Where to start? How about Friday evening? In fact, how about Friday afternoon.
As I had a half-day I took the opportunity to head to Achilles Heel, a running shop on Great Western Road, where Steven fitted me for my first pair of proper running shoes. If you are shopping for anything that can be considered ‘specialist’ then it’s always best to get good advice, and I have to say that I was hugely impressed with the service at Achilles Heel.
First up he analysed my gait to see what kind of trainer I needed. Depending on which way your foot rolls you can get running shoes that will help support and correct the motion, all of which should lead to fewer injuries and eliminate most aches and pains. After having me walk up and down the store in my bare feet, and checking my current trainers, he said that I had a perfectly neutral gait and would just need a good pair of cushioned running shoes.
He brought out, in total, 6 different pairs for me. Had me try them all on, walk up and down the store, and was quite happy for me to try on a pair a second or third time, in fact he encouraged me to make sure I got the right shoe for my feet.
Happy with my purchase I drove down to Dumbarton as we were having dinner cooked by my brother-in-law, an excellent cook, that night. My Mum and Dad were out for lunch so I grabbed my running kit and headed over to Levengrove Park for my first run in my new shoes.
On Wednesday night I’d had a little niggle, the start of shin splints (which I’ve had before). So I was a little apprehensive as I laced up my new shoes. However they were a joy on my feet, and having now run in them a second time on Sunday I’m delighted that there wasn’t a hint of pain anywhere. Yay!
Dinner was fabulous, and I had a little too much to drink but then so did everyone else. We all had a great time, and I distinctly remember dancing and singing at one point…
Around 3 a.m. we decided to go, Louise wanted to walk and try and flag a taxi down, which was fine with me. We were staying with my Mum and Dad and it’s only a couple of miles. However it took us a little longer because we got sidetracked.
No, not like that (perverts) we stopped to play on a set of swings!! I’ve not been on a swing for years, and certainly not been on one when I’ve had a shandy or three (ok ok, it was more like… eight) so it was quite an experience. We finally stumbled upstairs to bed around 4.15 a.m.
Which made waking up at the back of 9 the next morning… interesting. We headed home in the afternoon, had a cup of coffee with Louise’s Dad (he’d popped over to see us) and despite both of us yawning for Scotland, we ended up watching Coming to America and not getting to bed until about midnight.
Sunday morning and I wasn’t really looking forward to my jog. Lack of sleep the night before wasn’t going to help and neither was the fact that my ugly mug had appeared in the Sunday Mail that morning! They ran a feature on JogScotland and had come down to the class on Wednesday night. Despite taking hundreds of photos that I WASN’T in, they decided to use one of the few that I was… For those of you who bought, and still have, the paper, I’m the guy on the far right. And yes, I think they cropped my head!
Thankfully we didn’t get TOO much of a slagging from everyone else.
And then, it was Sunday night.