I can understand if the title seems a bit dramatic to describe my Recovery Plus run today, but please allow me to provide some context. My three year-old grandson (Noa) is still here, and, as you can imagine, this necessitates a shift in priorities. We have been to the National Space Centre in Leicester and Whipsnade Zoo in Befordshire since my last run.
Noa maintains that he is a faster runner than me. He wants to win medals, and I’ve assured him that when he is older he may well achieve this. Our last competitive run was outside the shops at Rushden Lakes. It was then that he had to deploy his booster rockets to get an unfair advantage over me.
And the lions? There is a part of the route I ran today (a circuit of Aldwincle Lake) where I have got into the habit of imagining myself to be an antelope fleeing from the Serengeti lions. It certainly puts a spring in my step for a short distance. [Derek is 65 years old]. I classified this as a recovery plus run because I put in a bit more effort (PE rating of around 6 to 8 for small stretches) than I would for a normal recovery run. I did make two unforced stops to take some photos (forced stops are to cross roads, to struggle with gates, or because I’m just too fatigued to continue without a rest. I have taken the terminology from tennis). I was not sure about using this route today because of recent rain – I know some places can get very muddy. I am not afraid of a bit of mud as such, but it does increase the risk of my falling over and I do not want to be set back again by a further ankle injury. I had a fleeting image of myself lying in the mud, just like a hippopotamus, thinking what a great selfie that would make (clarification – I was thinking about the selfie, not the hypothetical hippo). Then I imagined getting mud all over my phone, so I concentrated on trying to remain upright, like a proud giraffe – with success! Notice how I have weaved these zoological images into the story – I could be Desmond Morris! [Old cultural reference – Zoo Time. Remember, Derek is 65].
I was very pleased to be running again today, catching the last of the afternoon sun in the Northamptonshire countryside, seeing a flock of birds fly across the moon (herself reflected in the River Nene), and hearing the lowing of distant cattle. It was only 5km achieved in a modest time, but it is something to build on. Things would be bad if I couldn’t squeeze out a 5km run after a two week break from running.
On returning home, the following dialogue:
Noa: “How is your ankle Derek? Is it better?”
Me: “Yes, it is Noa. Thank you for asking.”
Noa: “That’s good. Well done Derek! Now I can climb on your leg!
Me: “Err, no, that’s not the plan!”
NB – Being patronised by a toddler is a humbling experience!