It is Wednesday morning, very early, say stupido o'clock, aka 5.30am. It is black in our bedroom, it seems no light will come through the curtains ever again, the room is a snug black space of warm duvet and sleeping noises.
I wake to the alarm, set the evening before, because I am semi-organised to go out for an early morning run, BECAUSE we are going to be out to a comedy gig in the evening which will send my usual Wed evening run off into the ether of non-beingness. (I KNOW it's not a word - just work with me here ok!)
I must have opened an eyelid; I MUST'VE come to ever so slightly from the region of never-never, surely. I MUST'VE reached out like an automaton and in my coma of unconsciousness, I MUST'VE switched the dratted thing off because I slip off back to the wonderful warm woolly sleep of the "never heard the alarm" people and start to dream...
"The court is in session...please stand for the Right Honourable Justice Stern!"
I stand in the dock, in my running kit, hands cuffed together, awkwardly trying to hold onto my sports bottle full of water.
There is a crowd of people in the court, all dressed in hi-tech running kit, all watching me.
There are 12 jurors, all members of the Team GB Olympic team, mostly athletic types, but Sr Chris Hoy is looking at me pretty judgementally (must be my Scots heritage!) Mo Farah is there, looking down his nose at this weak specimen of a runner in the dock. I can see him thinking, "You will NEVER get your 5k in under 27 mins if you keep THIS up Chapple!"
Judge Stern, white be-wigged and spectacled glares at me over his glasses in the manner of his name. I know exactly what he's going to say.
"You stand here accused of MISSING A RUN through LACK OF COMMITMENT and SHEER LAZINESS! How do you plead?"
"Well, your honour - it was very early, I had a late night last night, I was tired."
"How do you plead??"
"Your honour - I could hear the wind driving the rain onto the window. It was cold, very dark..."
"How do you PLEAD???"
"I had plans to put in an extra session in the school's fitness suite tomorrow if I missed this run!"
His next words echo thunderously around the courtroom...
"NO MORE WEAK EXCUSES!!! HOW DO YOU PLEAD???"
I am defeated.
"Yes, ok, I am guilty, I am lazy, I lack commitment on early morning runs! But you can't punish me anymore than I am already doing to myself! I have been bashing myself up all morning because now I can't run today and will have to wait till at least Friday, because I will run long on Sunday and on Friday, it will HAVE to be a morning run because yet again, I have an evening commitment!"
"The defendent submits a "guilty" plea. Prisoner Chapple, do you have anything else to say before I pass sentence?"
I look down, I shake my head, there is NO defence. I have nothing to say. Expecting the judge to come out with a sentence of at least ten interval and hill runs back to back, I await his words. What follows is so, SO much worse!
"Your sentence is that you will NOT get into your running kit, and you will NOT run or otherwise exercise for a period of time of at least six months - take the prisoner down!"
(and if you knew how horribly narky I get at not being able to run even for a couple of weeks while injured you'd realise that in this nightmare I'm having it's my hubby making that horrible wailing noise!)
I wake up in a sweat far worse than I ever work up when I'm out in running kit!
Ok, panic over, it was just a dream, BUT I did miss the run and I did bash myself up over it all day Wednesday. I DID go to the fitness suite on Thursday and put in a second cross training session for the week as well as Monday's usual one.
Yesterday morning (Friday) I got up at 5.30 am and in heavy drizzle I did this:
"Ok, Judge Stern, happy now??"