RICHARD ORD: Wheezy does it! The dangers of jogging in lockdown

As Father’s Day cards go, my eldest pulled out a left field one this year… a sympathy card for the bereaved.

Wednesday, 8th July 2020, 12:00 am

Spotting my raised eyebrow on opening the card, he shrugged: “Well, the corner shop didn’t have any Father’s Day cards.”

With kids like mine perhaps a sympathy card is apt.

As it was, it coincided with my attempt to get fit with regular runs. I was thinking of buying a Fitbit watch - but feared it would merely monitor my declining health.

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My times in what are relatively short runs are getting worse, not better.

Not surprising really, considering my previous training runs during lockdown have involved me racing between my fridge and bed with a can of lager.

I say I’ve been going for a run, but the casual viewer may have different word for what they see.

That the run barely breaks the ‘brisk walk’ barrier doesn’t deter me. I may only be travelling at the speed of a lame snail on roller skates, but at least I have the good grace to sound like I’m busting a gut.

I don’t so much breeze past the opposition, as wheeze past.

While my fitness has shown no sign of improving, I did manage to experience my first taste of social distance rage. And I was on the receiving end.

While jogging along the coast the other day, I had the rare opportunity to overtake. Glancing up from my ‘run’ I found the path ahead blocked by a couple walking hand-in-hand. I had to run around them by either taking the inside track against the wall or waltz out onto the road. Fully aware I’d come off second best stepping out into the traffic, I took the inside line and jogged through. A few yards later, I heard the male hurl an expletive in my direction which identified a short form of my first name and the place on which I place a hat.

Hands up! I jogged past on the inside at probably less than the 1m plus social distance guideline (I hadn’t brought my tape measure) but verbal abuse? I mean, it’s not as if I’d barged through and licked their faces for good measure.

I was tempted to ignore him, but then it dawned on me that they were the ones taking up the whole pavement. Pointing that out didn’t endear me to the lockdown lovebirds but I made my point and jogged on, acutely aware that unless I put a spurt on they were likely to stroll past me in the next 100 yards.

It nearly killed me, but resulted in a personal best. Covid rage has its plus points, though that Deepest Sympathy card was almost an apt buy…