It's a beautiful evening in Nottingham tonight: cool and clear. A perfect night for a five mile run with running club. I'm due the steroid injection in my foot tomorrow morning, and I wasn't feeling great when I started, but I pushed myself hard and was blowing quite hard by the time I finished.
As I got my breath back, I started chatting with a girl who I overtook in the last 100m. She was full of excitement about the fact that she had stopped to help another runner along the way, only to find out that they were walking because they had "stomach cramps".
"You mean you need a poo?"
Apparently, yes.... this poor guy had been hoping to slip into a pub on the way back without attracting any attention, but apparently he ran into the wrong person. He was mortified, when he came out, to find that she was busy telling everyone about his predicament.
He looked a bit disgruntled. "I hate the word 'poo'"
"Is number two any better?"
"I used to know a girl at school called Sue. We all went abseiling one day, and she was wearing these white jeans. When she slipped, we all saw the big brown mark spreading across her trousers. We called her 'brown trousers' from then on..."
Etc. (If it was up to me, I'd've gone for something much more obvious that rhymed with Sue....)
We walked back into the shop together to sign out. As she got there first, she asked me to point out my name on the sheet so that she could sign me out too.
"You're called Tim?"
"Yes, I'm afraid I am"
"You don't look like a Tim"
"Really? What do I look like?"
"You look like a Jake or something like that".
"Oh no, I can't be a Jake. My wife's brother is called Jake and it would be far too confusing".
"Well, my boyfriend and my brother have got the same name and we manage. Do you mind if I guess how old you are?"
"Um. Not really."
"Hmm. You look like one of those guys who is looking better as they get older. I'm going to say.... 36. You look younger than that, but I think you're probably older. Am I close?"
"Very good. I'm 38."
At this point Stomach Cramps turned up for a drink. Unfortunately for him, she wasn't done guessing ages yet.
"You look pretty young. No wrinkles. I'm going to say 25"
He was 20. Young enough to have forgotten to go to the loo before he went for a run, anyway. She still wasn't finished.
"Guess how old I am"
Now, I'm old enough and wise enough not to get involved in this game. Stomach Cramps, however, was not so wise.
"You think I look that old? Oh my God. I'm 23!"
I'd just run a hard 5 miles and I really wasn't ready for this kind of bombardment by a force of nature like this. But hey! She thinks I'm one of those guys who is looking better as they get older, so she can't be all bad, eh?
When plans change
1 week ago