The Running Man on the Time to Run

The actual ‘running part’ of my day takes about forty minutes; the rest of the run takes considerably longer.  Firstly, I have to convince myself that I am actually going to do it.  This involves first going through all of the reasons why I should not do it: a definite twinge in the middle toe; a parcel delivery expected any time in the next few days; the possibility that it might rain; the possibility that it might not rain; a recently discovered re-run of the Phil Silvers Show on some obscure channel that I may never find again, and the necessity to gauge the current bladder status.  It all takes time.

Eventually, decision made, I start to get ready: take a drink; empty bladder; bind up knees; don running tights, vest, shorts, ‘T’ shirt.  Empty bladder.  Put on running shoes – always double-bowed.  Empty bladder.  Pop in Bluetooth headphones, grumble on for ten minutes (approx) whilst sorting out ‘connection error’ and set up GPS tracking.  Empty bladder.  Open door in order to assess need for hat and gloves.  Put on hat and gloves in certain knowledge that I will regret it within five minutes.  Exit, closing door behind me.  Open door.  Empty bladder.  Exit again.  The routine is pretty much invariable, as is the realisation that despite the knowledge that it is all habit, I will regret not visiting the loo one last time at precisely the same time as I begin to regret the woolly head-covering.

I’m told that there is a close link between the pressing need for micturition and running.  Why?  Well, nobody’s ever told me that.  I suppose it is the same link as that which lurks behind the curtain coming up at the theatre or the first chord booming around the concert venue.  However recently I last went for a wee, it was always just too long ago.  Some years ago, some friends and I went to a concert in a small, ‘intimate’ venue which meant that, for most of the evening, the artist* could see the audience.  When the mid-session interval came around, one of my friends who was clearly almost as desperate for ‘the gents’ as he was to escape ridicule, leapt over two tiers of seats and ran down the corridor shouting, ‘Emergency.  Emergency.  Coming through!’  The already assembled ‘toilet queue’ parted like The Red Sea at the behest of Moses and deferentially let him through.  Back then, I collapsed into the kind of laughter that sends well-meaning souls rushing for the defibrillator.  Today I feel his pain.

On my eventual return from running I generally have a decision to make over whether it is worth retracing my steps in order to find the glove I have somehow contrived to drop at some point along my journey.  Generally I decide that I will find it dangling from somebody’s hedge when I repeat the journey in a couple of days time, so I leave it where it is and, pausing for nothing more than twenty minutes to remove the triple-knot from my trainer laces where the double-bow used to be, head straight to the shower before the flies have the chance to settle.  Thus the forty minutes of exercise generally eats about an hour and a half from my day – which is the perfect reason not to run if I’ve only got an hour in which to do it.

*Roy Harper, whose song ‘When An Old Cricketer Leaves the Crease’ is one of my ‘funeral songs’.  This may, or may not be relevant.   

Today’s episode was brought to you by a break from procrastination and a red Wilco ballpoint pen. 
Today’s top running tune was ‘There’s No Way Out Of Here’ by David Gilmour.
Today’s Thought for the Day: If Einstein was correct, a stitch in time would require a very big bobbin indeed.

You can join me at the start of my Running Odyssey here, at ‘Couch to 5k’ or
You can join me in last week’s ‘Running Man’ post, ‘…on Stopping’ here.
The next Running Man post ‘…on Being Antisocial’ is here.

12 thoughts on “The Running Man on the Time to Run

  1. Funeral songs? Now there’s a thing… My list of funeral songs change so frequently that I’ll need to knock up a mix tape! I was going to be heaved through the doors to the theme from Steptoe and Son and the carted out to Bring me Sunshine. However, if I’m to go up the chimney, then it’s now a toss up between Fire, by the Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Great Balls of Fire by Jerry Lee Lewis or The Fire Brigade by the Move…

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    1. I love ‘Bring Me Sunshine’. If you don’t have it, I’m pinching it! My other favourite currently is ‘Don’t Fear the Reaper’ by Blue Oyster Cult. My wife has already banned ‘Burn’ by Deep Purple…

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  2. I was piqued by the double knotting- no, NOT to do with thinking about the Loo line- of the laces. Do Adidas (in particular) treat their laces with some kind of infernal de-knotting treatment? I stoop to tie, I stoop half a block again, re-tie hard enough to cut off blood supply to my three striped feet and by the time I’m home they are dragging forlornly behind me again. Seriously, is this some kind of revenge for ’45?
    Also, only a real fan would flame the fires with ‘Ashes To Ashes’ as a fare-thee-well Bowie song.

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  3. Just a wild thought, I wonder though: Would an externally worn Coloplast conveen help? 🥴
    You might need to use sticky tape for added security whilst jogging, preferably medical and not duct tape. 😬

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  4. Your bit about the laughter sounded like something I would do. You could save an hour and a half by staying in your recliner listening to music. Of course, then you might need the funeral songs earlier. Life is so full of decisions.

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  5. Totally agree – running (perhaps especially at our sort of age) is not the ‘just put your trainers on and get out there’ activity that some would argue it is.

    I’m always bricking it before the start of any run – perhaps why, apropos of your micturition point, I always need to be as ‘light’ as I can be before I go out, if you get my drift – and also get twinges that aren’t really twinges as my brain tries to talk me out of the pain ahead.

    I’m also maddened by technology, so I’ve learned to run without music, but I also stretch quite religiously after every run, which adds another good half an hour to the whole thing (and yet doesn’t seem to make me any more resilient). Some days it takes so long and leaves me so knackered that all I can manage is wake up, get my running gear on, run, shower and eat…

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    1. I am Mr Metronome in the ‘lightening’ department, so I seldom have to worry about that, but like yourself, I have a brain that orchestrates twinges like a symphony in discomfort. Unfortunately a thirty minute post-run stretch would probably tip me over the edge – it is all I can manage to drag myself up to the shower. Preparation may be key, but it’s also a right pain. I will run tomorrow afternoon and I’m already fretting over it now!

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