No, not running. And not scarcely believable police work with my maverick, damaged but fiercely loyal partner. I’m talking about late nights and, well, drinking quite a lot.
This weekend was a ‘big weekend’. Some friends were getting married on Saturday, which means I was contractually obliged to be sociable for the whole weekend. That translates into two extremely late nights, very little sleep, quite a lot of Guinness and industrial quantities of White Russian. It was a brilliant few days, but I’m paying the price for it now. Luckily I had the foresight to not open for business on Mondays, meaning that although I am feeling a bit rough around the edges, at least I’m at home.
I’m not ‘old’. I’m not sure what ‘old’ is. When I was in my mid-20s, I recall thinking that the members of Depeche Mode had become old by virtue of passing the 40-year mark. But at the same time, I was horrified to discover that a 17-year-old work colleague of mine thought that I was knocking on a bit at 25. Over a decade later and my perception has, not surprisingly, changed again. My sister and a good friend recently turned 40. I will be 40 in a few years. So naturally I now perceive 40 as being, if not quite young, certainly not old. Not even middle-aged. My parents are both over 60, but they don’t seem ‘old’ to me. And without doubt, the man I see running seven minute miles around Stratford is not old, despite clearly being of pensionable age.
The great thing about running (and I suppose this follows for any form of excercise) is that you feel better. I sleep well, I have more energy and generally feel pretty good about myself. A decade ago I was pathetically unfit; I’m no athlete now but I’m a million miles away from being that wheezing idiot. (That is to say, I no longer wheeze.) Which I think is why I now get hit so hard by late nights and alcohol. My problem is that I don’t like to let the side down by sloping off to bed early, plus I thoroughly enjoy the increasingly rare opportunities to spend time with close friends. And so I found myself at 4am on Sunday morning saying the words, “there’s no more vodka or beer, I’ll have to open some wine”. It seemed like a good idea at the time.
I will probably drag myself out for a run later. Nothing too strenuous, just a few miles across the fields and back. And you can bet that with every step, I will be cursing my stupid weekend drinking self. (The me from the past can be a real dickhead at times. Unlike the me from the present, who is clearly a lot more sensible and less given to excess.) But with less than a fortnight to go until the Stratford half marathon, I can’t really afford to waste the opportunity to get a few more miles under my belt. It all helps. At least it had sodding better.
So there we are. I haven’t reached the point where running becomes my number one priority outside of my family, and perhaps I never will. But I am going to have to find a way to extricate myself from social proceedings before dawn. Perhaps I should do it like that old Larson cartoon…
As for my blisters, top of foot pain and all that… Well, on Friday afternoon (just prior to my extended period of debauchery) I ran a steady seven miles with no real problems. My foot was a little sore afterwards, but having not run since, everything appears to be fine. One interesting thing that has happened was being woken up with severe cramps in both calves on Sunday morning. I am hoping that it was just something random and not an all new agony experience. I really hate cramp.
Anyway, I will leave you with one of the many clips that had me and my mate in stitches during our customary YouTube session in the early hours of Sunday morning. I have genuine pity for anyone under the age of 30 that only knows Hugh Laurie for playing a miserable doctor and Stephen Fry for being the host of QI. See, there’s another great thing about being… You know… Not old but not quite young sort of thing…