Yesterday morning was supposed to be the first run of Week 8.
Despite suffering from my usual back pain and less usual sciatica, I started my warm up walk anyway but after only two minutes I had to give up and hobble back home ashamed and bitter.
Gollum (my chief gremlin) was beside himself with delight "Injury couch, Injury couch..." he chanted gleefully. "I've got all day to recover and I can do it this evening," I countered unconvincingly.
Despite painkillers and two sessions of T.E.N.S. (electric shocks to massage the back muscles) an evening run was sadly out of the question.
However, I woke up early this morning, gingerly got out of bed - so far so good - quietly donned my running gear and sneaked out of the house without waking Gollum.
For the first time, I went without Laura; I'm grateful for her encouragement and love her dearly but like many others I just can't abide her dreadful taste in music.
Started running with just a little bit of discomfort but after two minutes it was magically gone – or at least bearable - and I was enjoying running alongside a hedgerow of hawthorn, birch and hazel in sunshine that was bright but not too warm for comfort and as happy as a pig in the stuff that happy pigs frequent.
After about 20 minutes, Gollum finally caught up with me and he was absolutely bloody furious with me.
"We needs to stop and do walksies!" he demanded.
"Nope, can't stop me now and I've only 5 more runs to do before I graduate." I quickened my pace and left him spluttering, cursing and plotting his next move.
On my return, the future Mrs. Balti greeted me with her usual expression of adoration and admiration of my efforts, "You're Nuts!" says she, rolling her eyes skywards.