Monday, 1 April 2013
Under House Arrest
You know it's only since starting this blog that I've noticed how much of the time my running doesn't go to plan. Either that or the act of starting a blog somehow altered my fate and where once things went fairly straightforwardly they now stagger backwards and forwards like an old drunk making his way home. Will he arrive there? Who knows.
I had a week off, apart from the odd thing I had to do, so I was going to use it to up my mileage. I have to be honest and say I wasn't that excited by the prospect. As this Siberian Spring turns ineluctably into a Svalbard Summer I am sick of it being so damn cold. I am sick of wearing 2 Helly Hansens with a jacket on top. I'm sick of washing twice as much running kit as usual because I'm WEARING twice as much kit as usual. Anyhoo...
Peter and I went for our now statutory hard Friday night session. I had the great idea of mile uphill reps up the main road round Arthur's Seat. It was freezing cold as usual, but the wind wasn't blowing, so for once it wasn't too painful being out. We had some mild explosive disagreements because Peter thought I'd been abducted because he failed to notice me coming within 20 feet of him because he was trying to take pictures of the stars or something.
Nearly 10 miles, job done.
The next day I thought I could really nail my ultra colours to the mast by doing another 27 miler and then hopefully, if I could, doing a further 20 the following day with the Porty Crew who are just peaking now for London in a few weeks time. I felt fine to start with. Peter took the news well. We took a bit of time getting ready during which I started to feel pukey, but I quite honestly thought it was just fear.
A mile into the run, however, I wanted to stop, just to have a stand. This should have been a clue. I went another 2 miles to the Bowling Club along the Portobello Prom and called it a day. All I wanted to do was stop and walk...or preferably just stop, but I was out in the chilly spring wind in my shorts and I needed to keep moving just to stay alive. I started to jog a couple of times on the way home but didn't have any oomph and found it easier to walk. I couldn't help but notice how disgusting everything was. The side of the road and the bushes there were festooned with rubbish.
Finally I made it home and went to bed with a hot water bottle, but instead of feeling better I just kept feeling worse, until finally the queasy feeling blossomed into the knowledge that I was definitely going to vomit. It's been a few years since I've performed this act and then it was with the aid of alcohol which is tremendous for relaxing the muscles, so it was no easy feat. Our toilet is a tiny little room just off the stairs and although you can close the door when you're in there the normal way round, it isn't possible to be in there and be sick with the door closed, so I would imagine my neighbours know I was sick too. I was past caring. They probably thought we were looking after some nasty, barky dog for the weekend...and mistreating it too.
At least being sick made me feel better for a while...until the next time. Meanwhile, poor Peter texted to say he was on the train. He ran the whole way feeling iffy and then was sick on the train in a freezer bag he had handy. I don't recommend going to his blog unless you actually want to see it.
So instead of running 47 miles over the course of the weekend, or whatever I imagined I was going to do, I spent an awful lot of time in bed. My aims shrunk down quite rapidly, as they do, so by Sunday evening I had the ambition, if I was feeling a bit better, to have a shower. I not only accomplished this but went for the burn by going out to Scotmid to buy potatoes and sausages as by this time I was past the puking stage and was now trying to imagine things I could face eating. Some rosy-tinted nostalgic vision of sausages and mash with gravy floated up before my eyes and I thought this could be the one...
Going outside I felt oddly like a ghost. I seemed to have gained a strange new super-power - the ability to smell everybody I passed. It wasn't a nice experience. At the risk of stereo-typing Leithers, nearly everyone I passed smelled of flowery gin and old cigarettes. Either that or they had soaked themselves in cheap perfume. I was reminding myself of a character in The Edgar Allen Poe story "The Fall of the House of Usher" (which I've enjoyed looking up). Roderick Usher suffered from a nervous affliction:
It was, he said, a constitutional and a family evil, and one for which he despaired to find a remedy --a mere nervous affection, he immediately added, which would undoubtedly soon pass off. It displayed itself in a host of unnatural sensations. Some of these, as he detailed them, interested and bewildered me; although, perhaps, the terms, and the general manner of the narration had their weight. He suffered much from a morbid acuteness of the senses; the most insipid food was alone endurable; he could wear only garments of certain texture; the odours of all flowers were oppressive; his eyes were tortured by even a faint light; and there were but peculiar sounds, and these from stringed instruments, which did not inspire him with horror.
The mash was a good idea but the sausages and gravy kept me busy burping for the next 5 or 6 hours. I think I was running a slight temperature and Smiths songs kept running over and over in my head. It was nearly unbearable.
Today, reading over the advice about norovirus. (I assume it's that, and not whatever Roderick Usher had), I realise I shouldn't really have been out in public yesterday, in case I passed it on. I didn't talk to anyone though, or touch anyone, and I used plastic to pay, so it was probably fine. Today I'm keeping myself under house arrest and tomorrow I'll go out.
So I've done some cleaning, in between bouts of lying on my bed staring into space. Will I achieve anything ultra by the end of the week? Who knows.