Honk honk, Alpha Ape

From talking to people far and wide, the issue I implore you to discuss with me is one which has repurcutions felt not only nationally, but worldwide.


That got your attention right?

The issue I deliberate on is the alpha ape vehicle driver. We all know them, we see them day in and day out whisking their through traffic just daring you to challenge them. No I use the none gender specific description of ape as I have found no links between gender and this type of road rage. In fact, equality advocates would probably class it as a win.

An example, if you will. Whilst driving into the city centre the other day I stopped at a red light and waited my turn. It was rush hour and the traffic crossing in front of my was moving slowly, but as the traffic lights changed, my path was clear. As I accelerated – and even accelerated is a dramatic turn of phrase for how fast my car moved – a gentleman, who had been stuck in the right hand turn side of his lane (to go in my direction) put pedal to the metal, and like a bat out of hell charged towards the front side of my car as I passed.
I stopped my car, which as I said – was not moving very fast, and allowed this imbecile to go in front. Fine? Sure. I was quite happy with the outcome, having trained myself recently to drive defensively at all times, no matter what happens. What I was not prepared for was the barracking I received off the driver I let in. His face contorted in a painful grimace, hands gesticulating in what can only be described as the Devils Macarena and I assume a torrent of foul language, as I could not hear him, spewing from his fetid mouth.

I could not understand why I had irked him so much, but it quickly dawned on me which sin I had committed. Merely being there on the road and becoming an obstacle as the gentleman ran his red light was the fuse to blow the dynamite.

I have com to the decision that it is lack of intelligence that leads to this behaviour. It’s the ultimate one up man ship as these white van drivers, taxi drivers, daily commuters and school runners just think that they are better than everyone else. Quite happy to take other people’s lives in their hands just to gain a second on their journey time.

As mentioned earlier, it is not a bespoke trait for men either and sometimes the abuse you get off women would make the biggest of hard face men quiver in their 110’s.

I think for now I will sit back and let the world go mad by itself. Life is far too short.
What are your experiences with these sorts of drivers? Or what do th think could be done to stop them?

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Pavement pounding

Recent picture, pre-run, obviously looking forward to it. 29.09.2015

At the beginning of the year it is safe to say that I wasn’t feeling happy biologically. I felt slow, lumbered and in a pretty shitty mood. I decided it was my general health and fitness that was the cause of my perpetual grief, so I decided to do something about it – pulling on my running shoes and shorts and getting out onto the open road.


My first few runs, when I look back now, were pretty abysmal, though were expected of someone who had done little more than walking to the fridge for exercise in the previous 12 months. I was averaging around a mile and a half and I’d come back sweating, sore and feeling worse than when I started.

However.

It was amazing how fast this changed. Like the changing of the tide, I awoke the next morning with a spring in my step, my lungs felt great – like a muscle that has been stretched and is ready to tackle the days work. I no longer felt downtrodden and tired. I had slept better than ever due to my excursion and had awoken a new man!

I endeavoured.

Six months later and I had been running once or twice a week, periodically I admit, usually using the excuse of “not having enough time” to go for a run. It is an excuse people in the fitness industry, most probably, hear a lot – but it’s ridiculous. Even if you put aside 40 minutes of your day, you can get a great run in. For those even more pushed for time, a surface skimming search on Google can unearth some fantastic pulse racing, lung busting exercises that can be completed in 20 minutes.

There is no excuse.*

When I started running I set my sights on each kilometre.

1K .. 2K… 3K…

Then after 3k was down, I dived head first into my first 5k run.

It was tough and it took its toll. Unlike the runs I was performing twice a week, I didn’t enjoy my first 5k as much as I thought I would. I harked back to younger days when I played Rugby for my secondary school and could breeze through a 5k in 25-30 minutes, but this time around I was pushing on 40.

Flash forward  and I have had an outrageously busy year. Work picked up, we moved house and my running schedule took a hit over Christmas. I had lagged too far behind the pack and was now struggling to get back into it. Then a few months ago I began again. I started using an app called “Zombies, Run!” and it was a revelation. An audiobook style running companion that tells a tale, incorporating sprints and objectives to your standard everyday runs.

I began clocking up the miles again and within a few weeks I had burnt through 6/7 4k runs on my new route and finally decided to tackle the 5k once more.

First 5K back into training
First 5K back into training

I felt a lot better than the first time I had tried the 5k. Something was different, maybe it was an easier route, or maybe after weeks of longing to make something of my self the simplest thing had occurred – a change in my attitude.

Change can be big or small, obvious or discreet. Sometimes it can even be bad – but for me, the smallest change in my attitude towards running made the world of difference. My choice of run is a 5k and I feel disappointed when I can’t complete the distance. Within a week or so of finishing the 5k pictured above, I set myself a new target – 10k.

Ridiculous isn’t it? Someone who runs 5k in 38 minutes wants to run a 10k?

Not ridiculous, it’s a target, an ambition, a goal.

It’s one that I hope to achieve quickly, as you see I have signed up for two 10k races in November, one of them being Men’s Health Survival of the Fittest and I fully intend on smashing them both. Initially I don’t care what time I bring in, I just want to finish the distance. Then I will know whether that small change was really worth it.

For now, I will focus on bringing my 5K time down, at least for a couple of weeks, then I will begin to really push the distance. Then, hopefully by the time the 7th of November rolls around, with a bit of will power, adrenaline and foolish confidence, I will be able to drag myself over the line with the rest of my team.

Latest 5K, time falling.
Latest 5K, time falling.

*unless there is some sort of underlying medical condition – in that case you’re okay.