Twitter is filled with posts about the Brighton Marathon and London is next week. Manchester is in two weeks and after a final long run yesterday I am in some kind of strange zone. I feel quietly confident, but at the same time I am concerned for the last six miles after all they do say the race starts on mile 20.
To say I am looking forward to that Sunday evening would be a little bit of an understatement. I am looking forward to the end of the marathon and showing my medal off with pride being the only person amongst my friends who would have achieved this feat of human endurance. But while a lot of my fellow runners will be glad it’s all over and be happy to put their trainers at the back of the cupboard or in the bin I will be happy as I get to drink and a little sad as I won’t get to run while I rest.
Now I have not entire given up the source. Even tho I said after Christmas I would. What can I say I like a bottle of wine as much as the next man if the next man happens to be Keith Floyd. However for April I have been T-Total. I, like my fellow runners might have hung my trainers up if it wasn’t for the month of 10K’s I have in May, clever thinking on my part to book my next races to train for.
I like running, the bug as truly hit me so being happy that I have crossed the line (hopefully in a sub 4) would be very nice, however the real reason why I will be so happy is that I get to drink wine again. Not any old wine you understand, oh no wine that my best mate got me for my 30th. I have been saving it for this very occasion and to be honest it should make it taste even better. The bottle in question is a 1981 vintage. My mate knows me so well. The wine was bottled the year I was born and came with a posh cork screw, thermometer, cork stopper, basically the works all concealed in a wooden box. I think it is truly the best gift I have got, and if it wasn’t for the fact it had to be drank (shame I know) then I would be keeping it to gather cobwebs.
So as I reach the wall on mile 20 and try to scramble over to get to the finish, the freshly opened bottle that I would have left to decanter will be pulling me across the finish line, and hey after burning 4000 calories I think I will be entitled to a glass or two of the red stuff, after all the antioxidants helps the healing and recovery process.
Now to be fair I should have written this at the time. That time being a couple of weeks ago. Now first I need to give you some background, and it’s really about my drinking, as I like to drink I love the taste. Now I am no means downing the sherbert in the morning before work and am not in the need of the AA, partly because my car is in full working order… What? Oh that AA, yes well I am a drinker and can and have done for many weeks and months drank 2 – 3 bottles of wine a night.
The trouble is I am addicted to drink, once I start I find it hard to stop. Well not that hard when my head has fallen into the pool of drool on my pillow. It’s true, I will meet mates for a drink and after a beer or two we part and go our separate ways. My way happens to be to a supermarket to stock up on more drink for the rest of the evening plus a pizza for a midnight snack. And this is how the rest of the week or month pans out, until I get the drinking under control and stop buying it.
So to sum up, I either drink and continue until I fall asleep and for some one who finds the past time of sleep a hard one then any kind of substance to help is greatly received. However drinking and eating makes you fat and for many years I have tried to control the drink and the spare tyre I seem to insist on carrying around. Finally after finding running I was deflating the tyre and keeping it deflated. Result.
So now we are up to date, the only other thing to add is I love chocolate and food and that mixed with drink makes you fat, no matter how much running you do. While I spend all year getting down to a good weight and losing the belly along comes my Birthday in October, which brings drink, which also as we know results in me continuing to drink. I finally get it under control but then we have Christmas, and it’s not just the 25th I need to look out for, but the whole of December as you meet for Christmas Drinks, and company meals etc.
As if f all that wasn’t bad enough then comes the 27th December I see that Mini Eggs and Cream Eggs were being stocked. Now if I can’t say ‘No’ to red wine then I definitely can’t say ‘No’ to these tasty treats from Cadburys.
So with my Birthday all the way till Easter, the months are filled with my vices plus the fact that they don’t contain decent whether to run off all those goodies you have inhaled. Therefore by getting rid of Christmas, it will give my body a break from the booze and chocolate until we reach Easter and hopefully allowing my body to keep some of the weight off.
I think it is a good idea.
Today I woke another year older, and wiser one may think. For some reason 30 has a stigma attached to it and I’m not about to ignore the stereotypes that come with this milestone.
