People have stopped asking me about my hamstring. It's probably as well: it's getting boring for everyone. I haven't run a step. I do have a new friend, though: Ms Bianchi. She's made of aluminium and carbon fibre. I hope that she'll stop my VO2 from plummeting into an asthmatic rut.
I picked her up yesterday, and soon remembered how to use clip-ins and brake-head gear shifters. And this morning I woke early and couldn't get back to sleep. So I downed a good load of coffee, and took to the road. It was a beautiful, warm, sunny morning, with only the faintest of mists rising from the fens, the breeze perfect for summer lycra. Somehow, however, while my legs and lungs presented no problem, my hands went numb, as if I was doing the death vice grip. I could barely change gear, or lift my hands from the drops. Seldom do technical problems present themselves in running. I wasn't even sure I was going to be able to get home. If a lorry didn't smash me into the ditch, I would fall off in any case, unable to manoeuvre.
By the time I reached Swaffham Bulbeck (via Midsummer Common, the river, Fen Ditton and then Quy and Lode), I was thinking of my friend Dean. Dean lost the use of a knee last year, and had to stop running. He has successfully returned, however, to his main sport, cycling. And last weekend he was involved in a two-day 600k race. That's a very long race. I'd only done about 16k, and was already contemplating my demise. I haven't heard from him since he set off ... does anyone know his whereabouts?
An hour after setting off, at about 6:30, I arrived at Nicky's house in Burwell. No one was awake. I stood outside her bedroom window and threw stones at it. I kept on missing, because my hands were numb. I called out and eventually she came downstairs and let me in. I made her a cup of tea, and set off home again. Could this be romance, I asked myself? This time my hands didn't feel so bad, and I made it in time to take the loaf out of the breadmaker. I miss running, but there's nothing like an early morning ride. I just need to fix the hands business - perhaps a month of intensively watching cycling on the TV would do it?
Normal service will be resumed shortly; in the meantime say hello to Ms Bianchi.J