Has it really been so long? 18th October since I posted last!!
There is only so much ‘Judge Judy’ one man can take in a weekend. To make matters worse, after the Judge comes Dog the Bounty Hunter and we have limited channels on board.
So I turned the TV off, grabbed a glass of Merlot out of the fridge and decided to have a quick waffle.
Work is finished for the day and I can’t remember the last time I had alcohol on a Saturday afternoon. People will say that drinking alone is a sign of a drinking problem – poppycock I say – drinking alone when everyone else has pissed off can be complete bliss!
I also wondered the other day, about those old sayings that used to be around when I was a kid. For example, if you walked past a neighbours house and they were cleaning their windows, your mother would always say to the neighbour ‘you’ll make it rain’. Do people still do that or have the old traditions all completely died off? Personally, I have never met anyone who has had their arm broken by a swan. And when the wind changed, my face has never stuck like that.
I have noticed this year though that suddenly, everything is getting a bit more physical and I am wondering if this is the first true sign of age creeping up on me. You see, at the ripe old age of 46, sometimes I get worried that I might actually be slipping down the other side of the hill. I do get confusing messages though. they say certain parts of the body keep growing right up until death, like your ears and your nose but in general your body overall starts to shrink. Now at my last medical almost two years ago, the Doctor listed me as 6’3” which was handy, an inch taller than the previous medical. My next one is due in February so I will fond out more on that theory soon. But still my ears grow, my nose sprouts and my penis remains the same !
Lets talk about running for a moment. Last month, the Nice to Cannes Marathon came along the Promenade very close to the boat so I trotted off to watch the first finishers come across the line. A little over two hours and some of them were done. I watched one guy running at such a lean angle sloping forwards that I was sure he couldn’t sustain that angle and stay on his feet. He was exhausted and struggling to stay upright. His lean was so far forward that it looked like his knuckles were almost dragging on the floor, he looked finished to me but less than half a mile from the finish line he was a determined old chap. About 20 metres before he reached me he fell. Almost flat on his face. If he had gone face down, he would never have had the strength to lift an arm to try to break his fall. Luckily, the swagger in his stride made him slew slightly and he landed on his upper arm and shoulder – ironically on a pedestrian crossing. Someone stepped out from the crowd to help him up and as they grabbed his left arm, he angrily pushed them away, undoubtedly swearing at them in french. He climbed to his feet, I am sure with all kinds of hallucinations in his eyes, and started his final approach for the line. Imagine walking in a strong wind, how far you have to lean into the wind to keep going – this guy was walking in a gale force 10. I applauded and cheered as the old fella passed me and fuck me if I didn’t have a little tear in my eye for the old fella. Bloody amazing! He disappeared around the curve of the promenade – never fell over while I was watching him and I am certain as soon as he could see the line, his determination would have carried him over in a final flurry before falling into the arms of the medical teams just over the line.
I was hanging around to see people that were finishing in the three and a half to four hour category – I think this is where I would finish in a full marathon. I wanted to see the physical size of people. See, big guys like me shouldn’t be very fast over big distances and I was curious. It was just after four hours before I started seeing finishers of my build. The guy that had fallen, I would guess would be in my age group, maybe with another 5 years. He was smaller than me, and leaner than me and although fully exhausted and falling over, he was within the three and a half hour mark easily – I doubt I would have been anywhere close.
As enjoyable as it is – running hurts. Non runners understand that but they never understand what pushes people on beyond the pain. It hurts, and not just as you finish, but for days afterwards. Last sunday, I left the boat at around 09:30 for my standard weekend half marathon distance. I left the boat with gloves, light fleece, beanie, running tights and a T-shirt. Heading straight up the hill to the Observatory. Its 5k to that point and ALL uphill to a height of approx 230 metres. That’s running hard, heavy breathing long strides and beginning to get a good sweat on. Before the top of the hill, I had my beanie and gloves off. After the summit, the effort greatly reduces as I drop back down to sea level so the fleece came off too. Quite a chilly morning so as you might expect, a bit nipply. Better still, that chilled breeze on my chest where a big sweat patch has formed from the neck-band almost down to my belly button. Now I have a wet shirt exposed to chilly air rubbing on erect nipples.
As I left Golfe Juan heading for home but still with a tad less than 6km to go, I became aware of just how sore my nipples were. The first thought was ‘they will sting like hell when I get in the shower’ – I wasn’t wrong. I pushed on though, out of the village and onward to Cannes, I could see two runners in the distance, a girl and a guy. Even after all of that distance and with the impending nipple explosion, I started the chase.
I caught and passed the girl just inside the village limits of Cannes. Initially I thought the pair were running together but no, the guy was a little further on but I was reeling him in too. The last roundabout in the village and he turned off before I could pass him – personally I think he was scared that I was about to overtake him and took the easier option, the modern-day equivalent of falling on your sword – turned down a dead-end road !
Now I was right – the shower was a welcome thing except for the severe stinging as the water splashed over my nipples. Even on Monday, the shower still hurt. I did buy some plasters on Monday afternoon just to keep them covered while I did other exercises during the week. By Wednesday, my nipples had all scabbed up – not a pretty sight. On Thursday, I decided to pull the scabs off. Some people pay good money for that kind of pain and here was I getting it for free. To my amazement, the scabs came off cleanly and quite pain-free but I have to say I have never, ever seen nipples bleed like that !
Year 46 – last week I took 2 minutes out of my 10k Observatory run. 5k up that big hill and back down again came and went in under 52 minutes. It means nothing to many of you but when I first paced out that route, it was taking me just over an hour. Dont get me wrong, any normal 10k race can be dispensed in under 48 minutes but they don’t have the hills that this one has.
So there – more waffle than anticipated. Next I want to continue on the poo theme. Yep sure, we all do it, I have a photo gallery here on this site of poops of all shapes and sizes. Earlier this week, me ol’e mukka Conor sent me a little piece of information that I feel compelled to share with you
Christmas is almost here and I haven’t heard Slade once, heard anyone singing carols, seen any christmas lights or eaten a single mince pie.
Have a moan - the beers are on me !!