IN WHICH WE HOLD OF FOR ABOUT A FORTNIGHT BEFORE CAVING IN AND GETTING A NEW DOG – LIFE GOES ON, AS IT GENERALLY DOES – WE DO A LITTLE MUSICAL CHAIRS WITH THE HOSPITAL, AND I CONTINUE TRAINING… OF SORTS
This will be scatter-gun sort of post. Some days, everything just seems to be up in the air, suspended, waiting to land in a big heap. We’re talking metaphors here, naturally, but even so, when these metaphorical things start to fall around your ears, you feel like taking cover.
So, thank goodness for Odi, I guess.
We didn’t hold out too long without a dog. We were fooling ourselves that we could manage without one. I don’t think I’ve ever been without one in my life; not for any length of time.
Odi is a rescued greyhound, fresh off the track. He did have a racing name, but it didn’t trip off the tongue, so we changed it. He’s about four, and I guess he’s lucky enough to have found a home, because conservative estimates suggest about 2,500 greyhounds a year don’t make it past his age in this country alone. We found him at Dogs Trust, and they are a great bunch of people. A visit to Dogs Trust is a test of humanity. If you can leave without picking a dog, you are officially a cold-hearted bastard. They’ll even give you a cert to prove it. Okay, maybe that’s not true. But of course, that’s only half the bargain, because the dog also has to pick you, and that’s one of the more impressive things about the place: they go to a lot of trouble to make sure you are the right one for the dog. We obviously scraped past their many subtle psychological tests, because they let us have Odi, and we are the richer for it.
It wouldn’t have occurred to me to get a greyhound, but he’s a dote, and he’s settled in a treat. He gets plenty of walks, and runs like a blue streak when he’s in the dog park. He’s either running or kipping on the couch (or on our bed), and he loves to be around people. All told, he’s a pet! 32 kilos of loveliness.
In other news, my Mum has had a stint in hospital after a fall at home. She’s back now, so that’s good news. She’s met Odi too, and approves.
We did our usual thing for the Patrick’s Day parade. For once, the weather behaved, which is unusual for the day that’s in it. There’s not a whole lot to say about Paddy’s Day parades, other than they are rather odd, in the main, and over fairly quickly. And it’s also a lousy time of year to have an open-air celebration. Peculiarly Irish, in fact. But fair play to everyone who makes it happen.
I also took the opportunity of the long weekend (plus a skip), to get rid of some odds and sods. These two old pairs of runners finally had to go, even though they gave me great service, and helped me over the line in marathons. The new ones (can you tell which ones are the new ones?) are the Saucony Ride ISO. I had a pair of Triumphs, and then a pair of Guides. These are somewhere in-between. They are nice, but also new, so it will take a few more runs to get used to them. In essence, that’s a really crap review, so don’t come here looking for user feedback. The best you can hope for is “I like them”. Which tells you bugger-all about stability, comfort, heel drop, toe box or any other running shoe terminology you care to mention. That’s what Google is for, my friends. Or the Running Shoe Guru.
Dad celebrated his 81st birthday, and we had a little soirée in our house. This was quite different from last year’s extravaganza to celebrate the big eight-zero. Odd our fixation with numbers and ages.
Training has been happening too, despite the many and varied calls on time. I have been trying to get to the gym on the weekday mornings, before work, with mixed results. If it doesn’t happen, it’s down to something like a four-in-the-morning fire call, which leaves you pole-axed the next day. Plus I have been short-changing myself on the long runs: doing 5 miles when it should be 8. Cycling 20 miles when I should be running. Running 18 miles when the programme says 22… that sort of thing.
On the positive side, after this morning’s 18 mile run, I felt reasonably good when I got home. (I didn’t feel wonderful towards the end of the actual run, mind). And this I put down to the gym sessions, which are aimed at core strength, so, beneficial to the body when it starts to sag like a broken accordion when the miles kick in.
The trends are positive too: January, when all was torpid, saw about 60k of running. That went to over 141k in February, and March has clocked in over 202k. So the graphs are showing steady improvement. Not that pure distance alone is the only metric to use when judging how well training is going. But for this particular programme (for this particular adventure), it largely is ALL about distance and time on your feet.
So, to finish: a picture of me, with Odi looking on with interest.
‘This looks suspiciously like the human is going out. Am I going too? If so, perhaps you could change into something that doesn’t show up on Google Maps? Thanks. Don’t want to be seen hanging out with you looking like a radioactive banana… ‘