Bonkers, Plonkers, Conkers and Honkers

Whoa. Another few months have blown through my hands without so much as a single blog post to record the fascinating minutae of my life. I know, you’re gutted to have missed the tedium of life in the Cheshire countryside. So let’s get the crib notes and pledge to keep in touch more frequently, okay?

Bonkers: Hide your surprise, but I’m still running. A half every week. It’s become easy. Almost mundane, but still valid for excusing the amount of chips I put away and how much I like to spunk on flights. After 20 in a row now and a reduction in my personal best to 1:37, Melba has publicly challenged me to run a half in every country in Europe. I narrowed it down to a list of countries that I fancied visiting. First up is Norway next weekend. The town of Stavanger (accessible by SAS flight for a cheapish fare, handily enough) hosts the 3 Lakes Run – or 3 Sjøersløpet if you talk the lingo (I most definitely don’t).  I’m about 70% sure I have completed my registration form correctly and will be toeing the start line with five other Australians (all male) for the race. Which is awesome because I will have the winning time for an Australian woman on that day. If I finish of course and not get hit by a car which is what happened a couple of weeks ago at the River Thames Half in Chertsey.

Plonkers: Yes, you heard me, I got hit by a car. IN A RACE. Total asshat drove his 2002-plate shitty Citroen into the middle of the race and I connected with the front of it as I hit the deck trying to pull up. His excuse when I peeled myself off the front bumper was that he had actually stopped moving by the time we made contact. I gave him a piece of my mind, he apologised, I shook his hand and got running again. I did complain privately to the Race Director and had 3 minutes shaved off my time and that of my running companions who stopped and helped me. Alls well that ends well, I came seventh although my knee has taken a while to recover.

Conkers: It’s that time of year again. Conkers litter the footpaths acting like ball bearings when my feet strike them on training runs. I curse and praise autumn in equal measures on this basis. I enjoy the cooler weather as it’s favourable for running but damn if I don’t curse like a trucker when I skid on conkers. Also, as the leaves gather in ever-growing piles, I grow suspicious of how many dog truffles hide within. So it’s usually about this time of year I book a ticket out of dodge.

Honkers: Sadly I left it too late to buy a ticket that would see me enjoying a beach Chrimbo this year; fares around that period are flat-bed priced for a cattle class perch and I won’t pay it on general principle. What I have done is manage to schedule in a short trip via Hong Kong where I will endeavour to fit a half in as well. I figure if I drop one in Oz as well I’ll have covered 4 continents having done runs in Europe and the USA already. Anyway, I’ll be stocking up on Chokito bars and Twisties before December hits and that’s the perfect antidote the the miserable British weather that has returned with the early darkness.

And that’s what’s new at the ranch. Stay tuned for travel, fitness and other randomness.

Posted in Cheshire Life, Fitness, Travel | 2 Comments

Half Mad

Last time I blathered on about running and fitness I was attempting an Irish Half Marathon. Remember that? The ‘downhill’ race that wasn’t at all downhill, save for the last half mile. Feckers. Anyway, since then I continued my running streak. I’m about to attempt number 14 in the Swedish capital. That was not a typo. 14. In a fucking row.

Each week I have thrown myself either an official or totally made up course of a minimum 13.1 miles. On a couple of occasions I have topped 20 miles, for no other reason than I felt good and had no plans to do anything else with my time. Turns out, attempting these distances is more favourable if you have access to water and fuel, which I sadly did not. I survived though, so all good.

People have asked me why I am doing this. My response changes daily, depending on how well I know them, my mood and how quickly I want to stop talking to them. Truth is, I don’t really know. I’ve fallen into a habit where an hour and forty minutes of exercise on a Saturday (Sunday if I’ve been hammered on Friday night) doesn’t seem extreme. My standard response are:

  • I like chips
  • It relaxes me
  • It makes my arse look like Kylie’s
  • I really like chips

To be more accurate, and despite the number of unqualified amateur doctors that offer an unsolicited opinion on the state of my knees and shins, I have lymphedema. Remember that cancer episode I went through? Crib notes is it left me with a condition that has reduced the drainage system in my legs. Physical activity is about the only non-medical approach to combat this. So I run.

Melba has come up with a suggestion to keep this vaguely more interesting (for me, not you). She’s dared me to run a half in every country in Europe. I’m bargaining this down to favourable Western Europe locales as I have no ambition to waste a flight to Moldova or more troubled regions.

Countries already checked off:

  • Switzerland
  • Sweden
  • Ireland
  • England
  • Wales
  • Scotland

Suggestions in the comments please of half marathons around Europe.

Posted in Fitness, Travel | 10 Comments