Saturday, 11 June 2016

I just couldn't even....

What are you going to do on a dull day but take toilet selfies?

and lots of them

these big poppies were the best thing I saw all day

back on the bus Gus

On Thursdays I tend to take the bus to work in the morning so that I can run home. And I quite like getting the bus because it's a change and I can read. But lately there have been children on the bus. I don't know where they've come from because there never used to be any. They've got too much energy and they want to talk in the morning.

So this Thursday I was reading a book about Helene Deutsch, who was the first female psychoanalyst, until I found my attention being pulled away from my book by two teens who came and plunked themselves down next to me. "Oh no" I thought.
Pretty soon they both started talking to each other at the same time the way the teens seem to. One was showing the other one something on her phone and the other one was having some kind of a break down. "I just can't..." she helpless mirth... "I just can't's too funny...I just can't even...I just can't..."
"Oh for God's sake" I thought to myself.
"What is it that you can't do? What can't you even do? What are you trying to say?"

And I tried to go back to my book, but I couldn't concentrate - I just couldn't even...
and as happens, this teenish phrase has been stuck in my head ever since.

Last weekend, in order to finish my long run I promised myself there would be no more long runs before the marathon. But this weekend my achilles weren't so sore, and I thought that maybe I could squeeze out just one more. It was to be a drab, grey day with a slight easterly wind, and as I hadn't done it in such a while, I thought I might be able to get away with hopping on the train to North Berwick and running back along the road.
Maybe I could run a last 22 miler which would stand me in good stead for marathoning on the 3rd July. Or maybe I would just run to the near side of Portobello for 19 miles. That would be okay.

But despite having an Americano from Cafe Nero at the train station - and too much sugary fudge...I knew early on that I was in trouble. My legs were okay but my head was not. It was so grey and dreary. I tried to take pleasure in the fields which are swelling with crops - all the green life bursting out everywhere. I tried thinking of things to think. By Gullane I was already bored through.
By Aberlady I think I was nearly falling asleep. As I ran down the path at the side of the road into the woods I had a massive trip on a root. I could see my potential trajectory, and if I took it, it looked like I'd stott my head off a tree trunk. So I pulled out all the stops and managed to stay upright somehow. It was a wee reminder to stop dreaming though.

Running along the narrow paths at Longniddry, the humidity squeezed down on me. It felt warm and sticky in the shrubbery, despite the lack of sun.
"What's my motivation for this?" I asked myself, hoping for something inspiring back.
"You're doing it because you said you would" said a dreary voice back.
"This will be the last" I tried to tell my tired body and brain, but I was aware I sounded like some old addict.
"If we could just push out a good one today then that's all the long runs before the marathon. And after that you don't have to do any more road running. At all..."
I was met with a tired silence. Maybe it's because I promised the same thing last week and then reneged on the deal. But something had fallen out with me and wasn't playing.

"Okay, okay" I told my rebelling self. "Just to Porty then. 19's pretty good. Give it a go."

When I came out the bushes at Seton Sands there was a bit of a fresh breeze and I thought I might make it. But I did another epic trip. I got all the way through the Pans. I never really want to stop in the Pans to be honest. I think there'd been some orange marching going on as there were a load of little union jacks fluttering in the breeze. But beyond the Pans it came to me.

"I just can't" said the voice.
"What do you mean?"
"You know", it said, "I just can't even. It's too boring."
I couldn't deny it. It was incontrovertibly true.
I ran to the first bus-stop after the Garmin had bleeped 15 miles and called it a day.
And got on the no. 26 bus of shame.

End of

Sunday, 5 June 2016


Because it goes by so fast.

Saturday had to be a long run. Unquestionably. This was my internal dialogue.

"Me no wanna do a long run"

"What kind of talk is this? Man the FU!"

"Don't you mean Man the Lifeboats?"

"I mean man your effing running clothes because you are going to the Lammermuirs."

"But my achilles are sore."

"Never mind, you'll get as much coffee as you can drink and a piece of shortbread the size of a small dinner plate half way round."

"Yeah, okay then."

"Sugar and caffeine prostitute."

"Whatever, let's go."

It started out okay. I was unquestionably tired and my achilles were indeed sore, but I "sucked it up" as we athletes say. For the first half anyway. But when we got to the Carfrae Mill, which is the promised land of shortbread and coffee, someone was selfishly having their wedding and we weren't allowed in.
I honestly hope the bride has a big arse in her wedding photos. Put that on your mantle-piece.
A big arse and a small goatee.

We disconsolately sat on a wall and ate fudge and drank water in the burning afternoon sun. Peter was very expressive with his disappointment. Mine went underground and poisoned the waters of my morale. Having sucked so much up I now blew it all out again. It was hard to crack a smile for the next uphill stretch, into the wind, with my achilles are killing me and the hot sun. Peter tried to interest me in some standard birds and run of the mill farm animals. I wasn't for any of it.
He had the good camera and I just had my wee waterproof one. I didn't take it out until I had a rest up the top of a hill while Peter, who had been bothering birds, caught up.

Not even pretending...

Even my face hurts. I hate everything.

Even my shadow is angry.

Bu the time we were finished it was early evening. We'd set off late in the day. We stopped in Gifford at the Co-op and had what turned out to be our tea. Chicken and bacon sandwiches and steak flavoured crisps. I couldn't get enough salt. I didn't approve of any of my tea but it was delicious. I could still taste the crisps this morning though - they are pervasive.

Today we had arranged that we'd meet up with Nick W for the Gullane coffee, cake, run and sea experience. I wondered how on earth I was going to be with two good runners and my done legs and my ill temper. I figured we'd be alright as long as there was coffee at Falko's and thankfully there was. Peter and Nick were in full voice which left me room to concentrate on trying to keep up. I couldn't tell you much about any of it except it was good. Running along the beach with the wind behind us was great. The sun was out. Nick was saying how hot the sea looked. Actually it did. There was no chance it was going to be hot but we pretended it might be. As we rounded the corner to Gullane we were met with the sight of 1 million people on the beach.
Peter put in a bid for us to go further round the headland to swim. I didn't argue. Sometimes I can't be bothered with guddling around looking for the perfect spot. Often there's no such thing and you just end up wasting time. But today it was sunny and I didn't care. So we went along the coast to where we previously met Harry the Crab.

There was a lot of sand in the surf and we couldn't see Harry. Even in wet suits the sea was far from hot. I've been in the habit of wearing a hood but just wore a swim cap today and got an ice-cream head-ache. It was good to be in the water though. There wasn't really anywhere to swim, apart from straight out - which is a bit beyond what I wanted to do. I was out of my depth but was bobbing like a cork in my buoyant wetsuit, which was reassuring. Peter wanted to talk about being chased by a seal and Nick wanted to talk about a spate of shark attacks that have happened recently. I'm not so worried about either of those things so much as being dragged out to sea because the the tide is strong and I am weak.

And then it was the difficult task of trying to get  out of a wetsuit that has suctioned itself onto you with useless, numb hands. Never easy.

 So now it's time for a shower and to rinse out my wet-suit and get the tea on and somehow get ready for the week...................................................