Boxing day bounders

anaconda eating a cow

An anaconda that’s swallowed a cow.  That’s how I feel right now, even though I’m a vegetarian with no snake ancestors to my knowledge  I have a sufficiently random thought association going on in my head to imagine that’s what it would be like to be an anaconda post binging on a bovine.*  This is not my fault of course, oh no, it was an accident.  Flushed with endorphins following a boxing day bound round Sheffield Hallam parkrun, I seem to have inadvertently extended the heady over-consumption of Christmas Day into the next day, and as a consequence indulged in a slap up veggie breakfast at a newly discovered café  immediately after running. I will never eat again, never I tell you, don’t try and make me.**

I am also never going to run again, well not for a couple of days anyway.  Not because of the alteration in my centre of gravity caused by an excess of hash browns, but because I have acquired a puzzling running related injury.  Is it possible to be incapacitated by knicker elastic?  I think I may have been.  I have had this weird twinge, stitch like thing in my hip for a while now, and it’s becoming really painful.  I am not aware of having strained or knocked it as such, but it gets worse every time I run.  I don’t even think it’s a place where you have muscles to tear, it’s more like I’ve trapped a nerve or something.  Doctor Google told me I’ve probably got ovarian cancer with the symptoms I described, which even I recognised as nonsense. I may lack a medical degree, but I am not entirely without basic reasoning.  I’ve been racking my brain to think of what I could possibly have done, and I realise that there is a direct correlation between my running in my Santa skirt (which is held in situ by slightly too tight knicker elastic) and the onset of my injury.  The appalling realisation has dawned on me, that it is this compression on a nerve that may have caused the injury.  What kudos is there in this?  I’m going to have to come up with some better account for slacking on my running than this.  A next door neighbour of mine at a previous address broke their ankle whilst out jogging, because they stumbled as they moved aside to let a blind person pass.  That’s loads better as an explanation of an injury.  I’m going to have to work on it.  Meantime, me and the sofa have some catching up to do.  As I’m on the sofa anyway, I may as well give you the Boxing Day Sheffield Hallam parkrun debriefing…

boxing day start 2015

I was surprisingly up for a run on waking, given that this would be three consecutive days of running.  I don’t know how people manage  running streaks that go on for days and weeks though.  There are even some monks somewhere in Japan that do a thousand marathons in a thousand days around their mountain in a quest for enlightenment.  That I should feel a sense of smugness in anticipation of completing three 5km runs in three days does rather fade by comparison, but I suppose it is at least a start.  I had eaten well and slept well yesterday thanks to a generous festive food parcel from friends and postprandial somnolence.  I always do parkrun on an empty stomach, but I imagine I was effectively massively and uncharacteristically carbed up as I headed off to Endcliffe Park.  My enthusiasm waned a bit on exiting the house and finding overcast steel grey skies and the very real threat of torrential rain at any moment.  I did the rain top on or off debate, but decided it was quite warm in fact, and joined the start without it.  Numbers were very definitely down today, so I suppose I can take some comfort that as my enthusiasm waned in correlation to the deepening darkening of the skies, at least I’d be lapping those who hadn’t made it out of bed at all.  Anyway, it was nice to see people again, catch up on anecdotes from yesterday’s Christmas outing at Concord and thank our official photographer for his efforts in capturing the occasion.  I also learned to my dismay that he has never quite recovered from the shock of my revealing that the real power behind the lens lies with his adoring wife.  It is she who has power of veto over which photos make it into the public domain.  Truth hurts I suppose.  Me and a fellow Smiley took the opportunity of festive chit chat and seasonally associated disinhibition (SAD) to try to persuade her to do an ‘out-takes’ reel, as there will obviously be some corkers amongst those photos that didn’t make the cut over the years.  This seemed like a hilarious proposition at the time,  but on reflection could be a high-risk strategy.  She laughed a bit too hard and loud at the idea, it bordered on a pantomime villain cackle quite frankly, begging the question of what horrors does she have in mind that capture all of us in less than flattering gurning contortions whilst running?  Maybe she never did really hit the delete button on those snaps, maybe all those horrors have been held in a strong box somewhere (codename Pandora) to be let loose to work their terrible torment on those pictured at a time of her choosing.  Everyone knows that once that Pandora’s box is opened, the contents ain’t ever going to be squashed back in again.   We have been warned….  Oh my gawd, she really is!  I’ve just found a photo of her gazing at her hidden treasures, we must act with care.  Here they are together, the photographer and the censor, which would you trust.  They both appear outwardly benign, but appearances can be deceptive?

