Archive for December, 2008

Week minus seven – collecting cats

December 21, 2008

“I hate china cats, but that one is actually all right.” Those were the fateful eleven words I said to Helen, my wife, some years ago.  “Why fateful?” you ask. Because ever since that day I have been a “collector” of china cats whether I like them or not (and it really is not).  Helen and our friend Suzanne delight in finding china cats in charity shops to add to my “collection”.  Helen recently returned from a trip to Cornwall with eleven of the little lovelies which she had found. There were tears in my eyes that day, I can tell you. 

So over the years I have built up a couple of bowls full of them, which I mostly put under the bed. So this year to ensure my collection was taken to the next level, as it were, Helen bought me a display case and this week after months of avoiding it, the case was put on the wall and the cats finally put on display for all to see.  And do you know what? Hideous as they mostly are, put on display like that I actually find myself having a little look in the case as I go past and smiling at the amazing weirdness of them. People sat down and designed an produced these extraordinary things.  And I feel a little bit pleased to have them out there now.

“That’s all terribly interesting, Allan,” You may (or more probably may not) be saying, “But what the devil has it got to do with running or fundraising?”  Well not much really.  But last weekend I went running and I had one of the worst runs of my life.  I ran with speed and general demeanor of a wounded Water Buffalo.  This weekend I went running with Helen and we ran together and talked and I ran better than I have since the operation. It was a very short run but it was one that felt OK.

And I have had a lot of support from lots of people during my training for the marathon and since. And people have helped me to get back out there running and encouraged me to stick with the blogging.  So that’s a bit like the cats really.  You know, something terrible surprising you by getting a bit better after all.

Clutching at straws really, I know.  But at least I’m blogging. And I bet you can’t wait to see pictures of the cats! (Next time maybe.)

Hope you all have a great festive season and holiday if you are having one. 

I’ll be back in 2009, hoping to run for NCT again!

This week’s haiku:

“I hate china cats.”
But the cats kept appearing.
Now I quite like them.


Week minus five or something – what next?

December 8, 2008

Sorry for the delay in writing this.

I have been struggling with what to write. I went to New York with Helen, my wife, anyway, even though the marathon was off the agenda. And I had a fantastic time. Saw Paula Radcliffe win the New York Marathon again. We were there for the election and it was great being there for what felt like a very historic moment. I met an old school friend, Nick, who I haven’t seen for 25 years or more (the wonders of facebook). And of course ate at Balthazar more than once. But as we all know from the infamous “mushroom” blog my enjoyable holidays tend to make for a dull post.

I could go into further detail about my medical situation, but I thought that might be too gruesome, as Daffy Duck would say.

And then I read an article about Slow Blogging . Which is a “movement” whereby a blogger only blogs when they have something interesting to say – which seemed to fit my blogosophy (yes, blogosophy). Or is that just an excuse for laziness?

I was finally spurred into action for this blog by the fact that someone left the RunAllanRun facebook group – presumably due to the lack of activity. And why does that matter?  Well many of you have been kind enough to say that you enjoy reading my blog, and well gosh darn it, I rather like that appreciation.  So as you can already see, of course the solution was obvious – a blog about the blog! That old post-modern standby that has served me so well!

So it struck me that I have lost the blogging spirit while I have not been able to run while recuperating from the surgery. However, I am now starting to run again. A little light jogging – but hoping to build up. I also weighed myself for the first time since the operation and was shocked at the amount I have put on in these two months of inactivity. And all of this has got me wanting to blog again. (That and the terrible vanishing facebook group.)

So it seems that blogging and running/training are now linked in my mind in some Pavlovian way. Which is quite interesting really because the blog was not really about the running as far as I was concerned.

One thing in particular about New York and being there on the day of the marathon this year that was “difficult” for me, was being on the Subway with lots and lots of people who had finished the marathon. They were wearing their medals and T-shirts and wrapped in tin foil blankets and I thought that it should have been me! And it made me think, “Well why not next year?”. And then I was able to reply, “Because of the artery thing, you idiot!” To which I could say, “But that’s better now. And anyway it will give me something to blog about for the next 12 months!” To which I was again able to reply, “Yes, but what about the whole artery/surgery/scary death thing?” To which I reply, “But I want to run the marathon…”

So there you go – a bit of internal conflict again. (Still under control, though, no “Kill. Kill. Kill ” voices, you’ll be glad to know.) Looks like I am getting the blogging mojo back!

The couple of runs I have done have been rubbish – like I am starting all over again. You may think the same about the blogging. I agree this is not the best blog posting I have ever done.  (I personally like the Green Eggs & Ham vs Mr Men one.) But like the running, it feels like I am starting again. So maybe next year, if I am still running and still blogging (and you are still reading) you will be able to see a different picture of me at the finish line of the New York Marathon than the one below. (I mean one which shows me having run the marathon, rather than just standing at the finish having taken the subway there.)

NY marathon finish line

NY marathon finish line

I want to write blogs
I want to run marathons
Let’s see what happens.