So I set my alarm for 6am - I've not consciously tried to get up at 6 for some time. It went well. I got up about 6:18, performed some ablutions, then went downstairs to sit on the turbo trainer.
I was only on it for 22 minutes or so, but I was streaming with sweat afterward; I tend to move the pedals at a much, much higher cadence than I do on the road. Hopefully it will rub off on the road, with improved speeds or something.
Where was I? Oh, yeah. Sweat pouring off me. Then it was time for Annie's bath so I got her ready, and Fern got in, waiting for me to pass her across. Just after, I heard the dogs barking.
For clarification, we have two dogs – or, I have one and Fern has one. Fern's is a six-month-old puppy, a huntaway, which is a New Zealand sheepdog. Basically, their version of a collie directs these massive flocks from the front, while a group of huntaways work the back, driving the sheep. They are big, strong dogs with incredible stamina, and a hell of a bark. High maintenance, as any working breed usually is, but also great running partners, especially for those fancying trying their hand at ultras, as Fern is (and at which she has already done very well).
So I head downstairs to see what the fuss is about, and both dogs want to be let out - Millie, who is nearly 15 years old and quite the Wonder Dog, and Farley, the puppy that at six months, dwarfs Millie. Millie is a 20kg mongrel, Farley is over 30kg we think, and growing. And he is pretty damn fast.
So out we go. Farley goes straight over to the fence and crawls through a hole he should not even be able to think about, and goes straight after the sheep in the field. I know he won't hurt them, but they don't know that and they - along with their very, very young lambs - run for their lives. I'm shouting and shouting (it was annoyingly rather like the video of that bloke whose dog was chasing the deer in Richmond Park. You know the one), he pauses, looks back at me, and fucks off good and proper.
No choice but to give chase, in boots that are not laced up, as best I can. Across a rutted, frozen field, chasing a fucking puppy. I caught the dog, smacked his arse (he knew he had done wrong, too) and walked home with him. I didn't have to hang on to him either, he came with me.
So that was my accidental brick.
Legs felt fine.