Ironman UK 2017 t-shirt in Sainsburys. The only problem was, it was bright yellow. How cruel is that? All that effort for a yellow t-shirt.

This hurricane is causing a few issues, for a start it's gone all yellow outside like the apocalypse has arrived. It’s also trapped all three of our directors in Belfast where they went for a meeting today but now they’re having to stay overnight because all the flights back have been cancelled.

Both dogs are at the vets tonight for their annual MOT and the vet doesn’t even seem surprised to see Doggo again. Both dogs are given a clean bill of health, not entirely spotless in Doggo’s case as he now has plenty of age related ailments but we won’t tell him if the vet doesn’t.

Dog training is off, although apparently its not down to the impending Apocalypse. Which does seem to be clearing now, which is good because we simply haven’t got time for an unscheduled apocalypse. Instead we both go to support Daughter at her running club. L is getting really good at this supporting business. After which we have a swift pint in the pub on the Embankment, which is now a brewpub  in the Brewhouse And Kitchen family.

There is no news on my missing friend, I don’t know if that’s good news or bad.

(Monday 16th October)

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Marathon Man

So... Marathon day. Naturally we would have preferred to have gone by train but despite this being the 21st Century the country is still unable to run these things before 9am on a Sunday. So we drive there, although we do get a great parking spot right in the centre of Birmingham. From where I get the shuttle bus to the start at the Alexander Stadium while L starts limbering up in readiness for the shops opening.

I have printed her off a map of the route, on which she complains that they haven’t marked Waterstones. They’ve not marked much to be fair but I’m sure she’ll cope.

There are two start times 8.30am and 9.30am. As a Marathon virgin I have been placed in the latter category. It would have nice if everyone could have started together but I guess the current start area simply isn't big enough.

I line up wearing my new barely broken in trainers behind two girls who have labels on their backs saying ‘I’m running for...’ erm ‘Gin’ and ‘Sex’. I suppose it’s a conversation starter but no one’s talking at the moment everyone looks far too worried for chitchat.

This is the rebirth of the Birmingham Marathon. The original, known as the People’s Marathon, started in 1980 which was a year before the inception of the London Marathon. It ran for six years until 1985 and apparently included the M42 (before it was finished). Now it’s back.

So off we go. I like the course which runs us into the city centre before a two lap loop of a large chunk of the usual Half Marathon course. This included Cannon Hill Park, Cadburys and the Edgbaston Cricket Ground. Plenty of people didn’t like the two lap bit but I do like to know where I’m going, as I did second time around. I wouldn’t have wanted to do a third though.

I set off at nine minute mile pace as planned but clearly subconsciously I found this simply too pedestrian as I soon speeded up. Suddenly not four hours but three hours fifty minutes looks briefly on but only briefly.

The atmosphere was good and there were plenty of designated ‘cheering points’ but there were actually plenty of people cheering all the way around at presumably unauthorised points. The route could have perhaps done with a few more bands and there was also no beer stop like at the Great North Run. So they’ll have to sort that omission out.

By half way I have used up all the energy gels I had carried with me and L hands me a few more as I push into the uncharted waters of the second half marathon of the marathon. They are handing gels out at a few points but it would be better if they were available at all the feed stations and a sports drink would be nice too.

I had left a sports bar with L but I don’t take it, which was probably a mistake, as I do start to feel a bit low on energy and start taking jelly babies off the crowd. I discover that it you nibble them slowly you don’t choke on them, which is a bonus. However Haribos and wine gums turn out to be deadly. They are totally inedible and chewy, so I spit them out and go begging for more jelly babies.

Things are going really well until I suffer a minor meltdown at 24 miles. Is this what they call ‘The Wall’? To be honest it’s more of a privet hedge. I start feeling a bit light headed, so I walk for a bit and pour water over my head. This ruins my target time and I slip outside four hours pace as I finish in 4:02.

Bizarrely Erdinger hadn’t sponsored this one and they hand me a bottle of water when I cross the line. How quaint and old fashioned. It was only the one bottle though, which wasn’t enough and I downed mine in one go. I very nearly had to cause a scene in the Sack Of Potatoes pub in order to obtain more fluids.

