Day 9. I’m trying different tactics to win the Wimpole Estate parkrun this coming Saturday. I will dazzle the opposition with my newly purchased trail shoes. I became aware these shoes had something else to offer me when the sales assistant put on dark glasses before he opened the box. He solemnly warned me never to look at them directly and made a comparison with potential damage from staring at the midday sun without protection. I made a sensible enquiry about whether or not they met health and safety standards. He replied “Health and safety? That’s for wimps and losers! If you wanna win, you’d better take ’em. Well, do yuh wanna win, punk? Are you feelin’ lucky?” I saw the terror I felt reflected in his mirror sun glasses and half expected him to pull out a Colt 45. Clearly it was too dangerous to run off. I confirmed I would take the shoes, despite not trying them on , and slowly walked backwards, in the direction of the pay counter, without losing eye contact. A thin, sardonic smile played over his cruel lips. He turned contemptuously, obviously looking for another customer to intimidate. Relieved, I turned to face the right direction but couldn’t prevent myself from crashing into an occupied changing room door. A whole new load of embarrassment occurred before I actually left the store. If I win on Saturday, it’ll be a Pyrrhic Victory.
Another 2 mile run this afternoon, this time in the light. I felt much better than last night when I went out into the dark. I was able to remind myself about about my running gait, swinging my arms from chin to pocket and running more consistently on the ball of my foot. Next week I’ll start longer runs to prepare for the Cambridge Half Marathon on March 9. It’s a 4,500 field and up to 4 out of 5 of my children will be running with me. Unfortunately my wife Lorna is not able to run because of a serious Achilles tendinopathy injury which might require surgery. We’ll know how it will be treated after an outpatient appointment with an orthopedic surgeon later this month. Lorna did last year’s Cambridge Half. I really hope she’ll be back running for next year’s Half.