Feel slightly brighter, bug seems to have subsided a little and settled into mild head fuzziness / slight snot. Knees seem OK-ish. I cannot wait, I have to go out and run, and see if the legs hold up. I decide not to set a target (even though I know this isn’t the greatest plan psychologically). Head out to Clissold Park in the tights, but without the knee supports or any ibuprofen in my system – I want to know how the knees are feeling, unmasked. I take a bottle of the homemade fluid replacement; this can be handily dumped in a bush on the ‘cross-country’ section at the north end of the park. On the run out towards the east gate the kneecaps are a little painful. This has happened in the first mile several times before, so I don’t worry too much. Who am I kidding? I hate this churning, paranoid shit. Then the pain in the left one fades, and then the right dulls. Whoo! After two circuits (5k), the pain comes back in the tip of my kneecaps, alternating, teasing, daring me to push it, and after four circuits I start getting a strain in my lower calf on my right leg. Fucking rat’s cocks. Never felt this before, suspect it may be overcompensation for something. For the first time in the park I run clockwise as well as anti-clockwise just in case I am favouring one leg or the other. Parts of the run feel pretty good, CV system seems to be holding up. The park is lovely and busy in the late-afternoon. Tail end of the summer. Soon winter will be in and it’ll be left to the runners and the tai-chi wotsits. I listen to all of Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Darkness On The Edge Of Town’ (too slow, too melancholic) and the new Eux Autres album (better).

Eventually the calf strain starts nagging louder and I limp home having done around 9.5k (6 miles) with several stops to stretch and massage kneecaps. According to the schedule, I should have done a 14 miler (at least) this weekend. Bath. Wine. Film. Bed. Twitchy, distracted, snotty sleep. Remember that’s it’s not good to run when tired or sick, too late, too late.

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