11:27AM, Wednesday 28 August 2019
With just over a month until half-marathon time, this week I decided to up my training - doing more runs, more hills and putting in more effort. So, naturally, I will be spending most of this week’s blog talking about… badgers! That’s right. I saw a badger for the first time ever and I’m very very excited about it.
Ok, so it wasn’t the first time I’ve actually seen a badger, but it was the first one that I’ve seen that wasn’t lying on the side of the road with its guts hanging out. While badgers may be common fare for some of the country folk reading this, I’ve spent my whole life living in the London suburbs, where the apex predator is the scrawny urban fox, so a badger is pretty exciting for me.
I spotted the badger mid-way through my first run of the week. Me and dad ran three miles to a steep hill near Richmond Park, ran halfway up it three times, and ran back home again - my longest training run so far. It was when we were climbing the hill for the second time, in the dark, that a round-ish shape emerged from a hedge and crossed the road about five metres in front of me.
At first glance, I thought it was a fox - ten a penny in these parts. But it was bulkier than a fox - a chubby cat maybe? No, this was way bigger than a cat. It was only when it was half-way across the road and fully out in the open, about five meters in front of me, that I realised it was a badger - I was very excited! It felt like a reward from the universe for pushing myself up that huge hill.
Of course, I have now told everyone I’ve encountered since then that I saw a badger. Mum was quite excited (in hindsight, she could have been pretending) and pretty much everyone else was nonplussed. Perfect for the blog, I thought.
Pleased with myself for a successful run earlier in the week, I had a day off on Friday and decided to go on my second. This time I went out on my own, and the going was noticeably tougher. It’s hard to explain, but running is often more difficult on your own than with a partner. When you’re running with somebody you feel like you can’t let them down, and you can chat with them a bit to keep your mind off the pain.
This four-mile run was also different in that Friday was the first day of that weird four-day heat wave we went through over the bank holiday weekend, and I got sweaty. Like, shiny sweaty. Like, salt crystals on your skin sweaty. It was actually pretty gross.
I even took a picture of myself as evidence. Sadly, I was too slow to catch a snap of the elusive badger, so I had to use a shiny selfie for this week’s blog instead - enjoy!
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