8am, Sunday. Normal people are sleeping, or having breakfast and enjoying a lie in. Running people are putting on their trainers and strapping on their heart monitors. Not that I’m suggesting that runners are weird, obviously…but I could have been having a bacon roll in bed and instead I was out for a ten mile run.
Legs: We hurt! Ow!
Me: Oh come on, legs, I know I did a little bit of faster running yesterday and then forgot to stretch, but you’ll be okay in a minute once you warm up.
Legs: (sullenly) We still hurt. Our shins are sore.
Me: (running slowly, ignoring legs)
iPod: Hahahaha, you liked the shuffle the other day. Well, today you’re going to suffer. Manic shouty stuff from The Prodigy okay with you?
Me: It’s only half eight in the morning, I can’t do beeps and screeching yet.
Legs: We don’t want to run today. We want to sit down on the couch whilst you eat chocolate.
Me: Oh come on legs, we’ll just jog gently up to the next telegraph pole then we can walk.
Legs: Hrmph. Only if you promise to stretch us.
iPod: Here you are, have a bit of depressing Johnny Cash
Me: Dire Straits yesterday, and now this? Are you having a joke?
Johnny Cash: I will let you down…I will make you hurt…
Me: Thanks Johnny, you’re not really helping here.
Legs: He has a point. We’re giving up.
Me: Fine. We’ll sit on this fire hydrant thingy on the grass verge. I don’t mind sitting on a roadside looking stupid for five minutes. We’ve got miles to go yet.
Legs: Not if we don’t want to. We might just make you walk home.
five minutes later
Me: Look at me, I’m running like a proper running person!
Legs: We’re fine, we are. We never said we couldn’t run, we just didn’t want to.
Bladder: Why did you have a big glass of water before you left the house?
Me: Oh shut up, it wasn’t that big. Just reabsorb it and stop moaning.
Bladder: I need the loo.
Me: runrunrunrunrun (ignoring)
five more minutes later
Bladder: I need the loo, I need the looooooooooo
Me: Right, that’s fine. When we get to the next village, I’ll ask someone if I can use their loo.
My mother: (what’s she doing here?) You can’t just knock on a stranger’s door and ask to use their loo, they might chop you into pieces and put you in their freezer.
Bladder: Hello? Getting desperate here…
Me: (not running any more, too tricky with legs crossed)
Bladder: Just pee behind a hedge. Paula Radcliffe did it during the London Marathon. You’ll be like a REAL runner then.
Me: But there are people in cars, and walking their dogs. And I don’t even have a tissue.
Bladder: Yes you do, it’s in your pocket. Did I mention I need the loo?
five more rather desperate minutes
Bladder: That hedge will do! Or that one!
Bladder: That’s it, climb over that gate – you know you want to…
Me: (let’s gloss over this part)
Legs: Oh you are so embarrassing. We’re going to run quite fast now, so we don’t have to be seen with you.
Bladder: Ooh, that’s better. Isn’t that better? Admit it, you feel better.
Me: (wondering what it’s like to run without body parts having a conversation with you)
runrunrun, through village, up hills, down hills, past cyclists, runrunrun, look at me, I’m running!
Me: Oh for f*cks sake, what now?
Coccyx: You broke me a few years ago, d’you remember?
Me: Oh GO away. Why didn’t I drug you all with ibuprofen before I left?
Coccyx: (sullen mutterings)
runrunrun walkwalkwalk runrunrun
Me: Come on legs, you can do it!
Legs: We hate you. Running is stupid. Can we have a bath when we get home?
Shoulders: We don’t want to trouble you, but we’re a little bit sore…
Or, how I didn’t run yesterday and haven’t run today. Yesterday I wrote all afternoon, so we can excuse that on one level (New Year’s Resolution no.1 was to get on with writing) but I could have run on the treadmill in the evening as planned. But by the time I’d sorted out cold weather clothes for the children’s return to school and done bedtime and bathtime, it just didn’t happen.
But that’s okay, I thought. I should have time to run once I get them off to school, even taking into consideration the fact that the washing mountain is threatening to take over the utility room. But then I hadn’t seen anyone for ages, and somehow I ended up making bacon rolls and drinking tea with my friend this morning. And then it was preschool pickup, and then I had to go and park at school a whole hour early to get a space near school in the horrible snowy slush.
But that’s alright, I thought. I’ll have a banana whilst I cook their dinner, then I’ll run when they go to bed. And I would have. But instead I slipped on a pile of to-be-put-away clothes on the stairs and hurtled down them, landing in an ungraceful heap. So now I’m covered in bruises, a little bit shaken up, and feeling rather sore. I’m doing a Scarlett O’Hara, and I’m going to think about running tomorrow.
Still here, still ill. Tired, coughing, no energy, aching joints. I have a swine flu vaccination booked for this Saturday, and the doctor has suggested that I still have it, despite the fact that I’ve had swine flu already. At this point I’m not going to argue with her! I’m getting really worried now – there was a point I’d set in my head as the cut off, where if I hadn’t managed to start a decent amount of training I’d pull out of the marathon. That point is sneaking up and I feel utterly miserable.