Wednesday, 28 August 2013


I've got my work cut out for me in the next fortnight.
During a trip down town I made a trip to the bank and then moseyed around, shuffling aimlessly from shop window to shop window; Its cheaper that way. Occasionally I catch my reflection in the window and smile back.....Sometimes I wave.

My shopping partner.... Margaret; lets call her 'M' for now... decided to pick up a few things in the bakers and when we met up, her arms were full of paper bags.
'I got you a Cornish pasty' she said.
I thanked her for this, taking it from her and, as we sauntered back to the car in the late afternoon sunshine, I began to sample the contents of this tasty parcel of pastry. I remember seeing a green pea in the brown mix, but not much else I could recognise. Before I knew it, it was gone.

The sun was still out when we got back home.
Aunt Aggie was outside in the garden already, being busy with something.
I said hello and sat on the warm slabs that make up our wee patio in front of my new arrivals, some lush fern plants in pots that I was given. 
As I dozed, I imagined I heard the kettle go on and before I knew it,  I was presented with a mug of tea and an iced cream finger (cake, in other words). You won't find this in any of your fancy training manuals, I can tell you.

The accumulated combined carbohydrate and sugar rush must have taken effect rapidly and before it was five to five and you had time to shout 'crackerjack', I had found the laptop and entered the Tynedale Harriers 800m on Thursday night. The last time I did one of these in earnest was maybe 5 years ago.  The way I look at it, it's a 400m race, but double the length and double the lactic, but not necessarily double the speed.

As if this wasn't enough, I found I had also signed up on-line for the TeesPride 10k on the 8th. It's in Teesside strangely enough. That's why its called the TeesPride. The local cyclo-cross league starts that day and I was intending to make a go of it this year, but the 'British Bakeoff' effect clearly has put these early season plans in doubt.  This is the second clash I've come across. The Simonside Fell Race is on later in September on the same weekend as the Dumfries Half. What to do? 

As the sugar levels dissipated, my sugar goggles began to fall away and I began to feel anxious. I couldn't stop myself confessing and spilled the beans to Aunt Aggie as she sat reading to one of the new Ferns in the back, speaking in prosaic, hushed and loving tones to it while listening to Franz Ferdinand in her over-sized Sennheisers.  When I'd finished telling her of my impetuosity, she just gave me a quizzical look, shrugged but continued with her reading.  Anyway, I presume the volume was too high and she didn't hear a word I said.
I think she was reading Coleridge. His reported forays into the psychedelic seems to have piqued her interest.  Despite her periodic wavering in support of the Indie rockers, she has been a stalwart of the garden, so I came away with no help from the worlds oldest proponent of evaporated milk with everything.  

So not much time to prepare for this poorly conceived onslaught of racing.

Refusing to be put off, I made an early start, tagging on two laps of the local track at the end of my 5 mile run with Mick in the early evening. Let's call him 'M' also. My illusions of getting near to sixty seconds for 400m looked well adrift and unconvincing as I struggled to crack seventy seconds for both laps. However, the Achilles stayed intact so there was some good news. 
Will Ally manage to better his PB on Thursday?.....Will he get a good lane draw and will Aunt Aggie  remember to pre-order the new FF album and what did Kubla Khan decree in his pleasure dome? Only time will tell......

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