That’s where I end up by the way, on the grass outside said pub, which is just out of crawling range. Apart from more water, I would have liked a massage but although I can see the sign it might as well be several miles away.

I have informed L where I am and now I await rescue. She says don’t move. That’s easy, I can’t move. She soon found me because she recognised my legs sticking out from under the park bench. I had tried to sit on the bench but hadn’t quite managed it.

I have raided the Goodie Bag but I have to say if this is your typical Marathon Goodie Bag then I’m disappointed. There’s barely anything to eat in it and not much to drink either but I do love the T-shirt.

Apparently I came 1506th out of 5204. Naturally I’m gutted not to make the top 1500 but that’s not too bad for a first effort.

To top it all Derby beat Forest 2-0, with my brother sat in my seat. However, the gloss somewhat goes off the day when I get a text to say that an old school friend of mine, who I still see regularly, has gone missing.

Later I finally get to refuel with a night in the Crafty Crow. 

(Sunday 15th October)

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Feeling More Human

It’s been a while but the boys and I are at a dog show today. Our performance is a bit of a mixed bag. First we have an elimination, then on the next course we were clear right up until we had the last jump down, then we do get a clear round where we came 3rd and finally we clock up ten faults for two poles down on run four. That was just the morning. Our only run in the afternoon was simply a disaster. So just the one rosette today.

Meanwhile L sneakily skips Pilates and goes for a gym session. After which she says she’s now feels far more human but she doesn’t say if that’s an injured or an uninjured human. Then, with Daughter, she heads off for a free curry provided by Robin Hood Energy and John Carroll Leisure Centre. I enjoy my flask of lukewarm soup.

We stay in tonight, for sort of obvious reasons.

(Saturday 14th October)

Friday, 13 October 2017

Some Lively Frivolity

I'm on the bus again today and I fear I am now over rested. I’m sure you can over taper. I get no sympathy from L who is rested to the point of pulling her hair out but isn’t, of course, tapering for anything. Well, apart from her planned power shopping on Sunday.

She does sneak in a lunch time swim. I go for lunchtime pints, she goes for lunchtime swims... who's the healthy one here?

Apparently it hurt but it was worth it. I dissuade her from her planned post-work gym session with the promise of some lively frivolity at home to include the anti-God documentary ‘The God Who Wasn't There’ on Youtube and another instalment of the Handmaid's Tale, which we are laboriously working our way through. Quite a combo. 

(Friday 13th October)

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Serious Hydration

The bus was late this morning, very late. So not a good start to the day but at least I'm tapering. An essential part of the tapering process is, of course, hydration. Which may, or may not, be one of the reasons we’re at the Robin Hood Beer Festival later.

I’m not sure what percentage strength of beer is best for hydrating up for a marathon and what particular fast food is best to have with it. So I will probably need to experiment.

L is at home today waiting for our boiler servicing man. The hot water is doing it’s hot-cold-hot thing at the moment. They’re late as well and I’m worried that L will future injure herself repeatedly chucking MD’s ball.

The chap arrives and promptly tries to sell us a new boiler even though the current one isn’t that old and previously they've told us that a new boiler won’t help. Our pipework is old and knackered but no one is up for the job of replacing it.

No two men ever agree on the solution to our water problems but the best one I’ve heard is to leave it as it and for them to keep coming out once a year to clean it out. It is what we are paying them handsomely for.

After that ordeal I think L needs a beer. I meet her in town, that is after the Red Arrow has gone the wrong way and dropped me in the wrong place.

I enjoy the beer festival, L less so.

My selection :-
1. Grafton Sally Pollard's Ginger Concotion 5.0% 1/2
2. Blue Monkey Chimpagne 10.0% 1/6
3. Dancing Duck Imperial Drake 6.5% 1/3
4. Thornbridge Pollards 5.0% 1/2
5. Grafton Caramel Stout 4.8% 1/2
6. Totally Brewed Biscuit Porter 5.0% 1/2
7. Howard Town Dark Peak 6.0% 1/2
8. Thornbridge Cocoa Wonderland 6.8% 1/3
9. Grafton Chocolate Mint Stout 5.0% 1/2

L’s selection :-
1. Grafton P-Butter 4.8% 1/3
2. Blue Monkey Chimpagne 10.0% 1/6
3. Xtreme Chocolate Cherry Stout 5.6% 1/3
4. Thornbridge Sequoia 4.5% 1/3
5. Frownes King Norvak's Saga 5.4% 1/3
6. Thornbridge Sequoia 4.5% 1/3

(Thursday 12th October)

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

A Happy Place

L makes a persuasive case for not cycling, the weather is foul. So I go into work on the bus. It is wet but it does stop long enough for my colleague and I to manage a pub lunch.

