I’ve been drinking again, and had no option but to send myself on a punishment run
THE TONY ADAMS Memorial Eight Mile Race is not like other running events.
For a start, the Arsenal and England footballer it’s named after isn’t dead.
Also unlike other races, ‘The Adams’ doesn’t take place at a fixed time every year – but erupts across the athletic calendar on several random days, often in clusters, like zits on a sixteen-year-old’s chin.
And there is only ever one participant: me.
That’s because The Tony Adams Memorial Eight Miler takes place whenever I fall off the wagon and feel the need to punish myself.
It’s cold and dark, but if you can get outside and run… get outside and run!
Life’s not all that easy at the moment, here in the frozen North.
It’s not cold, cold. In fact, it’s not even frozen. But there was a thick frost on the roofs of the cars outside when we struggled up this morning.
It was still dark, and I was so tired that one massive yawn threatened to dislocate my jaw as I switched on the kettle for the day’s first invigorating cuppa.
I looked out onto the blackness of the garden, lamplight picking out the frost, and thought my first uncomfortable thoughts of the day – nothing too serious, just the sort of mental scabs I often pick at.
And then I thought: I don’t want a sad day today. I want a run.
I’m nearly 54 and I’m still punishing myself with exercise. When will I accept that I can’t have a young person’s body any more?
I’M JUST BACK from a run and in some trouble.
We’re talking pain.
We’re also talking regret here, but mainly we’re talking PAIN!!!!!!!
There’s discomfort in the hip and groin, a bit of a twinge in the right buttock *
But in the right lower back, and the right knee, it’s Bare-Feet-On-Hot-Sand-Level torture – only without the option of picking your feet up and hop/running away.
I am bearing up nobly, however, and currently fighting my symptoms with nowt but a hot water bottle pressed against my back – while reserving the right to deploy one or all of: Nurofen, ice pack, hot bath, aspirin, analgesic gel or heroin, should I deem them necessary.
Right now, I think it could be some time before I return to normal life.
A few minutes ago, I had to climb up on onto a chair to rescue a bee about to trap itself in a life-threatening nook in our conservatory.
And when the brainless insect proved resistant to being saved, some of the agony-induced names I called it were, in truth, un-bee-coming.