I was very sluggish to get out of bed this morning; exhaustion turned to dismay when I looked at the fridge and discovered I was meant to run 3 miles today. I filled a bottle with water and trudged out into the sunshine.
The reason I’m so knackered is not because Hal Higdon’s 5k training plan is particularly cruel; it’s self-inflicted stupidity. On Friday night I downloaded a demo of the Kinect Fitness game, and alarmed my wife by swearing and sweating in equal measure, as well as banging into various pieces of furniture and punching the ceiling fan once. Still, I was impressed enough to think it was a good idea to buy a copy, which meant horsing about round Singapore to find the only copy in the country (hidden in HMV on Somerset Road, with a baleful warning that it would only work on NTSC-J Xboxes – fortunately my Hong Kong Xbox cares little for regioning, and placidly plays PAL and NTSC-J and anything else without complaint).
I’d already put in an undeservedly quick 4 miles on Saturday morning. I say undeserved because I was up till stupid-o’clock on Friday night playing violent videogames, and eating the wrong sort of food, and yet I still went 30 seconds faster than I did the previous week. It’s all very strange. Perhaps it’s because I ran the route the opposite way to last week. Or it was Magical Socks. However, that 4 mile hammering meant my legs were weak and weedy, which in turn wasn’t helped by walking all over Singapore in the day, then walking all the way back from the Regina Spektor concert at the Esplanade in the evening, or helping myself to a stiff G&T when I got home and then drunkenly yelling on Skype at a man in Scotland.
So Sunday came, and off I went for a 65 minute run, which like last week’s 60 minute run was a special sort of dull hell. I got home, turned on the Xbox and then went through an agonising fitness test, where I turned out to be much less fit than I had been on the test I did on Friday night on the demo. This had shades of the time I signed up for a gym in Hong Kong, and the first fitness test they did showed I had Olympian levels of athleticism, and the second test showed I was near-death and needed a comprehensive training plan.
Maybe it wasn’t deceit. Maybe it’s because it’s a bit harder to crank through a bunch of squats and lunges if your legs are jelly from the last three days of exercise.
Ah well, I wasn’t going to give up. I did a bunch of fairly silly exercises, which mostly involve jumping around and crashing into furniture, culminating in some sort of idiocy from Takeshi’s Castle, and then had to take another shower before my wife’s disgust-meter exploded. And then I went back to bed. Quite productive, for 10:30 on a Sunday morning.
I was, of course, a broken man. Today, with that weird sense that you can almost feel your muscles aren’t getting the sugary goodness you need, and the deadness in my legs, I knew that I’d been overdoing it. My wife’s admonitions that I was going mental on the exercise were quite right – and now, after rearranging the sofa to make the room compatible with the Kinect, I’m going to have to ration myself to just a short workout every week, and not half an hour of anaerobic grunting every day. How will I cope?