For the tenth (I think) time in the last year, I find myself horrified by the fact that I have a half marathon to run that looks like it isn’t going to be cancelled. It’s worth mentioning that every single one of those half marathons have been cancelled in the end, some with just days to go, and as a direct result my training has got more and more haphazard and consisted of things like “ah, long run day today. That means I’ll run exactly as far as I feel like at a pace that I want to run at and if it even thinks about raining I am going home”. Over the summer my enthusiasm for going outdoors was a lot higher than it is at the moment and I actually got my virtual HM time down to 2:39ish (not counting stops to buy water) which made me think that in an actual race I’d have a good shot of beating my now FIVE year old HM PB.

I’m a bit less fit now but not a million miles off so still have hopes of a fairly good performance at the incoming race (Aintree on 9th May), so long as I get off my arse and get some longer runs in. Last week I decided to go out for 15km around Canary Wharf and the Isle of Dogs (I figure that these places are going to start getting busier soon as lockdown is ending and I need to make the most of them). I started out through Tower Hamlets Cemetery (saying hello to my 4th great grandparents), through Mile End Park, along the Regents Canal, Limehouse Basin, Ropemakers Fields and along the Thames Path. It was all going swimmingly, I maintained a nice, even, deliberately slow pace, no one breathed on me or asked me to run in the road or otherwise created a nuisance. I ran along Millwall Dock, where you get a great view of the Canary Wharf skyscrapers and through Millwall Park to Island Gardens.

Just after Island Gardens there is a little beach which you have to run inland to get round. The tarmac here is quite uneven with a great big lump in it. If you are ever running along this route, please retain this information and maybe you won’t come to the sticky end I did. I tripped on the offending protrusion and landed squarely flat on my face, jamming my chin into the pavement, jarring both arms and finally clunking heavily on to my newly recovered bad knee. Stars and tweeting canaries filled my head as I tried to work out which way was up. I became vaguely aware of the sound of wheels. Yes, an entire peloton of cyclists had witnessed my demise and were now coming to my aid. I say an entire peloton but it’s more likely they were sticking to the legal limit of six and I was just seeing double. One of the cyclists came over. It’s funny how people always try to offer you things when you have an accident, I was offered water, a flapjack and a tissue, and then assistance to get off the ground. I really just wanted to lie there and look sad for a bit but accepted the assistance and lurched to my feet insisting I was fine to continue with my run before staggering off drunkenly.

I limped on for another two km but as the knock to the head wore off I really started to feel the pain in my arms and legs and decided to call it a day when I got to the next DLR station. I was very glad of my mask for once as it covered the fact my face was covered in scrapes and it looked like I had been in a non-covid compliant fight.

Nearly a week later, I am mostly recovered but still feeling stiff and bruised so I am going to attempt the full distance today, staying on my feet this time. I am putting off doing so because it is fucking freezing and I kind of wish I could get a cancellation email so I could go out for 5k instead with a clear conscience.

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