I sleepily open my eyes – the red numbers of my clock tell me it’s 23:45. I peer outside my bedroom window – there’s a white van parked opposite my terraced house and 2 men in high-viz jackets pounding the pavement less than 3 metres from me with what looks like Thor’s hammer.
But, they stop after 10 minutes or-so, pack up and drive off – thank God for that I think and slip back off to sleep…
BANG… RUMBLE… CRASH… WHIRR…
FFS! The clock now reads 01:15 – they’re back with heavy machinery, one of those mini-diggers is being unloaded from a trailer and Thor is back creating thunderous tremors through my house! Time to get up and see what’s going on…
“Hi chaps – what’s the story? I’m trying to sleep up ‘there'” I wearily moan, pointing to my bedroom window
“Sorry mate – emergency repair, we’ll be about 2 hours – none of this street has power until then”
I shuffle back indoors, I still have power – thought I’d better not mention it., time for a cup of tea… CLICK – everything goes black as electricity buggers off and leaves me alone in the darkness. Bollocks!
So – what am I going to do, I’ve got at least 2 hours to kill with no electricity or heating while a team of white van men create more noise and rumblings than a group of elephants at a “how high can you jump” competition!
Go for a run…? It’s 01:30am, cold, wet and windy – but I have a 10-miler scheduled for 6am
I hit the streets, giving the elephants a dirty look on the way – they stare in disbelief – No, you weren’t expecting that were you?
I head towards Cardiff City Centre composing my letter of complaint, “Dear Western Electric, I was woken this morning….” it starts. As I pass The Millennium Stadium I remember there’s a parallel universe of pubs and clubs and the flashing blue lights and noise probably isn’t the end of a race… Quickly, I turn up the river Taff and off on a route that hopefully is a bit quieter.
Running works it’s magic, and by mile 3 I’ve re-structured my letter of complaint – by mile 6 I’m almost thinking of sending them a Thank You card for providing me an opportunity to run tonight. Yes it’s raining, windy and cold but the miles fly past on the quiet streets of Cardiff…
Mile 7 and I turn back towards the City Centre, past a few groups of students staggering home. The smell of kebabs, chips and beer wafts past nostalgically every now and again, I don’t miss it any more though – it’s a bit like the occasional smell of tobacco smoke reminds me of cigarettes. A group of girls wolf-whistle, they weren’t expecting to see a man in wet shorts tonight!
10 miles and nearly home, I start thinking about Forest Gump and Dean Karnazes – should I ditch the corporate lifestyle, grab my credit card and head off into the night. Just keep running, see what happens, head for Europe and disappear into legend?
“Finished mate… Go Far? Training for London?” one of the high-viz elephants asks as I get back to my front door
“Only 10 miles – and no, I’m training for an ultramarathon – 50 miles” I answer cheerily
The elephants all look at me as if I have just stepped off another planet, and start packing their tools a little more quickly.
Back home, a cup of tea and suitably refuelled I’m back off to bed.
BUZZ… BUZZ… Refreshed and awake, I open my eyes 07:30 the red letters read.
Sometimes it’s great to be a runner