I know nothing about the physiology of running. Zilch, nil, nada, nul points. I’m getting the feeling, though, that the cap on my time (or whatever the opposite of a cap is when you want to make things lower) must have something to do with my breathing. It’s gotten a lot better since I started my patented A. K. M. Adam Low-Demand, Low-Reward Training Programme, but it hasn’t made observable progress over the last nine months or so. I see other runners glide along the pavement without any sign of exertion, while I’m gasping for oxygen after seventy-five metres or so, and desperately wheezing and panting by the time I finish my mile (after eighteen months or two years of running a mile at regular intervals).

Anyway, today I was cautious because Margaret and I had significant calf stiffness after our jaunt to London Friday, walking around town and touring the Tate Modern’s exhibits of works by Dorothea Tanner and Frantz West. Further, my back felt twitchy for the first few metres of running. By the hundred metre mark, though, I wasn’t feeling any muscle discomfort other than tiredness at having to tote my stout body around. I was actually pretty limber for much of the run, and successfully picked up the pace two or three times (before lapsing back into a shuffling jog). Overall, not bad — 10:22.

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