I spent much of my bank holiday weekend snoozing on a chair in front of the cricket. Well, I suppose that’s not entirely true: I spent much of my bank holiday weekend either out exercising, or snoozing on a chair in front of the cricket. As well as all the snoozing, I managed to squeeze in a parkrun (5km), a swim and another run of a little over 6 miles with my running club. That's not too shabby in a three day weekend that also included a Eurovision party (don't ask).
It’s been four weeks now since London, and that parkrun on Saturday was the first run since where I didn’t still feel the marathon in my legs… it was also the first in several weeks where I consciously tried to work my way back up though the gears to shake marathon pace out of my system. 23:37 is still quite a bit slower than I want to be running, but it’s a good five minutes faster than I have been running parkrun for the last few months.
As for the snoozing….. well, one of the most common, “invisible” symptoms of multiple sclerosis is fatigue. It’s “invisible” because it’s not really something that anyone else can see, and yet for lots of people, it can be devastating. Can you imagine not being able to summon the energy to even get out of bed, never mind to leave the house? Can you imagine needing a blue disabled badge for your car before you can even contemplate a trip to the supermarket? Can you imagine then being abused by people for parking in that disabled space just because they can’t see anything wrong with you?
Clearly, given that I’ve just run a marathon, my fatigue is nowhere near those sorts of levels. Even so, sometimes it feels as though a switch has been flicked and I just run out of power and basically all I’m good for is sleep. This was one of those sorts of weekends. Energy output > Energy reserves = Power down.
Mind you, I can remember my dad coming home from work in the evening and falling asleep in front of the telly before dinner. We used to laugh at the way he would start snoring into the newspaper and would then be all grumpy when he woke up, denying that he had even been asleep in the first place. Given that he would have been about my age at the time, and I find myself doing more or less exactly the same thing now...I’m not laughing so much these days.
I suppose it’s entirely possible that the reason I find myself spending my bank holiday weekend afternoons snoozing is because I’m a 41 year old man sitting in a warm dapple of sunshine watching a game of cricket on the telly after lunch and nothing at all to do with my MS.
Yeah, let’s go with that.