Leamington Spa has been voted one of the happiest places to live. It’s an interesting choice but not one shared by me. We’ve had numerous trips to visit Son there and clearly happiness is a lack of real pubs and nowhere that sells food on a Sunday. So clearly they have different criteria to me.

The boys and I are dog training tonight while L is going over to Daughter’s for tea. I hope she gets a demonstration of her washing machine, we do have shares in it after all.

(Wednesday 11th October)

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

A Girl Who’s Capable

I wonder if we will be in a Thunder Run team this morning?

L assumes not and is a bit gutted really. She says she always like a target and she has nothing. Excuse me... I thought her target was a Nottingham Half/Leicester Half double header and the Nottingham Grand Prix plus I though we were looking for European half marathons to do. That cheered her up a touch.

Later in the day our team captain posts that team entries are full so she has entered L and I as a pair while everyone else are soloists. Then she tenders her resignation. I suspect she’s finally lost it but I’m deliriously excited to be in a pair, it it's true and if I can find a girl who’s capable.

When L translates PMSL it becomes clear that she’s joking and it seems we are in a five again. If that’s not enough laps for me then L has offered to wrestle me in the mud for one of hers. Jolly good, now just to get the rain ordered.

I’m on the bike today and it’s an eventful ride home. First I stop to help a broken down car off the road in Risley and then I find Derby Road blocked with police cars everywhere as they arrest somebody. 

(Tuesday 10th October)

Monday, 9 October 2017

A Bit Of Quibbling

There’s quite a bit of quibbling going on over our Thunder Run team for next year. We were quite a happy five last year, aside from the biblical weather, but now the squad appears to have ballooned to seven or even eight.

A larger team would be a retrograde step in our eyes, personally I want more laps not less, so we offer to stand down. Then some others offer to stand down which probably makes the team captain want to stand down. Entry day is tomorrow and we’ve no idea what the plan is or even if there is one.

L is out in Derby tonight at Le Bistrot Pierre with the rest of the Hairy Helmet team but not me obviously. I’m off dogging. 

(Monday 9th October)

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Great Eastern Flirt

Today I’m in Peterborough for the Great Eastern Run which is a Half Marathon that has nothing to do with those ‘Great’ and ‘Run’ people.

There are dire predictions of parking chaos but as it happens we park practically on the start line, not sure how that happened.

While I make my way to the start line, L makes her way in to the city centre to find a good viewing point. She’s really going to scout out the local Waterstones but if she gives me a cheer as I run past all the better.

With half an eye on next weekend’s ‘big’ one, I was more than happy to jog round this one in another 1:45. When I ran this race before, in 2014, I got round 1:49 but I was seriously strapped up at the time.

Sadly there isn’t a 1:45 pacer today but there is a 1:40 one. So I thought I might as well flirt with him and see what happens.

The route is very flat as was shown by my split times which were incredibly consistent. I also achieved my aim of getting them all under eight minutes per mile. This is always my aim on a half marathon but it is rarely achieved. My slowest today is 7:41. Which all bodes well for a decent time, although by the end I am hanging on to the pacers for grim death.

There are about a dozen of us running with them but when a group of us stop at one of the later drink stations and the pacers don’t, pandemonium ensues. Runners end up colliding with each other as they attempt to get back on pace and in the end a group of us form our own little peloton around 50 metres behind them.

We do gradually battle our way back to them but never quite gain parity with them again and in the last mile I let them go. I’m more than happy when I come home in 1:40:38. L remarks that it was good that I was ‘taking it easy’. I think she’s impressed.