Anyway, back to the running bit.  There were still a few souls prolonging the festive fancy dress with co-ordinated outfits that did them proud.  For the majority though that time had passed.  Sensibly clad, hangovers worn rather than hilarious headgear for the most part – though I did very much enjoy the guy who had the foresight to run round wearing a golden party hat from a cracker.  Genius.  I’m assuming it was a conscious choice of millinery, and not just that he’d either forgotten to remove if after Christmas dinner or was making a serious claim on the throne.  There was also a fine Christmas jumper – now there’s an idea for same time next year…

I  Couldn’t really hear the pre parkrun  briefing as it was a loud-haler free start, so I was caught a bit unaware at the off.  I desperately pawed at my Tomtom to set it going, but was unsure of whether I’d got that right.  It vibrated almost obsessively going around which was unnerving.  Later I learned that you can set these things to monitor your pace, and then it harasses and harangues you if you are out of your zone.  Maybe it was that. It was annoying.  I need to learn how to work the thing.  I decided consciously to give the run a good go today.  Apart from the twingey hip business I felt OK, and it was the last parkrun of the year.  I normally have a sense of who I run with, and today I found to my amazement that I managed to keep in sight a couple of friends who are normally way ahead, and even did a bit of yo yo overtaking of them.  The only pondering point was that I couldn’t really tell if this was because I was having a good day or they were having a slower one.  (Not that it really matters, it’s a run not a race).  I did uncharacteristically try though, and found that I varied my pace a lot more than I usually do without falling over, and without throwing up. I did try and thank all the marshals going round, but was confused about what to shout by way of appreciation.  Yesterday ‘Happy Christmas‘ was of course apt, on New Year’s Day ‘Happy New Year‘ will be just the job, but in this twixmas period I don’t know what etiquette demands.  One seems belated and the other premature.  The alternative ‘merry winterval‘ might be potentially pretentious, and as an import from the Midlands  (it started in Birmingham I believe) may not relocate all that well to South Yorkshire.  I just went for a breathless ‘thank you marshal‘ in the end, and continued my internal musings.  It’s hard being me, you have no idea.  Part of my incentive for getting my arse into gear was that it looked as if the heavens were about to open, and I didn’t want to be drenched.

I was a bit disappointed then on finishing to find that according to my Tomtom it was my usual mediocre time.  Oh well.   It was nice though to end the parkrun running year alongside many now familiar friends and faces.  I never thought I’d come to a point in my life where most of my social contacts are through running, but there it is.  Stranger things have happened.  (I choose not to draw attention to the fact that the post parkrun breakfast club may have also served as a deciding factor in keeping the running diarised as a weekly and ongoing commitment to catch up with friends).

So lower than usual attendance meant it was speedy getting barcodes scanned (thank you volunteers) and the breakfast club re-grouped and went in search of sustenance.  This was a challenge, as our usual eatery was shut.  We sent out an ace reconnaissance team on bikes, and they found an alternative venue, Ella’s cafe which I’d never been in before.  They literally just opened to let us in, so we were like a private party, though the chef hadn’t made it in yet so we sat damply drinking coffee until he rocked up.  Ella’s I felt was a hit (though it smelt a bit of disinfectant when we first went in no doubt due to over-zealous cleaning prior to Christmas closure).  I stepped away from my usual eggs on toast with mushrooms combo in favour of a veggie breakfast, and very nice it was too.  My eyes were certainly bigger than my stomach, hence the anaconda reference earlier on.  I’d go back there for sure, though only for as long as my elasticated waist bands hold out.

After lingering longer than intended we all departed our separate ways.  I found on my return that in fact my parkrun time was a PB for the year – though a good two minutes off my actual PB, but even so, it was good to end on a good note, even if I have a Santa skirt related running injury to end the year with too.  So thank you Sheffield Hallam parkrun for the literal and metaphorical running ups and downs over the past year – looking forward to doing it all again in 2016 … sort of.

boxing day flag 2015

In the meantime this snake and its distended stomach is taking it easy on the sofa, all snuggled up under a blanket, smelling fragrant after caving in to using bubbles in the bath as a ‘treat’ earlier,  even though actually they have a mildly allergic affect, and so I can now feel my outer epidermis peeling away – or maybe I’m just shedding my skin to accommodate a new growth cycle, snakes do that too don’t they?  Hang on, I’m heading off to Google it now …

Important Points of clarification and edification follow:

* For your clarification and edification,  I have a vague sense that we probably do share a common ancestor  with snakes somewhere along the evolutionary family tree.  Enough that I checked out the ‘facts’ with professor Google earlier on today.  After all, I am deluded enough to think my blog entries may serve an educational purpose for some,  and therefore I feel a certain responsibility to offer up some tenuous evidence base from time to time in support of my more outlandish claims.  Anyway, I  found a helpful article in the Mirror that says human limbs and penises evolved from snakes apparently.  It wasn’t the most robust of scientific papers I’ve read, and as I personally am not in possession of a penis I am a bit dubious about how well researched it actually was.  Nevertheless, it’s a start, and my comparison stands.  Feel free to continue your own research with Wikipedia etc. should you wish to do so…

** For your clarification and edification, this statement is a complete lie.


Categories: 5km, parkrun, running | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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