Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Tortoise and the Hare

Erm....confession time. This training stuff. The Kili 5 are supposed to be honing every sinew, muscle and other body part into peak condition for our assault on Kilimanjaro next February.
I had really good intentions, honest. Even rejoined the gym and had a fitness programme written especially for me.
But after the epic Holloway Hill x 50 effort my calves and hamstrings tightened up like a 6th form debater's nerves before the final of a big competition. And I didn't want to risk anything pinging on the treadmill before zooming off to the piste for our annual pilgrimage in search of powder, vin chaud and poulet et frites.
Before we hit the slopes I saw the physio about these tight old muscles. See, I wasn't joking. Aussie Steve from Bevan Wilson, operating from Charterhouse gym. What a nice guy, for an Antipodean, and a really good physio. He helped me out last year with a chronic back problem and has a knack of relating the affliction to the science of the body, but in a simple idiot-friendly way. Just don't let him loose on you during an Ashes series...especially when we're actually winning for once.
This time around he took me to task for the state of my 1980s trainers. Pointed out that there wasn't actually a lot of tread left on them, which certainly wasn't helping the matter at hand, as it were. He recommended going to a specialist running shoe place called the Tortoise and the Hare, over at Smithbrook Kilns near Cranleigh.
So off I finally trotted - well, hobbled - last Saturday, after realising that just walking to work on London concrete was actually quite painful. All my life I've just popped down the local Clarke's and picked up a pair of old Dunlop Green Flash. But even before I sat down the Tortoise, or perhaps it was the Hare, had seen that I was collapsing my arches, or something, and was wearing away a particular part of the shoe much quicker than the rest. Amazing.
20 minutes of enlightening personal attention later I was the proud, if impoverished, owner of 2 shiny new pairs of trainers costing £126. For both, not each. After a cannily negotiated 10% discount too, and as soon as I had checked that I could top up my mortgage. One for the gym resurrection and one for my city pavement pounding. But they fit like a glove, or something equally snug and comforting, and hopefully will get me back on track for the Kili50 challenge next February. Slow and steady wins the race, after all.


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