So a good race, although not a very pretty one once you’ve done the city centre but it’s pleasant enough and well organised. I could have done with a different colour t-shirt though, yellow ugh.

I again use my new trainers and all appears well with them but then it was only a half marathon... next week it isn’t.

In the evening we again tour Canning Circus and wind up at the Park Tandoori for a takeaway curry.

(Sunday 8th October)

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Ambivalent To The Occasion

With L still sidelined, MD and I again run parkrun with Daughter. Today we’re up at Brierley Forest Parkrun at Huthwaite, the reason being this is where Doggo’s brother now lives and it means we can get the old men together again.

The runs goes well but it is a bit narrow for running with a dog and after MD’s usual shenanigans at the start it takes us an age to catch up Daughter or perhaps she’s just getting speedier.

I also get to try out my new trainers which seem ok but then it was only 5k.

It’s been about five years since Doggo and his brother met up as they have been living down in Suffolk where we have only visited the once. Both dogs seem a little bit ambivalent to the occasion. Doggo is particularly wary as his brother has also been a tad too boisterous for him in the past and can frankly be a bit of a bully.

Age, however, seems to have mellowed him, either that or he’s no long capable of boisterousness. Both the boys are now sixteen.

(Saturday 7th October)

Friday, 6 October 2017

All Eventualities

I’m on the bike today which was much easier than expected. L isn’t impressed though, she’s too morose about her own exercise regime. Which she describes as... Nothing. Zilch. Zero. She’s not even brought her bag of all-eventualities kit to work. In fact, not carrying the all-eventualities bag will probably benefit her back no end. I tell her to reward herself with a glass of wine later.

My new trainers are waiting for me at work when I get in today. I shall try them out this weekend. We also have my masseur over again tonight, making last minute preparations to my calves for next weekend.

While on my way home my phone beeps. ‘boobs sorted’. It’s not often you get a text like that. L’s been to get measured. I did offer but I don’t think she thinks I’m professional enough.

My masseur follows me in as I cycle home. Clearly he’s keen to get started. 

(Friday 6th October)

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Totally Nailed It

I’m in London again today for yet another meeting. Thankfully it’s a late start so we cruise, more or less, through the traffic which wouldn’t have been the case if the planned tube strike had gone ahead. Thankfully they seemed to forget what they were striking about and called it off.

The meeting itself is brief and goes well. It is so brief that we have chance to nip to their other site so that I can show my colleague what we’ve done there and we’re still out of London well before rush hour. We cruise past Luton and then stop for a quick snack.

Then just when we think we’ve totally nailed it we hit Kegworth, just twenty minutes from home, and barely move for over an hour. My colleague who is driving tries to find a different route. Never works... doesn’t work. We’re that long L suspects we’re in the pub but sadly, no. She’ll have to start our night in without me.

(Thursday 5th October)

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

We Are Both Rejects

Well they have finally arrived and we both get them on the same day - our London Marathon commiserations emails. We are both rejects. L is relieved, I am gutted but its hardly unexpected.

I have now ordered some new trainers for my Birmingham adventure and they should be here tomorrow. In time for me to injure myself in them at Peterborough this weekend.

Unless I do it tonight of course. I finally do the training run that I had planned to do a month or more ago and I run all the way home. I am then gutted for the second time today when I realise that it is only 21.7km e.g. only a smidge over half marathon distance. I thought it would be further. So I still haven’t run any further than a half marathon.

Daughter (and MD) come to the rescue and we do an extra 5k around the local streets.

L's osteopath told her yesterday that she could swim, so L swims and hopefully doesn’t over do it.

(Wednesday 4th October)

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

In The Shins

Back on the bike this morning and it was a lot harder than I expected, so perhaps my legs aren’t recovering as well as I thought.

L has an Osteopath appointment, who beats her about a bit and I think improves things a touch. He also tells her not to run... Luckily I don’t think she’s moving well enough to kick him in the shins.

Dog training tonight and then in the Masons afterwards with L and the usual beers.

(Tuesday 3rd October)

Monday, 2 October 2017

Plaster Shopping

L thanks for an exciting weekend despite her units being a tad high. That would be Tuesday's naughty whisky. Who needs Malmo?

