It’s not been a good year for cycling. Usually what happens is around early March I look out of my window and decide it is now light enough to pull the bike out of the shed and start doing some preparation for cycling to work. I don’t do it during the darker months as motorists are happy enough to kill you when they can see you, let alone when they can’t.
This year a combination of things has stopped me. Firstly: I’ve been working at home a lot, something that I had never really done until about 18 months ago. It’s very tempting of a morning to have the extra hour in bed that working from home allows you, especially when the alternative is a 2 hour commute on public transport, followed by 2 hours to get home.
Secondly: I’ve been very busy most evenings, meaning that I often have to be out again within an hour or so of finishing work: something which can be quite tiring for someone as anti-social as I can be (if you ever go to a party and see someone on the sofa with a book – well, it could easily be me)
Finally: there is the rain. This has what has, ultimately, led to the Christmas Spread (as we shall call the slight bulge under my T-shirt) failing to vanish as well as otherwise it might do. Usually, even if I were working at home every day, I would be out cycling on a Sunday morning.
My usual routine is this: wake up about 7-7:30am (I’ve never really been a late sleeper), eat some breakfast, go out on my bike for an hour or two doing anywhere between 10-25 miles depending on levels of fitness, come back and do the ironing whilst watching Vintage Sci-Fi DVD Of The Week (the only thing that keeps me sane during ironing) and finally allowing myself a hot beverage as a reward.
But ever since the brief two weeks of summer that we had at the start of May it hasn’t stopped raining. And to be honest cycling for pleasure just isn’t pleasurable in the rain.
So barely 10 days ago I went into a local running shop and bought some proper running shoes – the type that make you feel that you can bounce like Tigger. My thought was: if the rain is stopping me cycling at the weekends then maybe I can squeeze 20 minutes in before logging on for work and still lose the Christmas Spread, at least until the sun returns once more to our wet Sunday mornings.
And I fished out my pedometer, brushed off the dust and took the car up to the local park.
Sunday came around and I looked out of the window, desperately hoping that it would be dry enough to manage a cycle – but no, it was drizzling. So I thought to myself, “Well, 20 minutes running in the rain is a lot better than an hour cycling in the rain” and headed up to the park.
Less than 20 seconds out of the door and it began to rain like the last days before Noah herded the final animals onto the ark and set sail. I sat in the car at the park, watching the rain trying to smash its way through my window and feeling grim.
Fate was on my side – the rain cleared and i took the chance, quickly working my way through the warm up excercises and trotting off (1 minute walk, 1 minute run – repeat as prescribed for up to 20 minutes) – sure i had to put up with the usual jokey comments from kids (telling me that i needed a sports bra for my man boobs), but maybe, just maybe this wasn’t going to be as bad as i thought…
What I needed now was motivation – something that would keep me going during the months to come – so last night i signed up for a half-marathon mid-way into October
Oh, and indeed, dear.
Don’t Feed The Pixies was started as a home for all the ideas that flit through my head and would otherwise be wasted. I would love to be a writer, or a musician, or a painter but work in IT and find creativity to be an odd combination of deeply pleasurable and deeply frustrating at the same time.