Somewhere in the middle of the last week Easter seemed to come and go, marked by the appearance of three of my beautiful granddaughters masquerading as Easter bunnies (in a cute or sinister way depending on your love of Dr Who*). Hence a quick update.
It was the end of my second week of not drinking any alcohol, which is now becoming a matter of complaint on my part, especially as the Easter weekend encompassed a leaving party at work and my wife Val’s birthday that left me sitting in pubs for a total of nearly nine hours drinking a combination of Diet Coke and ginger beer. It was the same story last night as I joined some colleagues at the Scotch (note to self: not “Scottish”) Malt Whisky Society’s HQ in London for a nice glass of tap water with ice.
I can’t mention all this without Val starting the sentence: “Of course, when I did OctSober last year …” and wish I’d been more sympathetic to her. I remember her going on about it loads; I’m sure I’m worse.
The last week has also seen the appearance of a mysterious pain on the left side of my chest that feels like a bruised rib or pulled muscle, and hurts when I cough or sneeze: I can confirm it’s not a good look clutching your heart when trying to cough while you’re out running – it seems to worry people. I don’t know how I did it, or how serious it might be (not very, I suspect) but with the Virgin London Marathon ahead of me I thought I should get it checked by the doctor to be on the safe side.
As someone who very rarely visits the doctor, I was surprised to find it would take a week to get an appointment – a week! – unless I stayed at home the next morning and pretended it was an emergency, in which case if I rang at 08:01 I might be able to get an appointment the same morning. Yikes, no wonder everyone is on about the NHS and doctors’ surgeries when it comes to the election, that really is ridiculous. While I’ll wait it out and hope it improves, I can also fully understand why someone might head off to A&E to get it looked at – it may take 4-6 hours, but it’s quicker than a week. I’m sure none of this is a surprise to most people, but it was to me.
On the upside, I had a good, quicker 11 mile run on Saturday, one where the GPS on my phone showed me running a mile in a world record pace of 2:22. Not bad for a 47 year-old! I also enjoyed interval training at Monday night running club**, and had a really instructive second lesson in the pool at Saffron Walden at 06:30 this morning. Swimming coach Tanya has got me worked out after two sessions already, seemingly aware that if she knackers me out and won’t let me hold onto the side I can’t find the breath to open my mouth and complain when I’m treading water.
You’ll no doubt be reading more about Tanya in due course.
Since my previous update, Ironman South Africa 2015 has now taken place and this year I was able to see a lot of the coverage online. Watching the finishers cross the line as the final precious hours ticked by of the 17 available reminded me of being there three years ago, and made me even more determined to take part in the 2016 event.
Just the small matter of the Virgin London Marathon 2015 to get out of the way first …
* Sorry Kelly, I know a LOT of work went into the masks and they look fantastic!
** Good luck to fellow runner Cat Cameron, who’s running her first marathon in Brighton this weekend.