(NB My username on the running site I log my training on is monki)
I’m running. Well, somewhere between plodding and running. Pruning, that will do. Yes, I’m pruning the air. I approach the steps down to the Thames Path on the unmentionable side of the river. Must avoid the fourth step on the second flight going down. ‘Potential deathtrap’ as Lynn Faulds-Wood would say. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve imagined myself tripping over at this point, usually leading to at least a shattered ankle, if not full on runner’s breakdown.
Ah. Safe. Once again I outwit you Mr Step. That is because I have opposable thumbs. Ok. Don’t waggle thumbs in public while running again. Unless running towards Bobby Ball doing his Rock-on Tommy thing. God! Did I really used to watch Cannon and Ball. Yes, I suppose I did. Right, that’s the steps done, let’s rejoin the path.
Curses! Who’s this joker who’s cruising up on the right? He appears to have pipe cleaners for legs and arms. He’s milky white, accentuated by an all black kit. His scraggy backside is enhanced by a mahoosive bum bag. So. We meet again Mr Bean.
No time to laugh. He’s about ten feet in front. We both have headphones on, so I’m not sure if he’s heard me or not. I’ll catch him up. Hmm. Or not. Both doing exactly the same pace. This is tedious. I should drop back, give him some space. Or just run up his arse the whole time. Ok. Not literally.
Annoying. We’re still ten feet apart. Oh, I see. He’s speeding up is he. Well, we’ll see about this. Hmm. Or not. Tired. And still seven miles to go. Let him go. He’s not worth it. Let his bumbag bob gracelessly into the distance.
I switch off for a while. I do that sometimes. It’s like having a holiday in your head. But forgetting where you’ve been. I hope it wasn’t somewhere expensive. Anyhoo. Wind’s picking up. Oh. Nerd-man is coming back to me now. HA! You don’t like it windy, do you stringbean. Although it should be me that suffers more in this headwind. More surface area and all that basic physics. Physics, man! Get a grip. Prune the air!
And then something magical happens. The Goth Mix arrives unbidden on my iPod. My feet are suddenly thumping in time to a distorted drum machine. I can feel my eyebrows sharpen. I have to resist the urge to fling my arms about and studiously avoid eye contact with everyone in the bar, I mean Thames Path. But for the greater glory of emo, fill me with your baritone speed. Or something. I mean.
Who listens to goth lyrics anyway?
It’s working though. I’m catching him. HA! Hear that Beany-boy? That… is goth. Here comes Wayne Hussey to mow you down. All over this wasteland….Dum dum durrum. Amphetamine buzz. Etc. Catching him. Less than half a mile to the tree. The Tree At Which I Must Turn. I will catch you, sonny. I will catch you. I am a running black metal machine.
I’m catching him. I’m going to make it. He’s gone. Shot. Dust. HA! Look! It’s easy. I’m flying. Straight past. Grind him into dirt. Eat my backside, loser! Ha. Made it. With fifty yards to spare. I rule! I am the Monkinator. The Great Monkitron wins again. I rule! Who’s the King of the Nerds now, Geekboy? Eh?
And then, seconds too late, Jesus Built My Hotrod comes in the mix. And I feel bloodlust in my nostrils. I swear I’d have ripped him limb from limb and eaten him for a protein shake. All hail the Monkinator! Grrrrrrrrrrrr.
Oh. Happy trance. Five miles back now.
Where was I? Oh yes. Funny what you think about when you’re running.