Monday, 26 October 2009

Coughs, Peaks and Troughs

Location: Wallowing in a pit of slovenliness
Mood: Coughtastic
Music: Sunset Soon Forgotten

I feel rough as biscuits right now, but not as rough as Fisher, who's been running a temp of 102ºF. Luckily it's gone down now, but she's definitely got the same bug as I've been brewing. I felt pretty horrid on Saturday, just before heading down to Edinburgh. And why were we going to Edinburgh? Why, to stay overnight with Janus and Badger, who kindly agreed to cook a carb-high supper for Fisher and lend us a futon so we could get down to Jedburgh for 11am next day. And why were we going to Jeburgh at 11am the next day? Why, so Fisher could run 13.1 miles in the company of similar foot-sore masochists, including The Doctor.


But who is the bigger fool, the fool or the fool who follows her? In this case it was a veritable ship o' fools, because not only did Fisher and The Doctor run the bloody thing, but Phid, Janus and I watched 'em do it. We stood in the coooooold, surrounded by pooches (who thought us peculiar) and handed out jelly beans and wine gums to runners. There's quite a skill involved in placing sweets in the oustretched hands of cantering people, and several runners found their beans slipping to the muddy ground below. I chased a few who looked most in need, and made sure they got their reward, but, frankly, I wasn't there to run. Preposterous thought.

We cheered The Doctor as she scuttled by, assuring her and everyone around her that they were nearly at the top of the hill, and it was all downhill around the corner. Then we looked at each other.

"Er ..." I murmured to my accomplices, "are we sure about that?"
"Er ..." said Janus, nibbling a lip.
"Um ..." frowned Phid thoughtfully.
"So ... basically, for all we know, the hill could keep climbing for another two miles around the corner?" I gulped.
"I'm pretty sure it doesn't," Janus said confidently. Or as confidently as the words 'pretty sure' allow.
"Yeah. It was all sort of uphill in the car when we came, and they're going the other way, so it's downhill," Phid nodded. Adding, unhelpfully, "I think."
"You know, seeing as we're on the 11 mile point and these poor bastards have been running for quite some time, I might just nip round that corner and check the veracity of our downhill claims," I babbled. In my mind I saw hoards of furious, exhausted runners surrounding us at the end of the race, accusing us of giving them false hope and then beating us to a sweaty death with their running socks. So off I ran, and peeked round the corner. Luckily, we were right. Hurrah! So our cheers and encouraging cries of "nearly at the top now, then all downhill" redoubled - this time ringing with the aura of truth.

Can an aura ring? No. Poor, poor mixed metaphor there.

Anyhoo - we stayed at the near-top of that hill until Fisher staggered by, looking mutinous. She was behind her pace, so I knew there was something wrong. Turns out that her legs started really hurting at mile 6, and from mile 7 onwards she had to keep stopping to walk. Frankly, I would have collapsed immediately at the side of the road and snapped my fingers for the Red Cross minions to stretcher me to a warm hospital bed, but she - being stout of spirit and dragon-hearted - soldiered on.

Having seen her totter by, we all leaped back into the Drover (luckily still in one piece, despite Phid's best efforts on the way into the Jedburgh) and hared off to the finish line, tooting the runners encouraging as we passed. Only a few of them leaped in terror at the sound.

We parked under a bridge near the finish and went to find a triumphant Doc, who'd finished the course in 1.50.25. She was standing by the finish line waiting for Fisher, her lips totally purple with cold. I immediately handed over her jumper, which we'd thoughtfully doused in water for her. For some reason this didn't really warm her up much, so I gave her my coat instead. Looking at her 'wearing' it, I suggested someone else might also like to wear it with her. It was like a bed-sit on her. Anyway, it was more useful than her rain-soaked jumper we'd failed to dry for her, and she looked less and less like a blueberry ice pop as the minutes ticked by.

We cheered Fisher over the line only a few minutes later, and even though she was pretty ticked-off by what she inevitably perceived as failure, I was dead proud-like. It's not everyone would just suck up and push through bad luck like that. Anyway, I couldn't care less if she does 13 miles in one hour or three - what matters is what she achieves each time. She didn't manage a personal best, but she overcame every obstacle put in her way and finished the race. That's all a person can strive for in this life, and so - not to get too sentimental about it - she's a blimmin' champion.

Hm. Not sure why I started channelling Nora Batty then. Blimmin' chumpion, oor lass!

Anywayy - after the run, we went to The Buccleuch Arms in Newton St Boswell's for a mediocre lunch that, nevertheless, hit just the right spot with our runners. We were supposed, also, to stop off at Spar and Blar's for some afternoon tea, but after eating Fisher felt so horrid she just wanted to go straight home and flake. And so, after dropping everyone off in Edinburgh, this is what we did.

Today, she has come crashing down with my Nasty Bug - which is not swine 'flu - but, if it follows the course of mine, she will feel much better tomorrow. I, for example, while not feeling tip-top, did feel well enough to do a gentle work out at the gym. I did:

1 mile, fast (for me), on the treadmill. Completed in 9.14.
30 mins on the static bike, cross-country setting, 6.6 miles.
15 press-ups
20 sit ups.

So a good 40 minute work-out, which left me feeling extremely sore in the chest area (lungs, that is, not boobs) but content to be working off some of the crap I've ingested over the past few days. And I've had quite a good food day - 1 peanut butter sarnie (ok, not great, but it was a gym day), 1 v small bowl pea and ham soup, 1/2 small pizza.

Ok, ok, that sounds crap now I've written it down. But I did burn off around 500 calories at the gym, the pizza was around 400, and the sandwich and soup probably ...

O god. Just looked at what a peanut butter on wholewheat bread is on, and it's about 340! At least the soup was light - probably no more than 160 - so that's 500 calories for the rest of the day. Under a thousand calories is good, but, Jesus! The nutritional value of what I've consumed today beggars belief. I'm not a bad eater - just a greedy pig - and this sort of nonsense is an abberation.

Must do better!

Although, I'm off on a mystery trip with Fisher tomorrow (woohoo! Exciiited!) and I'm almost certain this will involve Eating Nice Things. Ah, ENT. My nemesis.

Right, must let Baffie out. She's not peed for about 8 hours. The dog has a bladder the size of Alaska. More anon.