Now and again all runners have a bit of a nightmare run. These happen for no logical reason. You can look for all sort of excuses – training pattern, illness, lack of sleep, recent diet. But when you have eliminated these reasons you’ve just got to accept it as ‘one of those days’. And I figure that you’ve got to live through these bad runs to fully appreciate the good ones.
On a bleak Dublin Sunday morning I hopped on the DART out to Killiney, a seaside town a dozen miles south of the city and home to several well-known and monied celebrities, most notably Bono of the band U2. The plan was an easy run back to town. Killiney Hill/Vico Road, at the beginning of the run, is a tester anyway. But as I made my way through Dalkey and Sandycove I became very aware that this was a day when my legs were not co-operating. There was nothing there at all. As I approached Dun Laoghaire I decided to cut my losses and headed for the DART station, after only 4.5 miles. I had €2.25 in my pocket after the outward journey. I keyed into the ticket machine my destination station of Pearse – the machine demanded €2.30. Cursing, I tried Grand Canal Dock, the next one back down the line. Still €2.30. In high dudgeon I marched out of the station and turned again for home.
I trudged through the Dun Laoghaire harbour area and up towards Blackrock. Feeling marginally better I stubbornly ignored the DART station there. Through Blackrock Park and past Booterstown DART, now determined to complete the run. Plenty of walk breaks though. Along the ever-popular Sandymount Strand, through Sean Moore Park, along Pigeon House Road, over the East Link and a last mile upriver into the teeth of the freshening wind. 12.02 miles @ 11.19m/m – this pace damaged by many walk breaks, fiddling with iPod and the DART ticket machine fail. Not my finest running day but at least 27 miles in the diary for the week and hopefully better to come.
My iPod listening included Phedippidations 168 on Exercise Induced Asthma. Another good show and, although my only running impediments are being old, overweight and rubbish, Steve’s shows include much more than the title subject. Then a couple of Fighting Talk episodes, the second of which the curmudgeonly Tom Watt did his best to ruin single-handed.
Everyone has good days and bad days, and maybe it’s good that you didn’t have enough money for the DART. Bad runs can be very character building.
Roy, thanks for your visit, and for sending me this piece. I loved it, although it made me wince on a number of levels, including guilt, at my own current lack of any serious exercise regime, and sympathy & fellow feeling, with your frustrations on the run, and at the irritating Dart ticket machine. (Nothing worse than being thwarted by some stupid, mute piece of unreasoning technology; you must have wanted to smash it!) But you did finish the whole course, & on foot too. It is a beautiful piece of the world no? I love the views, and the smell of the sea, and the architecture of course, like the old Victorian seaside villas, creams and pinks and blues, with their slightly pretentious, but very pleasant Italianate names. I was down back on the quayside at Colliemore Harbour, just the evening before last, (early Friday evening) and saw the biggest black-backed gulls there, and some truly monster-sized seals too, basking and lolling in the water. Apparently they are all super-sized, because of all the discards the Colliemore fishermen throw back into the harbour! Actually I mean to post about this later, so I have rather shown my hand. Oh well, wanted to say thank you for all your support. Great piece. My very best regards- Arran.