Happily Ever After

Life in The Rural Retreat with a beautiful wife, three cats, garden wildlife, a camera, a computer – and increasing amounts about running

Earlier posts can be found on Adventures of a Lone Bass Player, where this blog began life. Recent entries can be found here.


Running With Arthur

by Russell Turner - 16:46 on 23 February 2023

The year’s first big running target is almost within sight: the Inverness Half Marathon is only two-and-a-half weeks away. The way I feel at the moment, reaching the start line will be an achievement. Blame too much happening topped off with a cold. Life is hard.

Week 6 of training should have ended on Monday, with the easy eight miles I keep not doing, or ten if I felt particularly frisky. I didn’t. Lethargy was much closer to the mark, and as I had to collect Matchgirl from the airport that seemed like a good reason to put it off for a day, which I did.

On Tuesday I remained friskless but managed to summon up the energy for a shortened long run which turned out to be 10k rather than 10 miles, including some inclines and more dead ends as I continued to explore Millbuie Forest. I felt much improved by the end, which was just as well because two hours later it was Matchgirl’s turn to take me to the airport.

From Gatwick I took the slow (but cheap) train to Oxford where I resumed acquaintance with friends Dianne and Cyril, last seen after The Great Faint at the end of the London Marathon, and their spare room. Much catching up and eating was done.

Next day I added to the long run distance with three miles, walked with Dianne, around a scenic but blowy Farmoor Reservoir, before once again letting the train take the strain for a swift journey to Paddington and another walk, this time just over a mile to my basic and tiny but cheap and well located single room in the deceptively grand-sounding Mermaid Suite Hotel. Its main attraction was the mere 10-minute walk from there to the London Palladium where Sir Rick of Wakeman was to perform King Arthur and Six Wives.

All the travel was rewarded with a great show and friendly chat with other of Rick’s acolytes; even solo travellers aren’t lonely at his shows where everyone is keen to see their hero. Afterwards, I resisted the temptations of the merch stand, though I may not be so strong tonight when he plays Journey and selections from Yes. I’m unlikely to buy the 500-piece Rick Wakeman jigsaw, though. (Really.)

I ended the day feeling that I’d dodged the worst of the lurgi. This morning I wasn’t so sure but, after finding the required mental fortitude, walked and jogged to Green Park where Week 7’s training began with another intervals session. Maybe that was a step too far, or the fact that it took twice as long to find my way back, on a cool and blowy day, as it did to reach the park. Suddenly the cold has flared up again. Maybe a lazy afternoon will be the restorative I need.

So, to come are: the second show; more trains, planes and automobiles tomorrow; a mixed training session followed by a wedding gig on Saturday; completing the next award-winning Chatterbox by Sunday; a 12-mile long run on Monday. It’s fortunate that Week 7 is a three-run week. I’ll give myself a day off on Tuesday before Week 8 begins (ending on Sunday with the Nairn 10k), with training fitted around distributing the award-winning Chatterbox and a late-finish Inverness gig on Friday.

And in three weeks I switch to the Race to the Stones training programme. So much to do…

Comment from Soo at 12:27 on 25 February 2023.
You tired me out just reading that. I hope you enjoyed all your shows and that your cold is better soon. xx
Comment from Russell at 00:54 on 26 February 2023.
Shows were great; cold worse but will be OK by Monday; Matchgirl has covid. Not a good weekend. No running planned.

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