DIARY: Cold days

With the news of impending snow hanging over the valley cottage, my wheels were more of a concern than my legs for once. A late night call by the AA had removed the damaged winter tyre and replaced it with an old summer tyre that had been stowed in my boot for quite some time.

Meanwhile I was surprised how quickly my legs were recovering from Sunday’s wet journey across the Wicklow Gap and while I dosed down the training to balance out the unplanned length of the run, I had no trouble doing pleasant jogs both Monday and Tuesday. Unfortunately, I knew “something was brewing”, from the moment I stepped in the door and out of the rain on Sunday I had a burning sensation in my throat and right enough, I can feel my temperature rising and the strength waning somewhat. This must be a record number of cold within a 12-month period signalling that either it’s just a bad year or not all is right in the health department. I tend to blame the two-hour daily commute, driving is a stressful activity at the best of times and sitting in a banged up old car for two hours every day cannot be good for the health.

Either way, I hope I recover better than the car: by the morning I tried the trip out but the front of the car was shaking uncontrollably, so I needed to abandon the journey and called back my trusty friends in the AA (not the drinking ones). They corroborated what my own mechanic had speculated to me on the phone a bit earlier: the replacement tyre was damaged. Luckily, in the light of day the rescue mechanic was able to find the problem with the winter tyre. It had a damaged wheel-cap, seemingly from a collision, which caused air to seep out an a rapid rate. Many hearty blows of a hammer seems to have sorted the problem out for now.

This is where the car and I part ways in terms of injury status, however. My ankle is now recovering after each workout and with 50km under the belt in the first three days, only a bad worsening of my cold should stop me getting back to 100km this week. My car on the other hand, also needs a new timing belt and a new front right shock (interestingly, my “right shock” is the problem too!). So every time I get into the car, I know it could potentially give out any moment. A broken timing belt is essentially the car equivalent of a stroke, so not something you want to happen. The logistics will be tricky but I’m hoping to have the vehicle picked up for the substantial repair job this entails leading into the weekend. Good thing Aoife will be back as we need to go to Dublin both to test Suzanne Kenny’s new “Anti-Gravity Yoga” and attend the Crusaders Social.

Bet of the year perhaps: who will give out first from the mileage – me or the Avensis?