The old legs seem to be coping ok with the half marathons and I feel I could run today if I wanted to. The only problem is the gorgeous blisters that I have. I imagine they’ll be particularly wonderful after a full marathon. L suggests I check out Compeed blister pads when I’m in Sainsburys later.

While I’m shopping for plasters, L sneaks off for a lunchtime swim. 

Then it’s a very blustery dogging session.

(Monday 2nd October)

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Malmo Substitute

Well it could have been Malmo but it wasn’t to be and now here we are in Lincoln instead. Malmo was a tentatively plan for my 50th Birthday running teat but it just proved too difficult to get over there for a weekend. I need to start planning further out next time and by which point L should be fit enough to play a full part.

My entry to Lincoln went in very late and at first it looked like they were going to make me drive over to Lincoln on Saturday just to pick my number up but they relented. As it turns out there are loads of people collecting their numbers on the day. It is a day that starts very dull and rainy but it does fine up by start time.

This is the second running of the event which starts at the Lincoln Showground which we know well from the many dog shows that are held there.

You can see why they held the start and finish out at the Showground but it’s a bit of a dull run in to Lincoln itself from there. It’s also surprisingly not very supporter friendly because the start was a fair old hike from race HQ as it was held on the far periphery of the showground and supporters also weren't allowed past the finish line to watch us complete it.

However, once the race got into Lincoln it was great. There was plenty of support there and an interesting section on the river front, followed by lovely big hill up to the Castle and then a nice little cobbled section.

Then there’s the long dull run back to the Showground and a final stretch along the very gravelly access road which hurts my feet. It makes me think I some less minimalist trainers for my marathon, which isn’t really what you’re supposed to do two weeks out from a race.

I cross the line in a reasonable 01:45 to be handed the traditional pint of Erdinger Alcohol free.

In the evening we tour Canning Circus and finish off with a curry from the Park Tandoori.

(Sunday 1st October)

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Finally In The Bag


Today, ta da, it's finally L’s 100th parkrun. Most likely against doctor’s orders but now it’s finally in the bag. Bravo. Now she can get herself a new T-shirt.

The big event comes at Beeston as Daughter continues her tourism. L runs with her while I run with MD. We’ve only done Beeston once before and now I remember why we haven’t been back. It’s so damn narrow that MD and I get stuck at the back and are unable to overtake. I find it very frustrating but MD likes it when we don’t go too fast.

There are now two coffee shops near the Beeston Parkrun so we try the new one and it’s very pleasant although I think most people stick to the one they know which is good because there’s no queues at ours.

(Saturday 30th September)

Friday, 29 September 2017

The Cormoran Strike Limp

L gets carried away at the gym and hobbles home while I get carried away running home from work and... although I don't quite hobble, I do develop a bit of a Cormoran Strike limp. Yes, we've actually been watching some TV. We're always been partial to a bit of Cormoran and Robin.

Thankfully my limp is only minor. It's not calf related and it's purely down to some nicely festering blisters.

L’s always had a bit of a crush on Cormoran Strike and that’s just from the books. Well more precisely the audiobooks, so it’s probably actually the narrator she fancies and has nothing to do with that fact that Cormoran has a limp like mine.

It’s Friday, if someone will help us both upstairs.

(Friday 29th September)

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Through The Pain

On the bike today and then in the pub for lunch.

Squash is cancelled as my opponent has hurt his ankle doing a run. He says it started hurting towards the end of his 5k on the treadmill but he ran through the pain and finished it anyway. Then he asks if that sounds familiar. Hmm, maybe. It’s dangerous stuff this running business.

This development sort of stuffs up L’s planned run to meet us at squash but I’m happy to pretend I’ve played anyway and wait in the pub for her. I like to be helpful like that. Sadly, or happily for her injury, she’d already decided not to run and is going to the gym instead. Beers at home then.

(Thursday 28th September)

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

The No Rush Hour

I’m back in London today for a meeting, so it’s an early start. I meet my boss at the Holiday Inn on the M1 junction and we head down in his car.

For once it’s a decent trip by road. The meeting has a late start and an early finish, so we miss most of the rush hour(s) traffic. We are back in Derby for 4pm despite stopping for lunch at Ed’s Diner, I’m home early to chuck balls and in plenty of time for tonight’s dog training.

