Having spent a week on the injury couch, I was fired up to complete Week 1 Day 2 of Sami Murphy's B210K podcast this morning. I even managed to get up extra early, donned my prewarmed running kit, gave my legs a massage with my OilHut pre-exercise running oil, and was ready to go. Because of the increased distance I'm using a route which starts about 5 minutes from home, which wasn't a problem last Monday, and I was looking forward to running it again.
I decided to complete my warm up exercises in the warm at home, then scraped the ice of my car, put my nits and pieces in, and I was off - driving to the start point.
I was feeling so positive, and convinced that the morning would be gremlin free...
So imagine how I felt when I parked up and the first gremlin's strike became apparent, as I discovered that I had somehow forgotten to bring my earphone for my phone. The disappointment flooded through me, and I felt like turning the engine back on and going home. I could always try again tomorrow.
But having been on the i.c. for a week I was not going to let one little gremlin spoil my fun, and worked out that if I turned the phone volume up to max and put the phone in the breast pocket of my running jacket I should be ok. And so I set of, almost marching to show that gremlin just what I thought. It was a struggle to hear over the traffic beside me, especially as the pocket my phone was in was on my deaf side (one ear has no hearing), but I knew that once I got onto the cycle path away from the traffic I should be OK.
After 5 minutes brisk walking I broke into a steady run, and after a few minutes became acutely aware that a second gremlin was making an appearance, pinching at my achilles tendon causing it to twinge. As my achilles was the reason for being on the i.c. last week I was only too quick to decide that I'd better throw in the towel and return to the car. I began running back, but then thought better of it. It wasn't really hurting and why should I let a silly gremlin get the better of me, so I turned back again and continued with my run.
There were a couple of hills to contend with, but the fact that a sculpture of Eric Morecambe is at the top of one spurred me on, even though my third gremlin struck by sending loud trains along the neighbouring track so that I was unable to hear my phone at all. But I replaced the running with a virtual track of "Bring Me Sunshine" in my head and continued up the hill. At the crest, I greeted Eric by running with hands alternating behind my head and hips in the Morecambe and Wise style and had a little chuckle as the vanquished gremlin disappeared to sulk.
He didn't sulk for long and came back with a blunt pencil and started poking me in the buttock, like some truculent child. I did my best to ignore him, so then he started making my hips ache... but he wasn't going to get the better of me and I ran on regardless. I was more than half way through, so was ready to turn to back, when the next gremlin decided to trick me by making my glasses steam up and then shining the sun directly into my eyes, giving the effect of zero visibility. Plucky little fella, but it wasn't stopping me, and I soon perfected the art of breathing downwards with lips jutting out - fortunately their was no around to see me looking like Plug from the Bash Street Kids!
The final gremlin decided that they would put in a few extra hills on my way back. Wow, that was clever. I was sure that there had only been two on my way out, but there seemed to be four or 5 on the way back, and to make things worse Mr G. decided to feel my trainers with lead weights, so that I could barely lift my legs. But eventually good or Eric came into view and I did the same little Eric and Ernie skip/run past him as I headed for home.
The car park was in sight as I changed down a gear or two into the final 5 minute walk, and I was feeling smug. I'd covered over 9km and managed to escape the machinations of those pesky gremlins. But I was a bit too soon with my congratulations as my final gremlin saved the best till last. Having completed my stretches and cooled down, I clambered into the car ready to drive home only to find that it wouldn't start and the battery was completely flat!
Aargh... didn't have my purse or AA card with me, and had no energy to do anything much. I also needed to be home in 10 minutes as I was expecting a furniture delivery, so some poor taxi driver ended up with a rather sweaty, panting customer in his car, and the lovely Mr R. saved the day by coming home from work on the fast train to retrieve my car.
Have the gremlins put me off running again ..? I don't think so. Ha.