Thighs minus oxygen equal concrete bollards
How have small squat people survived? Surely when the prehistoric clan ran away from whatever new danger presented itself people like me, grumbling along at the back muttering ‘ I can’t, I can’t, I can’t go any faster!’ got eaten by tigers or pterodactyls?
So how come I am here, labouring up Caldy Hill at 7.00 am, 10 minutes into my training session, scowling at car drivers who are probably laughing at me, and muttering to myself ‘I can’t, I can’t, I can’t go any faster…’ What kind of natural selection malfunction do I represent?
People like me can’t run, and that’s an end of it. We can’t even walk very fast.
My legs hurt down the front outside edge of my shins, and my thighs, despite Angie’s steel spring optimism (see our pledge page: http://www.charitygiving.co.uk/ourread) seem to be made of concrete bollards. But it is the lungs which are the real problem. This bodes ill, and not just for the event.
Note I’m not calling it a race as for me there’s no race in it: the event is simply a painful occurrence in universal space-time like the Black Hole at the end of 2001: A Space Odyssey, or the shipwreck at the beginning of The Tempest: something to be got through without dignity but with as little disgrace as possible. The ill boding, however, stretches far beyond the Our Read 5k on 12th September and throws a grim shadow over the rest of my slow squat life: for the truth is – damn my early devotion to tobacco – my lungs don’t work.
When I try to breathe through my nose, as the delightful Sophie Povey instructed me at lunch yesterday, nothing happens. Yes, there are nostrils, and some kind space in my throat where I can feel air passing but after that… nothing, or at least nothing bigger than a pair of ancient leather tobacco pouches. If I open my mouth and really suck in air these foul pouches expand to resemble the two shrivelled balloons I found down the back of the couch three years after the party. Which tells you something about my housekeeping and the infrequency of Davisite parties, as well as my lungs.
My rudimentary grasp of human biology tells me that is why the thighs don’t work: how can they, with no oxygen in them?
All of which is very negative and so I appeal, dear supporters, for psychological tools or even a loan of will power. What do you do when, like the spirit of anti-Nike, you just don’t want to do it?
When I did my training on (I think) last Monday I couldn’t post a blog because I was very downhearted. Exactly the same route took longer than the first time. I had expected continuous improvement!! For a woman with shrivelled balloons for lungs who started out heaving two concrete bollards up a steep hill and then staggering after them as they rolled down the other side, I thought things could only get better. But no, they got worse.
I can’t post the picture of my stopwatch or my sad self as haven’t worked out how to add pictures to blog – perhaps that will come. But:
Grrrrr: 19 seconds longer!!!
And the fact that those 19 seconds had tipped my time into 52 minutes was horrible. So I didn’t try again all week. Or rather I tried easier, shorter routes and didn’t time them, not merely from disappointed petulance, but also because of poor organisation. And you know what Toddy Hockeymaster used to say ‘He who fails for prepare, prepares to fail.’ Well it’s true, damn his eyes.
On a happier note, wonderful encourager as she is, my colleague Clare Williams got me to go for a swim with her on Thursday night after work. That was rather nice – my first time in the University baths for possibly 20 years. I was very surprised, and a little frightened, as we passed through the new gym extension, to see how hard everyone was working on treadmills and steps and huge silver balls and the like. For the swimming I wore my goggles, and Clare refrained from comparing me to Ali G, which was typically kind of her. The water is warmer than it used to be, and at 5.15p.m., it wasn’t full of fitness fanatics. And the thighs, the thighs turned from concrete to cork! We forgot to count but think we might have done about 20 lengths – a gentle doddle. I will certainly do this again.
Perhaps my DNA missed out prehistoric two-legged-human being, and really I am something naturally anti-deluvian, made for splashing about in the sea?
Thanks to everyone who posted encouragement and suggestions. As you can see, nothing has helped. Keep ’em coming. And please, sponsor me, readers.
To that family member who offered more cash if I ran all the way I can only say, ‘Are you trying to turn a good fun Sunday 5k into some sort of Greek Tragedy? Son kills mother by turning her own desire for Reader gold against her?’ Come off it, boy. Just give me an extra quid for every second I knock off my hoped-for time (not yet decided).