(Wednesday 27th September)

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Less Eventful

On the bus today and thankfully a much less eventful trip into work.

Someone has put their first half marathon t-shirt from 2005 on Facebook and L immediately dismisses him as a lightweight. Hers was the Robin Hood Half in 1998 although I don’t think it was even known as the Robin Hood back then and not that she has a t-shirt for it because they’ve only just started giving them out.

I’m more interested in whether he still wears it. I still wear my first half marathon t-shirt which was from Sleaford in 2010.

Tonight I’m out with my old school friends in Derby, hence the bus. After a few drinks in the Brunswick, we head to steak night at the Babington Arms. Only really because the Brunswick doesn’t do food on a Tuesday.

Back home, I am greeted by the dogs complete with flecks of white paint in Doggo’s case. L must have restarted the decorating project. Then I join her in a couple of whiskies which I assume are for medicinal purposes not that my dentist would approve.

(Tuesday 26th September)

Monday, 25 September 2017

Renegade Fruit Juice Habit

This morning I arrive for work at 10am, having left home two hours and twenty minutes earlier.
A car had broken down on the A52 near Derby and traffic had backed up all the way back to Bardill’s roundabout, just outside Nottingham. It had also snarled up the slip roads off the M1 and thereby the M1 itself. Quite an achievement.

It was also unnecessary. It was a tiny car which could have been pushed off the road in seconds but instead a police car had put cones round it and sat behind it with all it’s blue lights on.

L is also heading to Derby today, meeting her folks. Good luck with that one.

Shopping is again without a Nectar card. Just how long does it take to replace one?

Then I’m at the dentist where I get lectured on my general health even though the chap has no idea how my general health is. That isn't after all his job. I even get asked the age old question about how many alcohol units I consume per week and whether I am inside the new guidelines. I refuse to answer his questions and I have no idea what this has to do with my teeth.

I am also advised that if I am going to drink fruit juice in the mornings then this should not be done before brushing my teeth but I shouldn’t drink it afterwards either unless it’s through a straw. Life used to be so simple. Apparently it’s all to do with looking after the enamel on my teeth. Although he confirms that the 50 year old enamel on my teeth is fine... despite my current renegade fruit juice habits.

After that I’m relieved to get to dog training.

(Monday 25th September)

Sunday, 24 September 2017

The Cheering Gang

Given the fact that Nottingham is overzealous with it’s road closures for the Marathon/Half Marathon and the tram isn’t very convenient for the Embankment, I employ Shank's Pony to get to the start line. In truth, the walk probably served as a pretty good warm up.

The course is more or less the same as last year's with one dead turn thankfully taken out. So just one more to remove please but this is certainly one of the better courses they’ve had.

L and Daughter both support this year and in multiple places but the cheering gang (the dogs) are left at home.

Just ahead of seven miles I get chance for a sweaty snog with one of the crowd, which was L of course but then everyone else backed away in terror when they saw me coming.

I have a good run and finish in 1:44:50 and pass Richard Whitehead en route, in the end beating him by a couple of minutes. 

It's again an excellent event and with a t-shirt for all finishers this year for the first time. It's a cotton one too, which I prefer. I have so many technical ones already.

My only real grip is that Nottingham still persist with the notorious water pouches. Oddly some people do seem to like them but I assume these are the folk who possess the black magic required to get something substantial out of them. Personally I probably consumed only half the amount of water I wanted to and I really don't see how they get these things through their H&S Risk Assessment. I run races up and down the country and have never come across these dreadful things anywhere else.

These are a blot on what is otherwise, fantastic race. Although I still maintain that they should be taking this race into the city centre like the big cites do - Sheffield, Leeds, Birmingham, Manchester etc etc. Which perversely would contain the race more central and therefore probably even reduce the number of road closures.

Then I hobble to the train station from where I get the tram home.

(Sunday 24th September)

Saturday, 23 September 2017

A Little Bit Of Jane Austen

This morning MD and I pace Daughter around Forest Rec parkrun in 36 minutes. MD is delighted that I don’t make him do it in 25 while L puts a brave face on being on the sidelines but she will probably head off to drown her sorrows in Waterstone's later.