I woke early, annoying I know but lets face it it’s a sign of old age. For months now I have been going to bed early and waking early. It was more annoying this morning as I had been out for drinks last night with a good friend and work colleagues and got tipsy. Not drunk but enough to be unsteady on my feet. I wanted to have a lie in but this old age has bought about the waking up rule. No matter the time you went to sleep, or condition your body will wake up at dawn. Oh to be a teenager and have slept in until twelve. Party because I feel I will need that sleep that my body has neglected to give me. My best mate has organised a day of drinking starting at 3. I think I will be spent by 6. The last time he did this was for my 28th, and we started at noon, and I ended up asleep in Retro bar all be it at 2am which is a very respectable innings, but by 7pm I was a mess I can’t even remember his girlfriend joining us for a couple of hours before she had to go to work.
But anyway back to the first few hours of being 30. I awoke, and had breakfast, cleaned my teeth and got dressed. Is it me or as you get older things taste different. The toothpaste tasted more like the paste the dentist uses to polish your teeth. Anyway as I was eating my Bran Flakes, thinking I have done quite well to avoid an early mid-life crisis, and the big dreaded 30 has not affected me in the same way as some other people and let’s be honest the sneaky age has plenty of ammunition to stir emotional feelings and self loathing in me as I have no partner, mortgage, Job, career…. Do I need to go on? Anyway I was thinking about this and thought that my solution to the 30 conflict was to take up running. Admittedly I did do this last year before my 29th but there is nothing like early planning (it comes with age). No the true state of affairs is that running has become my life and with me entering every half marathon under the sun and about to tackle my first full marathon I feel that rather than sitting in a corner of a darkened room rocking back and forth I have decided to push all my anxieties into the pavement.
Anyway I was thinking these thoughts, and was about to look at where my waist band was in proportion to my chest, as that is a true measure of age. I am still lucky that my trousers are still positioned at a suitable height. With this relief I went back to munching my Bran Flakes looking out of MY living room window watching the world go past. When some woman walking what is scientifically known as a dog, but looks more like a tumbled dried rat looked in to MY window and gave me a strange look. My first thought was “Go and walk your dog in Jam”
“Go and walk your dog in jam” What was that about. Surly that is not a sign of old age. Thats a sign of something else surly. Rather than growing old quietly am I going to be an eccentric pensioner. With comments like that I would very much look forward to a life of maddening behaviour.
Anyway I am now sat on bed waiting for the family for a birthday meal in Manchester and then out drinking for plenty of drink. But being 30 that means half a bitter, or maybe a vodka and bitter lemon. But now I have reached this old age I can now wear my bow tie and smoke a pipe. Plus I will be of good age to pull off my moustache which is just as well as I’m taking part in Movember.
So please raise a glass, and…. And…. I’ve forgotten…. Is that a sign of getting old?
This is part one of two blogs. In simple terms I am 30 in 3 weeks, and yes I am not looking forward to it. At the moment I wish to run away to Snowdon and go walking to celebrate in solitude but know I’ll end up getting pissed with my mates enjoying every minute well apart from those minutes that follow the next day.
However this post comes about due to a conversation about music and my favourite Beatles song. To give the discourse some context I am working with a young persons theatre group where as well as young actors there are a gathering of wana be technicians aged 15. This is not why I feel old, it is what was said that aged me so quickly in the room. I reported that I was rather fond of ‘Number 9’ on the ‘White Album’ which I then later said you couldn’t get for love or money and my brother had to import it. One of the youths in a ‘off the cuff’ way butted in with ‘Why didn’t you just download it?’
Why? Why! because back when I was his age the internet was still dial-up. He looked puzzled. Do I need to say anymore? Some one half my age is living light years ahead of the way I grew up at his age, and that is scary stuff.
Over the next week, I’m going to think about how my life at 15 is different from those growing up now and write about it. Sure when I grew up I had VHS, which my Mother and Father never had but already this kid has had DVD and Bluray (two very quick advancing technologies)grown up with 100 television channels, at least I grew up with four, only one more than my parents. And the real difference is I know about the past and the way people use to live, young people today can’t imagine or comprehend life on dial up, a computer game in 2D, research from a book or CD-Rom or having to remember your mates number as the only phones were connected at the way.
So stand by for a long list and very good long rant.