From a personal best yesterday - Eddie facebooked yesterday to say that he got his 4 miles done on the mean streets of South Sheilds in 58 minutes (smug little git) - to a team worst today...
It all started well, I have a very important lunch date with the girls today (although im sure you know me well enough by now to know that all meals are important to me) and Dad has a work meeting so we decided we'd try and be home from our walk today by 9am, which would mean setting off at 8am, our earliest start time yet. We managed this without too much grumbling ( "Who's stupid idea was all this anyway..." "YOURS Dad!" etc) and set off in the pre-sunrise blue light of the very early morning. After our success yesterday I even jubilantly allowed the dog to come with us, even if we did have to wake him such was the extreme earliness of our set off. At approximately 8.04am though we hit a snag. A big snag. A snag of gargantuan propartions. We call this snag Dad. (He is 51 years old you know! He may have mentioned it, a dozen or so times, per day!) Doctor Dad has diagnosed himself with a shin splint. Knowing full well that I don't know what one of those is, and therefore could not counter his demand that we must slow the pace from a march to a shuffle, and that he must limp, grimace and wince with every step in a way which I suppose was meant to inspire my pity. It didn't. For those of you who don't know my father, I can tell you that he has the attention span of a flea, and there is a chance that this project has exceeded it. Even with the best intentions, I'm sure he had imagined himself half a stone lighter by now, with a six pack, by some miracle the fresh air may have caused all his hair to grow back too, but after 8 days this is yet to happen, in fact as we try and pick up the pace training is yet to get easier. Is the point of a challenge not to be challenging then? I pleaded with him as he stumped laong getting more and more grumpy. The dog was not helping, the pace had slowed down so much that he was having time to sniff around at stuff, and firt chance to be a nuiscance he got he made use of, and tanggled his elad in a bush. Imbecile.
As far as I can tell without instant results Dad is getting bored. His shin splatter or whatever it is certainly wasn't troubling him when he posed for that smug little photo atop Roseberry Topping at the weekend, unless he was manfully disguising his agony (which is highly unlikely, by which I mean 100% impossible, as anyone who knows Stephen Allison will tell you, he is not a man to suffer in silence)
So in this ungainly fashion we reached the first mile marker "I can't go on, save yourself!" Our hero cried, collapsing onto a bench. To 'save myself' from much more of the amature dramatics, I allowed the training to be cut short and we began our undignified limp home, to the tune of "I am 51 years old you know..." sorrowfully echoing from the back. I have informed Dad that our friends Brian and Steve, authors of our challenge books and distinguished walkers, are both in their 50s, however Dad parried this attack by reminding me that they were not plagued with shin spots, or whatever it is exactly thats ailing him. Hercules himself would not have been able to walk 4 miles shouldering this burden, it wasn't his heel Achilles should have been worrying about apprently but his shins. So we trudged back to the house, having covered just 2 miles in 38 minutes, our worst time to date. Moral is low and Dad is in 'agony', ensconsed back in bed with coffee and toast, looking very pleased with himself... Whether this was just a well researched skive I'll never know, but I'll always have my suspicions. If its not then please everyone, I suggest that you all take note of Dads sacrifice, and possibly invest in a pair of shin pads for day to day use?