After breakfast at Homemade, I head off to the match where Derby draw with Birmingham.

In the evening we’re all (L, Daughter and me) at Pride and Prejudice which is being staged at Nottingham Playhouse. Yes, you heard correctly.

There is however a cunning difference here. This version is by comedian Sara Pascoe who is basically having a bit of a laugh with Jane Austen’s esteemed novel and questioning the modern day relevance of it.

This is a play for people like me who think oh no, not another costume drama of (insert populist play here). Ok, so this is a populist play but done with a difference, with satire and it’s not subtle either. For starters the whole thing is set in a giant birdcage.

The story is, mostly, an abridged version of the traditional one e.g. there are still five daughters to be married off and boy are they obsessed with finding a husband. Pascoe however questions this obsession and many other aspects of the story both within the main play and also by frequently switching the action to the present. Where discussions about the play take play in a school, the actors explore their own roles in rehearsals and there are two TV producers editing their own version while having their own very modern relationship, illicitly.

There are also songs from Emmy the Great in which the Bennet sisters plead with us not to judge them. As if.

The whole thing might upset the purists of course, hopefully, but I thought it was very clever, very well done, well acted and above all rather funny.

(Saturday 23rd September)

Friday, 22 September 2017

Acceptable After All

It seems that my mid-week run with Daughter was acceptable after all. MD and I have been recruited again, this time to pace her around Saturday’s parkrun at Forest Rec. L has admitted defeat on the injury front and will spectate again, still stranded on 99.

Daughter has however, apparently, offered to help L train for the Derby 10K next year. Once she is fit again of course. What is the world coming to? Strange things are certainly afoot.

It’s a normal Friday night in tonight, that is as in no massages. At least not from the professionals. 

(Friday 22nd September)

Thursday, 21 September 2017

This Girl Shouldn’t

L swims this morning but for the first time ever I has to catch the bus there. Which makes me think she should be doing it... However she spins the positives. It's only the walking bit that she couldn't do and she’s even considering making her comeback with a gentle jog at Parkrun on Saturday. Hmmm. Never mind ‘This Girl Can’ we need a campaign called ‘This Girl Shouldn’t’.

She’s just trying to sneak number 100 in but then it must be very frustrating being stuck on 99.

It’s the first game of the new squash season tonight and my opponent adjusts better to the change of sport, tennis to squash, than me.

L stays at home, licking her wounds, but I still take the boys so at least she won’t have to chuck balls all night. I’m sure Doggo is desperate to get inside the Dispensary and tonight they both get to go inside for the first time. 

(Thursday 21st September)

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Off The Substitutes' Bench

Today I get a bizarre call from our local Post Office. They have MD’s dog tag but apparently MD isn’t attached to it. I check with L, just in case she’s lost him, but she assures me he was at home when she left for work. I tell them we’ll pick it up next time we’re passing.

After work I run 5k, then get the bus part of the way home, then run another 5k. That, however, is just the first part of tonight’s running schedule.

With L temporarily out of commission I am called off the substitutes' bench and tasked with running with Daughter tonight. She has already apologised, many times, in advance for being slow. While I feel I should be apologising for being fast. She likens me to a race horse, albeit a slightly limping one, and her a Shetland pony.

I am apparently required to chitchat all the way round our 5k, which isn’t really my forte and not something I’m used to. No one speaks to you when you’re on 1:45 pace for a half marathon, no one is capable of speaking to you.

MD joins us and helps ruin our time, which isn’t what she was hoping for. So she might not be asking us again.

(Wednesday 20th September)

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

The Usual

It’s a pretty usual day. I’m on the bike as usual and L manages a swim, although she’s probably being generous with the word ‘manage’.

In the evening it’s dog training while L visits her parents as she usually does when I’m at training and as usual we meet up in the Masons. Where we are faced with the usual drab beer range. 

(Tuesday 19th September)

Monday, 18 September 2017

Nectar Theft

After doing the shopping at Sainsbury’s this lunch time I find out that my Nectar card has been emptied, someone has stolen all 9200 points I had on there. That’s round about £50.

