Pre Fling Wars

Friday, 26 April 2013

My arrival in Glasgow for the 2013 Hoka Highland Fling has not been without incident. More of that in a while.

I've always been a positive kind of fella. I've always had a 'can do' attitude even when the evidence clearly demonstrates I can't. Bite off more than you can chew, then masticate like fuck for as long as you can have always been watchwords for my life. I believe I've proven this in the past when I've toed the start line of the West Highland Way Race with nothing but two 20 mile training runs under my belt. On that occasion my cheery 'see you in Fort William' was probably an indication of my delirium rather than any positivity.

Never before will I have arrived in Milngavie so well trained and prepared. And on this occasion I only need to make it to the half way-ish point of the West Highland Way. But never before has so much doubt crowded my mind and affected my spirit. The injury that refuses to go away is still with me and I fully expect it to make itself known tomorrow somewhere on that beautiful course. I guess it all depends where and how hard it wants to bite.

Let me give you some idea of how this injury manifests itself and the problems it causes. Any run up to around ten miles is a piece of piss. I can run at a seven minute miling pace quite comfortably (providing the course is flattish) or I can back off and run slower with a game plan of retaining energy for a much longer distance. But regardless of how fast I run, after ten miles my lower back starts to ache. Then, as the miles increase, my hamstrings begin to noticeably tighten up and the ache in my back becomes a dull pain. I can feel my stride shortening as the hammies become like taut cables and the pain becomes sharper. Then the change in gait seems to affect my ankles and my feet start to numb.

'Toughen the fuck up, you blouse!!' I can hear you cry.

Of course I can toughen the fuck up and crack on. But it doesn't make the experience pleasurable and the last time I spent money and travelled to experience pain and suffering I was a member of a Sado Masochistic sex group (actually I wasn't, and never have been, but you get the idea).

I guess what I'm saying is, in order to look forward to my main goal, the West Highland Way Race in June, I really need a positive experience tomorrow, and to be honest given the evidence before me I can't see that happening.

Speaking of positive experiences, I've been a bit short of those since my arrival in Glasgow yesterday. I got off the train in a strange land where men wear skirts and women have a hierarchical system based on the number of their remaining teeth (competition to head that hierarchy is so great that Fiona Rennie recently had some of her teeth torn out so that she could become chief mama).

I'd had a wee refreshment on the train, as is my custom, and headed up Argyle Street toward Merchant City with Mason (dog) to meet Mrs Mac from work. She had booked my ticket to time my arrival to accommodate a foot journey around the city (I recently got off the train and took an unintended detour to reach her). Unbeknown to her on this occasion I took the most direct route and was outside her place of employment within 10 minutes.

Not a problem, there's a rather nice O'Neill's public house that serves a very good pint of Arthur's Black Gold just around the corner (Ok, it's a plastic chain establishment, but it's quite nice inside).

So Mason (dog) and I bowl through the door and head up to the bar. Behind said bar stands a potato headed fella with John Lennon glasses.

'A pint of Guinness and a bottle of water for the pooch please, Landlord,' I say in my finest Cockney accent.

'We don't allow dogs,' comes the answer from Potato Head.

I blink, think this through, and then say 'This is an Irish pub. Last time I was in Ireland there were dogs in every pub I went in.'

'This is not an Irish pub,' I'm firmly informed by the spud headed twat. 'This is an Irish themed pub.'

'Why can't my dog come in then?' I ask.

'Because we serve food,' states Potato Head.

'Where's the link?' I ask. 'What has my dog got to do with the fact that you serve some microwaved crap to your drunken punters?'

Potato Head smirks and says: 'Hygiene.'

'Fuck me!' I reply. 'The walking virus farm that's dressed in chef's whites and is presently stood outside the side door smoking is responsible for preparing and cooking your food. My dog is cleaner than him!'

30 seconds later I'm stood outside with the words 'you're barred, fuck off or I'm calling the police' ringing in my ears.

This altercation is timed perfectly with Mrs Mac leaving her work and a big row when she supported the publican's stance.

I don't think me analogising my battle with an International pub brand with some of my Dunkirk spirited race starts really washed.

Hey, ho! Maybe my lack of success against the Potato bonced employee of O'Neill's will be balanced by a victorious showing at the Fling.

Check in soon to see.



Thomas said...

You need to learn to pick your battles, mate! No, not the publican, or the police had it come to that. That's not it. But you have no chance against Mrs Mac, so why even try!

Subversive Runner said...

Of course you are right, Thomas. I believe I may have been emboldened by the refreshment on the train :-/

GERRY said...

Dave I hope this has not blemished your love for our cultured city. In fact in certain areas Mason would be more welcome than the guy holding the lead!

Subversive Runner said...

To be fair, mate the pub is a chain establishment that pretends to be Irish and it takes custom away from the city's more traditional boozers. What's more the bar tender was English. So if I did allow this altercation to colour my opinion of your fair city I'd be pretty short sighted. I'm sure too that there are places where Mason would be received more readily than me but I can do a pretty mean Glasweigan accent ;-)