Cloudy. Rainy. Miserable. Perfect!
For ducks, indeed. But also for a) Sheffielders and b) runners, whatever the latter may be. Me, as well as a Sheffielder I’m also someone who can’t stand running yet occasionally slips on some adequate gear and wanders out to put one foot in front of the other in a slightly accelerated fashion. Over the past few days the rain and wind have been so inclement that I almost thought about considering putting something over my shirt when going into the office yesterday. It’s 29k (as well as 18m) to my office. However, since for only 0.05 (of whatever unit you choose) of those I am exposed to the elements, whereas for the balance I’m in somebody’s car, I swiftly thought better of it. The wind’s chirped down today and even the rain’s a bit friendlier – it’s more of that fine rain that soaks you through, which is… fine. Anyway, since I was working from home today (it’s Tuesday: Karen does Brownies on a Tuesday, so I need to be home by 5pm – and the traffic down the stairs isn’t usually too bad!), I nipped out for a lunchtime run.
Even as I set my left foot out of the door (not in an accelerated fashion, by the way), I wasn’t sure for how long I’d be heading out. I may have previously mentioned The Spreadsheet and my 14-week plan. At this stage, I should be doing around a dozen sets of running/walking for a minute. Now, I’m good at making plans and at getting things done. However, I’m not great at following the plan. Elsewhere on the ether you will find a record of something I said over the microphone on a coach of Blades fans for whom I was an interpreter in Milan: “We know where we aar, we know where we’re gooeing, we’re just not sure how to get theyre”. Sounded innocent enough at the time: I was looking at a map and hadn’t fathomed that I was looking at an underpass / flyover combination, hence us going down the former under the latter for the sixth time and failing miserably to take that desired right turn. Whenever I bump into Mick (never often enough) he quotes that line back to me – just in case I’ve forgotten it. Maybe it holds a deeper meaning than I had ever previously thought… maybe it should be the mantra of all Christians living with a little healthy doubt… maybe it encapsulates the life I’ve lived and the decisions I’ve made… then again, maybe not.
As it happens, I tried something different yesterday. Forget all that run for a minute / walk for a minute malarkey. As much as anything, it’s tough. Because few things make you feel as tired when running as looking at your watch. It’s a bit like playing Man U and looking at how much injury time has been played: odds are, less than you thought. Ditto when I’m out there: whether during a running or a walking minute, odds are I look at my watch too early. So stuff that: I thought I’d try something revolutionary and run for as long as I could before stopping. Now there’s a thought.
And you know what? It wasn’t too bad. I managed ten minutes before stopping, getting to the pub and turning back for the return leg. I may have managed further but for the hilly bit, which inspired a change of gear. Now, come September, ten minutes won’t mean a thing: it will be most inadequate. But, as luck would have it, we’re in Apr… sorry, May (1). So ten minutes is a useful foundation, a benchmark. Ten today, eleven tomorrow… you get my drift. I’m not sure that’s what it says on my spreadsheet, mind.Obviously this means I spent less time out there today than on any previous training session: but there’s got to be a good angle from which to look at that.
One quick note about the spreadsheet as this post’s finale: do you know what grandiose name I’ve given it? Bearing in mind I always choose appropriate and detailed names for my files?
That’s right – ‘Book2’. I took Excel’s default suggestion and haven’t got round to renaming it. That would entail accepting all this is actually happening, that there is an end goal, and I don’t think I’m ready for that yet. But don’t worry, if I do rename it you’ll be the first to know. Promise. Oh, and I’ll also be a bit more serious next time. I’m thinking of running (sorry) a series on the six components of my value system. I bet you can’t wait now! (Failing that, I’ll just blab idiocies and idiosyncrasies a bit more)