Friday, 1 May 2015

Marathon Training Week 9/ The Holy Bench

FORGIVE ME IF I SHOUT!!! I'm writing this post to the tuneful backdrop of the temporary tinnitus that I always get just before I get a cold.  I forget that no one existing outside of my own skull can hear the maddening whistling noise I'm hearing.  Sounds like a kettle boiling inside my face.  Maybe I'm secretly a teapot.  It would explain a lot.  


I'm not even going to give you a breakdown of last week's running, because what came before Sunday doesn't matter.  Fanfare, please...

...You'll have to verify whether or not there was a fanfare.  Because I CAN'T FECKING HEAR OWT!!! 

Oh, there was? 'Kay.  

On Sunday, I ran (and walked) seventeen miles.   Let me repeat that for you.  Seventeen. Miles.  On my legs and not on wheels.  Holy shit!  I can honestly say, all fucks previously given about my having to take walk breaks on most runs over a few miles have mysteriously gone poof.  Vanished.  When mileage gets to "what is actually wrong with you?  You have a driver's license!!" levels (anything over a half marathon in my eyes), it's hard to keep on caring how fast you got there.  Just actually doing it is a bizarre enough experience to make you forget.

I intended to run out and back, but found the thought of turning around halfway and returning just too depressing.  So I kept going.  All the way to the next county over, where my family fortunately live and were able to give me both bacon sandwiches and a lift home.  Hurrah lifts!  Hurrah bacon!  Here's some stuff that happened on that ridiculous day:

  • Hills.  Lots of.
  • Pubs.  Equally plentiful.  The temptation to flop down in a beer garden and sink a stranger's unguarded pint was intense.
  • Smugness.  The further I got, the more people I smirked at.  I tried giving off a "haw haw, I've run all the way from Swansea and I'm not even tired.  I do this for fun!" vibe.  In reality, I think I instilled more pity than envy.  My "proud stride" was more like a pasty legged, Quasimodo-esque shuffle.  My smirk may have looked more like trapped wind.  Less Paula Radcliffe, more Farty Hunchback.  I should put that on my race bib.
  • The poor corner shop keeper.  At about mile 13, I was out of water and STARVING, and so I burst my sweaty body through the shop of a tiny local establishment's door.  One member of staff was alone on the premises and was met by a manic, hyperventilating creature thrusting money and fistfuls of sweets at him.  Learned a lesson that day.  Pink Millions make for an awesome replacement to energy gels!  Also, pretty sure that one man in the Ammanford area may now believe that the zombie apocalypse is coming.  And it's wearing shorts.  
  • Death trap.  Much as I enjoyed the daftness of traveling that kind of distance on my own steam (and lots and lots of refined sugar), my lack of planning nearly got me squashed.  Between Swansea and Ammanford, where I ended up, there is a big 60mph stretch of road with not even a sliver of pavement.  I've never known fear like it!  Kept envisioning self tripping on a twig and having my brains squished by a passing car.  Pop!  Plan ahead, kids!
  • The Bench.  The timing of this bench's appearance was no coincidence.  The big, beardy man upstairs (God, not a pensioner I'm stowing away in the attic.  Note to self: must feed  Clive) must have witnessed my achy wobbling and though "Ew.  That needs to stop right now."  My Garmin beeped 17 (even its beep sounded more to me like an incredulous "...BEEP??") and immediately to my left was THIS wooden slatted throne.  Angels sang.  Clouds parted.  My buttocks planted.  Oh, what a feeling. 

Hark, the Herald Angels...sit.

The most exciting thing I saw all week was a nondescript bench.  Beat that, world!!  Only nine more miles and I'll have done a marathon. 

Nine more.

Just nine.  Only nine.  Oh my Gahd.  I have to run nine fucking more miles?!! Who signs up for this shit?? Oh, yeah.  Numpty over here.  Clever girl.

In other news, I dunna review for events website After Dark.  Read it if you fancy.  It's more interesting than a picture of a bench.  Promise!

Have an awesome bank holiday, UK readers!  Don't know about you, but I'm already feeling an itch that only a beer garden can scratch...

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