Aliveandrunning April 20 2014


Excellent day at Cambridge 5k parkrun yesterday. My youngest son Nick,16, did his first parkrun. He had a clear choice as a rite of passage. Either do parkrun or be dropped by helicopter onto an uninhabited island just off Iceland to fend for himself for two weeks. He wisely chose the latter and did well. Without training or ever having run outside of minimal PE at school and with a history of developing a stitch after a hundred metres, he successfully completed it, nonchalantly, in just over 27 minutes and is now motivated to run again. Great!

 Four out of five children were running yesterday. Shanti got a PB at Valentines parkrun, East London, Isobelle got the same time as Nick at Cambridge and Sophie beat me by ONE second having improved her PB by around 3 minutes. One second is nothing, of course, and barely qualifies as a tie. In fact, if I had thrown myself forward like the 100 metre sprinters at the line, I could have triumphed with a two second winning margin. So am I still top dog, at least in Cambridge? Technically no. I fully concede her victory Almost. Did Sophie take a banned stimulant? We’ll never know for certain because, inexplicably, there is no compulsory drug testing facilities at parkrun. Did I instinctively slow down at one point in response to the beauty of a nightingale’s song drifting through the trees? Quite probably. Anyway, rest assured I’ll be working on that second in the coming weeks. Not that it matters to me because parkrun is not a race. We are all winners. Particularly Lorna whose Achilles tendonopathy seems to be successfully resolving. She’s back running consistently and carefully, this week being her third parkrun since her serious injury.

Afterwards, the children went off together and we had a lovely cup of coffee with friends at the park cafe. I chatted about yurts and planned to get several following a win in the evening lottery draw (we were given 3 tickets at a wedding reception a few days before and expectations were high). Unbelievably, we didn’t win anything, not even the cost of  an entry to the next race.

This disappointment was not yet a reality after returning home from parkrun and I was able to enjoy my bowl of porridge. I like to eat around the edges and create a steep sided mound. Or alternatively I’m carving out a yurt like shape. Or is it mammary shaped? One thing’s for certain, it’s not just porridge, Dr Freud.

Another significant disappointment are the condition and taste of Tesco Brussels sprouts at the moment. I guess it’s the end of the season but Tesco must have abused these innocent vegetables in some way to produce such a weird taste. I’m thinking of setting up a Tesco sprout support group for therapy and lobbying purposes. On the other hand, broccoli quality seems to be holding up well so there’s a silver lining in the cloud.

Just back from Sweatshop Cambridge where I bought a nice angled bottle belt to  prevent dehydration on longer runs in the summer. It’s really an own goal when you become dehydrated when running and then require medical attention if it’s available at a race like the Cambridge half. I don’t understand how people an do this. They must have porridge for brains.<c