When I was 10, I was racing my brother down a hill on our bikes. I went into his back wheel and landed on my face. Don’t say the jokes – I heard the lot at school. I’ve had ongoing dental work since then, and the end it in sight – in February, I will have an implant and a new crown that should put an end to my teeth problems for ages.
Because, it turns out that my dentist 10 years ago didn’t notice a fracture in one of my teeth. That fracture meant that my bones started rejecting the tooth and CANNIBALISING it. WTF, horror film life! Anyway, since November, I have had a bit of plastic replacing my two front teeth covering up a lot of dental wizardry, leading up to the end of February when I should finally have two completely perfect, non-cannibalised horror film teeth. Mid-dentist, I took a picture of me with only half a front tooth when two should be – full hag.
Week 5 was a bit of a fizzling non-starter because I had a dentist visit on the Tuesday, and assorted meetings and cool events during the week meant that getting out didn’t happen. Still – focusing on the teeth. The good teeth. Bring on the teeth.
Week five schedule:
Run 1: 4 miles plus strides
Run 2: 3×1.5 miles fast
Run 3: 4 miles easy
Run 4: 13 miles long run
HA HA, NO
I’d arranged to meet Zoe from the wonderful Brixton Blog in Brockwell Park as part of a video about running, so had a nice leisurely walk from home. Everyone taking part was interviewed in their favourite bit of the park – I’d chosen the south west corner of the track. You come up the Hill of Doom (also the What The Hill, as Avril Lavigne’s What The Hell has an uncanny knack for coming on shuffle right at that moment) and then at the top, you look to your right through a nest of trees across great expanses of green fields to see the Shard, the London Eye and all these marvellous London landmarks winking splendidly at you.
Or at least you do usually. Saturday was foggy and cold and generally a bit shit.
We had a good chat, I gesticulated wildly, and then I headed off and texted my boyfriend. Because, oh yes. WE WERE GOING TO GO RUNNING TOGETHER.
He was a bit late, so I texted to say I’d meet him at home, and wandered off past the extremely succulent new butcher’s shop on Milkwood Road. I felt rather smug about having had a nice long walk pre-run. He didn’t turn up. I wondered if he had fallen asleep. And then it turned out he’d misunderstood my text, and thought we were running separately and meeting up at home. The poor thing had already done four miles.
On the bright side, that meant he was more than happy to traipse along at my Slow Leopard pace. It was wonderful and weird, trundling along, both plugged into our podcast to observe the No Chat rules, and for the first mile I just kept turning and grinning at him, thinking how incredibly nice this was that this man was happily coming running with me at all, let alone for the second time in an hour.
(Was that a bit disgusting? It could have been worse. I could have instagrammed it like Jenson bloody Button)
The run was fine, the pizza, wine and visit to Festival of the Spoken Nerd later on were even better.
Not having done very much at all during the week meant that I was more than happy to get out and go running, even though the weather was sulky and atrocious. I prepared properly this time: I had a new audiobook, as Zombies, Run! keeps crashing and I’ve finished season 2. I had gels, and a 9 Bar kindly sent over by my friend Julia, who is a nutrition PR and just as suspicious of gels as I am. I was Vaselined, ibuprofened and watered. Brilliant.
I trundled off through Vauxhall and along the bank to the Kings Road, where I passed my favourite “literally no fucking clue what this is shop,” with its window beautiful wrapped books. That end of the Kings Road where it becomes Fulham is wonderful: complete interiors joy, where the antique shops have astroturf and chairs outside on the comely Chelsea pavements, and every other shop has something in it that makes me inadvertently spit out “Arrrghhggnnnngs” of longing.
Yes, the weather really was this exciting. It drizzled pretty much all the way to Putney, and by the time I’d reached my old church (included here because it is the one the priest gets skewered at in The Omen) I was a bit bored, my legs were aching and I fancied a gel.
My hatred of gels continued apace when the first one exploded all over the pavement, much to the amusement of the traffic jam across the road. The second one survived, but I was in no mood for bloody Calpol by then, so I swallowed it down and then had some peanut 9 Bar. I’d wanted to put that off because the packet said it was over a thousand calories which was a bit WHAT THE ACTUAL WHAT, but it turned out to be bloody delicious and it was only with hitherto undiscovered reserves of willpower that I saved a bit of it when I got to Clapham.
Oh – and it turns out I’m functionally illiterate as well as innumerate, because it turns out the 1000+ calories measurement was kilojoules and it’s basically completely fine. Also, given the wild up and down nature of my diet, worrying about how many calories are in a nuts and seeds nutrition bar is a bit bloody ridiculous.
I’m getting really bored of the end of my Clapham runs now – the stretch from the Common along Poynders Road and then down Brixton Hill is extremely grey and demotivating, so I think an overhaul’s due. My legs complained a lot – I asked the whizzo minds in the Facebook group and I just need to keep running, and strengthen them to get over this – but at least I’m fit enough to run without getting out of breath, and to just keep going. I’ve paid my £100 entry fee, I’m slowly getting the miles in (equally slowly!) and I’m ready to carry on slogging away to April.
I’ve bought Born To Run to read on holiday, which Helen has really been enjoying. I also asked the Mind runners Facebook group if anyone else was blogging, to get some other reading as all marathon blogs seem to be written by people running a 2h30m PB and talking about oxygen a lot.
14 for ’14 – Very funny. 14 frankly INSANE and amazing challenges done in one year
Running from Depression – a lot of people running for Mind use running to help with their mental health – there are so many really inspiring stories in the group.
Helen Convery – Helen is a lynchpin in the group. She’s run marathons before, she cycles, she can advise on exercise and nutrition, and she’s a photographer. I’m knackered just thinking about it.
And I really liked this post, from a girl called Lucy: “So on paper everything is not going well for my training, low miles, slow speed etc. HOWEVER, I know I can walk the distance if needed & as long as I complete it, I will have got a PB! I plan on taking a break at mile six to watch the band who have promised me a shout out and I want to soak up the incredible atmosphere along the route. So I will not stress out about timings & all that. I will not get down & demotivated that everyone seems so much better than me and I look forward to enjoying the day Good luck everyone, whatever your goals are!”
Here’s to that.
I’m running the 2014 London Marathon for Mind. Will you sponsor me? My page has a cat on it, if that helps either way.