Checking online I find out that they’ve been spent at Argos. That certainly wasn’t me and unsurprisingly L says it wasn’t her either.

I contact Nectar and rather worryingly they don’t seem at all surprised. They cancel the card, set me up a new account, transfer the points and add another 2000 as a goodwill gesture. I’ve just got to wait for the new card to arrive which will apparently take about two weeks... no rush then.

No dog training tonight as I have a committee meeting, which goes well. There are no fights etc etc.

(Monday 18th September)

Sunday, 17 September 2017

A Reluctant Supporter

In the post race euphoria of the Great North Run I entered us both in today’s Mansfield 10k while sat on the platform at Newcastle Railway Station. Unfortunately the euphoria was not shared by L’s back, so now it’s just me.

The third running of the Mansfield 10k turns out to be a decent little event, once we’ve managed to park somewhere as the town has pretty much shut down for the race.

The course is a twisty route with a few includes around the town centre and surrounding streets with the start and finish in the Market Place offering excellent viewing potential for my reluctant supporter.

There’s a 5k as well as a 10k which presents some excellent cheating potential for any dishonest 10k runners. Not me, obviously.

My time is a steady and unspectacular 45:51. Not great but its all about building fitness and remaining uninjured at the moment. It’s four weeks to marathon day.

Afterwards L tries to get a swim but finds out the pool sessions at John Carroll no longer exist. Why am I not surprised.

In the evening we meet Daughter in the Lincolnshire Poacher, briefly, before she heads off for a date with Cormoran Strike. We stay there all night.

(Sunday 17th September)

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Watching Our Backs

The boys and I are at a dog show this morning but our schedule gives us no runs first thing so it could have been a leisurely morning. That is if L hadn’t dived out of bed early in order to get over to the Colwick parkrun to support daughter on her Couch To 5k Graduation.

So I assist by dropping L in town and then heading off to the dog show which is near Rugby.

Daughter not only graduates with flying colours but brings her 5k time down in to the 36s. We all need to start watching our backs. L says I wouldn’t believe how jealous she is. Oh I would. 

At the dog show, our first run was really good but we had a pole down. Then on the second run MD missed out a jump, I mis-queued the weaves and then he missed his dog walk contact.Oh dear.

We both calm down a touch and get a clear round on run three but only just, so we’re outside the rosettes, before rounding things off with five faults in our last run.

Back home later, we stay in. I have another run tomorrow.

(Saturday 16th September)

Friday, 15 September 2017

Up On The Table

I bike for a third day in a row which was hard work but somehow I managed it.

So it’s probably a good job that when I’ve pedalled back home after work I have my masseur waiting for me. Unfortunately he’s not going to go easy on me and, despite Doggo’s half hearted efforts to stop him, he inflicts plenty of pain on me.

Tonight it’s not just me he gets his hands on, L’s up on the table as well. So it’s certainly not our typical Friday night.

(Friday 15th September)

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Doubling Up

I’m on the bike again today, doubling up on my Cycle to Work Day miles because they've extended the event for those who bottled out due to Storm Aileen yesterday.

It’s a good job I’m on the bike because it’s traffic Armageddon outside our own front door with Wollaton Road shut due to an earlier accident. Everyone diverted along Harrow Road, which was like a car park and the kids were all stood at the bus stop panicking about getting to school... err, you could walk.

Tonight we again play tennis in the dome as a sort of grand finale to the season. While we play, L tries to grab a nice relaxing sauna but finds it taken over by what appears to be a taxi drivers' convention.

We had tried to get one of the main indoor courts for tonight but they were all booked. They are actually the same price as the dome courts but they probably come with lights that work, one corner of our court was dark where one of the floodlights had packed up.

Drinks afterwards in the Crown.

(Thursday 14th September)

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Come On Aileen

The overnight gales from Storm Aileen have eased somewhat but have not yet totally dissipated, so it’s somewhat blustery for the annual Cycle to Work Day. So the ride in is somewhat lively but still excellent, even if I do have to reassemble myself on arrival.

Yesterday L managed to make it to the pool but could only manage backstroke. Today she doesn’t do the gym, pool or anything. Not good.

A not quite so windy ride home is followed by dog training.

(Wednesday 13th September)