Seven In A Row

About four years ago (?), I began skipping rope in the mornings. At first, I just went through the motions — simply turning the rope over my head and jumping once or twice exhausted me. I skipped roped a few times a week, and gradually got to the point of doing a fair amount of rope-skipping most mornings.
After a couple of years, I decided I would try to run a mile. The first results were unimpressive, to say the least, unless you’re impressed by a sexagenarian staggering and wheezing and standing stock-still, leaning on his knees. I ran (and walked, and stopped) once a week, on Sundays, because there was more time before Morning Prayer at 8:30. After several months, I started running on Wednesday mornings as well (Morning Prayer at 8:00). I kept up with a twice-a-week regimen for another couple of years.
About a month or so ago, on a whim, I began running more often. My plan was to make ‘running’ the default, but to allow days off when I wanted a lie-in. Morning Prayer at 7:30? Pfaugh! No problem.
Today marks the first time ever I’ve run every day of a week. I won’t be able to keep it up (some days will be rubbish weather, and Margaret and I will be off to make a visit to Wells), but I expect that my current pattern of ‘run every day unless there’s a compelling reason not to’ will be my ordinary plan. I still hate running, but maybe not as intensely as I used to.
It was bitter cold this morning, felt colder than several recent days of 2° weather even without a breeze, but there I went. 10:18.

Pre-Check-Up Day

I’m going to the GP this morning after Morning Prayer for a look into my ear, which has been popping ever since the holidays. I flew with a head cold, and the ascent out of Indianapolis caused me agonising pain. Since then, the ear has been mostly all right, but has unpredictably popped, making vowels (especially before nasal sounds) resonate through my head. I don’t expect that there’s anything to do about it except to allow time, but that’s why you go to the GP. Plus, Pippa gave me a talking-to about my hearing when we visited her, so I have to pay attention to what she said. I’ll also talk about cognitive/psychological stuff.

8°, pretty calm, 10:08.

Another Surprise

I took some extra time limbering up this morning, which paid off. I felt much more loose-limbed than I did yesterday morning. The temperature is all right, about 11°, but the winds are strong and gusty — some steps, I felt as though I were being pushed backward. Still, it must have provided a less obvious boost as a tail wind, so that I ended up running another personal best at 9:53.

Back To Work

I gave myself yesterday morning off, but it’s against my new rule of running that I take two consecutive mornings off. So I’m back to my mile this morning, however chilly the weather. It felt as though I were running through waist-deep treacle. 4°, breezes (including an unwelcome headwind on the Cowley Road), 10:42.

Another Chilly Morning

2°, mostly calm, no particular stiffness nor breathing troubles (apart from my customary gasp-iness). as I was running, a younger man sprinted past me in the opposite direction, and was not breathing heavily at all. The more I see other runners, the humbler I am about my own paltry efforts (and the more envious of their clear pulmonary pathways). 10:22.

Memory Victory

Yesterday, Margaret was asking me about insect extermination companies, and we mused that this was another area in which the familiar brands from our youth in the USA probably didn’t carry over to the UK. ‘What was that company,’ I asked, ‘that had a big model roach or something stuck onto the roofs of their company vehicles?’ Margaret couldn’t remember; I was stuck. Reference to Google didn’t help, and though my friends on Facebook cited examples from the Simpsons and other popular media, none was the real-life firm we recalled. ‘I thought maybe Terminix, but Google Image search provides no support for that’ I commented.

Then my friend Shannon Gunn, Pet Rock Star (once a renowned WWW singer/songwriter, now a pharmacist, sic transit gloria internet) and founding hunter and guild admin in We Know, came to my aid.

Terminix Truck with model termite on top

Thanks, Shannon — you made an old man feel as though his brain isn’t entirely worn out!

Post Dennis

I didn’t run yesterday because of the high winds and heavy rain Storm Dennis generated, but I challenged the fading effects of the storm this morning. 4°, gusty winds (head winds on the short first leg of the run and on the long way back), and much of the way I felt as though I had a spider of tightness keeping the small of my back from getting limber — but still a plausible 10:20.

Surprise —

I prepared a full, short paragraph explaining that I felt unaccountably tight and sluggish this morning. I was resigned to having fallen back to the 10:30-ish timing, and in the home stretch reminded myself that the slow days aren’t a problem, because they helped my body get in better shape to run faster the next time.

When I finally got home, I was stunned to see that I had set a new personal best. 11°, mild breezes (head wind out, wind at my back on the way home, which surely helped). 9:57.

Plus Ça Change

Another morning, another 2°, but better warm-up stretching and a pleasing possible improvement to 10:19 (I’m not entirely certain of the magnitude of the change, since I took the slightly different route that may be a bit shorter than my usual mile).