Day Twenty Four: Eduardo’s Road To Fitness

I woke up early yesterday, just as the vague remnants of a dream was being vaporized, preventing it from being committed to memory.  I lay there trying desperately to piece together the fragments as they hung there in cerebral space.  A yellow bulldozer.  Running.  Heat. A feeling of surpise….  It was no good the dream was gone and no amount of concentration would bring it back.

Looking back, yesterday was a day of change for me.  I bucked my routine, turned things upside down and had a pretty good day.  It wasn’t really part of a plan, however I am a firm believer that to truly benefit from training it is good to change your routine every now and then.

If, for example, you lift heavy weights and do a low number of reps all the time in the gym you will benefit from going light and doing lots of reps once in a while.  Shock yourself a bit.  Change things. Be bold.  It is so easy to get stuck into a routine with training. It applies to running.  It certainly applies to cycling.

How many of you end up with a ‘training route’.  You blast it on your mountain bike, taking the same linked paths through the woods.  Or perhaps it is on a road bike, you tackle the same hills, in the same order, in the same gear and at the same pace.  Well change it.  Do it in reverse.  If you ride it in the morning, go ride it in the evening.  It will feel different.

Yesterday I ran first thing in the morning.  This is unusual for me, as normally I run much later in the day.  It felt odd but in a nice way.  I ran in the opposite direction, starting on the sandy beach at Montgat and running along it for twenty minutes before joining the footpath for the return leg.  A thirty-five minute run in total.

Whilst I was running I had a look at the people around me. It was a different crowd.  I had changed my routine and the others out had kept to theirs.

I spotted one familiar face.  The nipple-ring guy.  I don’t think I have mentioned him before in my Blog.  He is heavily tattooed, has a pretty awful hairstyle and some huge pieces of metal thrust through both his nipples.  I first saw him running about two weeks ago and did my best not to stare at the silver accoutrements hanging from his nipples, ears, nose and lips.

The other runners were a new crowd.  Or rather I was the new boy and they were the usual crowd.  The path is used by walkers as well as runners.  One older guy, he must have been at least a hundred and twenty eleven, was walking in a pair of white plimsoles (now that is an out of date word).  Like nipple-ring guy he was sans shirt. He wore a pair of khaki shorts that looked like the trousers from a Safari Suit cut at the knee.  Around his neck was a long loop of white Velcro, with a portable radio hanging from it blasting away some wild and crazy folk music.  Someone needs to tell him about headphones.

As you may gather, my runs are really just people watching sessions.  As I ran along the beach it suddenly struck me how smooth the sand was.  It was packed quite hard and as a result was much easier to run on.  Then I saw it.  The mystery sand smoothing machine.  On some of my previous runs, conducted much later in the day, I had noticed areas of the beach where the sand was smooth.  Apart from wondering why on earth it needed smoothing, the sheer scale of the area that was smoothed out must have required a massive machine.

It was bright yellow, and roughly the size of Boston. The cab was a good twenty feet up off the ground and the tracks were easily head height. The Caterpillar was doing a fantastic job of smoothing out the sand.  Seeing it triggered my dream.  The bulldozer.  The heat. For  a split second I almost remembered the dream…and then it was gone.

It is strange how the mind works.  It is almost as strange as the people you see running on the beach.

Tomorrow should be a day off for me.  I intend to watch Rosie race her road bike, and, if all goes to plan I shall limit my exercise to some surfing later on in the afternoon and will go easy on the cheese before bedtime.


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