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7:56 p.m. - 2006-10-17
The Unhealthiness of the Short-Distance Runner
I turned in very early last night but couldn't sleep so I read a couple of Damon Runyon stories and listened to 'Jeremy Hardy speaks to the Nation', which eventually sent me to sleep at about midnight (no reflection on Jezza).
Then came the dream -

I was in a pub on North Road in Durham. I bought a pint and walked across the road to the bus station, where the timetable said that my bus was leaving in five minutes. I decided that I'd walk down to the next stop instead of waiting around, so I strolled away down the road, sipping at my drink as I went. I seemed to know a lot of people on the street since I kept stopping to say hello and exchange a few words with various individuals and groups, and I was getting a bit anxious that I might not finish my pint in time for the bus, but I got to the bus stop in good time and sat down on a bench by the roundabout. Then I heard the sound of a police siren, and saw a strangely futuristic looking bike headed across the bridge towards me, which I assumed was pursuing a vehicle, but the rider stopped in front of me and I realised then that I was in some kind of serious trouble for stealing the pint glass..........end of dream. I woke up, looked at my watch, 4.45 a.m., and realised it was time to go out for a run. A run? A fucking run???? I don't run. I don't run because it's boring and miserable and always feels like a chore. I used to cycle a lot, and I was as fit as a streamlined fiddle with go-faster stripes. I had a pulse rate so slow you could scarcely count it, I was Mr Stamina, but that was 'used to', strictly past tense. I'm a 'used to' kind of bloke. Even when I was healthy though, I hated running, as all right-minded persons should. But I found myself at just after 5 in the morning doing a few basic stretches and going out for A RUN in THE RAIN, with no idea why. I hadn't thought of it the night before, but in some way it felt like it was linked to the dream I had. Of course, it was hard work. I had jelly legs, chest pains and a strong desire to puke after about half a mile, but after a bit of a rest / a near-death experience, I finished a fairly easy circuit. And that's it.



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