Aliveandrunning August 17 2014

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This chap (I presume it’s male) landed on a bamboo cane near the little pond I’ve created. How envious am I not to have two pairs of wings like him.

Saturday! It’s Cambridge parkrun. I’m feeling fast. I’m confident. I look skyward and see Zeus reclining on a low cloud. He gives me the thumbs up. I can’t fail to get a personal best. It’s a big field of runners today so I position myself  nearer to the front than usual. We’re off and I’m running like a fierce wind or alternatively, like the shape shifting, liquid metal T-1000 Terminator in Terminator 2 : Judgement Day when he chases Arnie’s speeding car. It seems to be going well. But what’s this? A chum greets me as he runs past! “Morning David,” I manage to gasp. A few minutes later, Sylvia passes me followed by Paul, then Mike, Paula and Giles, all cheerily acknowledging me as they cruise past. This is not how it’s supposed to be! Only my pal Dominic, who is recovering his running fitness, remains one second behind at the finish line. When I recover my breath and look up, I have a clear view of  Zeus lolling around on an even lower cloud, shaking with laughter. Obviously I am nowhere near a personal best.

In the afternoon, I went into central Cambridge which was saturated with tourists. This is really unproblematic unless you can’t manage crowds. They generally keep to a few well defined areas and it’s easy to avoid extreme congestion by leaving this well trodden path. I like them. They create an interesting atmosphere. As usual I headed straight for a bookstall on the Market Square and, lo and behold, I found 3 Penguin paperbacks that I couldn’t afford not to have. The bookseller remonstrated with me, advising me not to buy them. “Sir,” he said,”your small cottage overfloweth with books. You have enough. Think of your lady wife, the long suffering Ms Alive and Running. Do not risk her wrath, I beseech thee. Forego the sublime pleasures these low cost volumes, awash with nostalgia for your your youth, can afford you.” I considered his little speech for three whole seconds. “Thank you for your wise words but I regard it as a counsel of despair. Now, my good man, will you or will you not accept my custom? I proffered metal coins which glinted i the sun. His eyes seemed to light up but a scowl played over his face. “Aye, laddie, I will,” he muttered. “On your head be it.” He wrapped up the books in brown paper and handed them to me. Several book browsers applauded as I turned on my heels and strode away. Believe me, it’s not easy buying books in Cambridge

Cambridge junior parkrun today. 15 minutes before it’s due to start, it begins to rain fairly heavily. The adults don’t like the conditions. The children hardly notice. Despite the weather all goes smoothly. Junior parkrun is well supported by volunteers and parents and continues to be hugely enjoyable. Each runner is loudly encouraged all the way round the course and particularly over the finish line. Their faces light up with pleasure.No need to rely on the  good will of the Roman gods.

In the afternoon I went for a 10 mile run along the river Cam as part of my preparation for the Grunty Fen half marathon in three weeks. It felt easier thn last week. I got back in time to see Mo Farah win the 5k race at the Zurich European Championships. He’s got my running style!

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