Being your own boss is great. Arrive at Energie Fitness for Women, Dunmore Road at 7am on my first day (Friday). Leave at 8pm having seemingly accomplished little apart from meeting and greeting the members, curious about the new guy who has taken over from Sandra. Chaos on Saturday morning as my trainer Kersty calls in sick leaving me to cope. I can’t get the music machine to go; I can’t open the windows; the man arrives with my two new cardio machines; a prospective member arrives for her 9am appointment with Kersty and I wing the paperwork and club tour, pretending I’ve been doing this for ever. Close the club at 1pm and spend an hour hoovering and wiping down machines and places where dirt and dust has been quietly accumulating. And get the feeling that again I’ve done little but fire fight. But there’s a new week and much better things ahead.

Today (Sunday) dawns and I need to run. Not feeling particularly up for it after last night. I met my old friends Dave & Eleanor at the Three Shippes and shipped many pints of Guinness. The place goes mad as St Ledger puts Ireland 2-1 up against Italy in the 87th minute, only for familiar gloom to descend as the visitors nick an equaliser after sloppy defending. It’s gone midnight as I lurch home. I decide to replicate last Sunday’s run anti-clockwise around the city. The first three miles are gradually uphill but as I hit the ring road my running settles down. Today I make a special effort with my ‘form’, making a conscious effort to run taller, to land on the front part of my feet and to lift straight up off the ground rather than toe-off. Strangely I find that I have no trouble landing on my right forefoot but the best I can do consistently with my left is flatfoot. As to the ‘lean forward from the ankles’ promoted by Chi, Pose and Alexandre teachers, I can’t get that. I don’t think my core is strong enough.

Whatever, I spin along the ring road nicely enough and, whether or not it’s all in the mind, I do feel as if I’m running more easily and efficiently today. Back into town a good few minutes quicker than last Sunday as well. My problem now is going to be finding time for running in the week. In the short term at least I will be working 13-hour days. I will possibly be starting a little running club out of Energie Fitness so that will give me some miles, though maybe not of the quality that I would want. We’ll see.

And a shout out for the new Fighting Talk series, every bit as good as ever. And in Phedippidations #208 Steve made a good, intelligent programme about the remarkable similarities between the people of all nations. He and other podcasters are promoting the Worldwide Festival of Races to celebrate the running brotherhood while simultaneously ripping the piss out of the Nike’s appalling and self-promoting Human Race.

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