Well okay, you may have landed a lucky punch my first time out but by feck, did I kick your arse this morning! In fact, I'm pretty sure I heard Laura giggling at you, so complete was your humiliation.
You looked the part when I first clapped eyes on you, I'll give you that much. Indeed I wasn't confident at all about taking you on, which is why you gave me a bloody nose at my first attempt but I went away and gathered myself before having another go at you and the next time I won. You asked for a rematch, which was fair enough as I'd not beaten you comprehensively and even I wasn't convinced I could take you again, until the end of the first round, when I knew I had your measure. After which I went on to win that third bout, again on points.
But no, you wanted another go, all because you couldn't accept that having beaten me once you had lost twice since. So I agreed. It was wrong of me I know, because I knew by this stage that you were merely a stepping stone to the big fight next week, however I just wanted to put you away for good. And I did. By a knockout!
I did my 4th Week 4 run this morning (I've mentioned before how I failed to complete it the first time I tried) and took a different route this time, turning left out of town instead of toward town, as I wanted to see if there was enough beachfront path to complete next week's 20 minute run without doubling back on myself half a dozen times. It transpired there is more than enough.
I'm confident at this level now so although I still find it tough, it's not brutal (what a difference a week makes?) and so I jogged along quite happily. I only saw a couple of fellow runners (what a difference a month makes?) as I'd gone out even earlier than usual, setting my alarm for 5am instead of 15 minutes later, again in preparation for the longer recovery time I expect from next week and subsequent runs.
I still had a touch of gout in my right foot when I awoke (it had flared on Tuesday) but I felt okay to run on it so didn't let it put me off. I know what you're thinking by the way, a bad back, pain in his abdomen and now gout? It must be his age. Well not really, I'm 48 now and my body has been falling apart for a good 20 years. Oh and did I mention the eczema?
What can I say, I had a tough paper round....
Having completed the first three minuter, I was well into the first five minute run when I happened upon a bench festooned with memorial flowers, along with at least three cards of remembrance. My first thought was that some poor soul might have drowned at sea and this was the nearest point loved ones could affix their tributes, tragic. Then it occurred to me some old boy might have breathed his last on that very bench ,after a full life it was his time. Not a horrible way to go, a lovely view of the world before meeting his maker.
Anyway on I went, brisk walk then into the next three minuter and finally I turned back towards home for the last run. Passing the bench a second time I was really feeling it and a different scenario that might explain the flowers occurred to me and a headline flashed into my mind: OVER-AMBITIOUS RUNNER FOUND DEAD ON BEACHFRONT! However, I dismissed it immediately.
After all, I don't know three people who'd send flowers to my funeral.....
Anyway I made it to the end and as I was still some way from home, having got my breath back, I decided that instead of listening to that shite Laura has been assaulting my ears with for weeks now, I'd walk back to something I actually enjoy, so flicking through a huge playlist on my 'phone I selected Perfect Skin by Lloyd Cole & The Commotions.
I left it for a minute or so though as, having stopped the podcast, I suddenly became aware of the sea and wanted to enjoy the feeling of walking along in the dark, having the whole world to myself and listening to the sound of the waves hitting the shore. Simply beautiful.
Then something strange happened, something I put fairly and squarely at the door of a fellow blogger on here who shall remain nameless but it's not Bluearms or Yellowfeet (ahem!).....who I'd read yesterday had felt so good at this stage on his Week 4 run that he continued, running ten instead of five minutes.
As the first notes of the song came through my reattached earphones, a thought popped into my head: "You feel all right after that short walk, why not run back to the song?"
So I did. Then as I was going along quite nicely another thought occured to me, "you're not quite back to the point where you turn up from the beachfront for home so why not continue into the next song, just for the further minute it'll take you to get there?"
So I did. And beyond. Because I decided I may as well go until the end of that song too.
So I did. Although I was thankful it was Woke Up (the theme song to The Soprano's) which lasts about four minutes, rather than Bohemian Rhapsody, which at eight minutes or so may well have become the theme song to my funeral.
I'd looped around a hut by this stage and so as the song and my ability to run any further ended, I was almost where back to where I started my run and so slowed to a walk.
And what was the next song that came on? Feckin' Morning Has Broken, as near a pop song has come to a hymn as you can get!
I was almost home now but one more song began before I reached the door and if I tell you what it was, you will definitely think I'm saying this for the laugh, however it's as true as I'm sitting here. After choosing only the first song, Perfect Skin, from the middle of a playlist which has 158 songs on it, on came Depeche Mode's Personal Jesus!
I couldn't believe it and was smiling as that bench came back to mind.
However I think I'll run in the other direction on Saturday.
Until I got home and checked, it was guesswork as to how long that additional run had been but looking at it, the two songs together meant I'd ran for just over seven minutes. That means not only do I now think the first run of Week 5 a doddle at three five minute runs but I now also feel quite reassured that I'll be able for the two eight minute runs in run 2.
I'm even thinking of jumping the first run and doing run 2 twice, hoping it will better prepare me for the 20 minutes of run 3. I'll see how I feel on Saturday.