Training For Celtman: May (Andrew)

It’s my first time in a shop (excepting supermarkets) in over a year.

Salesman: “You don’t want that, it’s shite. I only have it in the shop as a warning not to buy it!

It was good to see customer service in Glasgow hadn’t changed…

It was both ‘less strange’ and ‘more strange’ than I thought to be shopping in town.

It was strange to be shopping as Mrs TwinBikeRun and I had brought Baby TwinBikeRun with us and it was harder than I thought to move around while pushing a pram. We even walked different streets because “it’s quieter if we go to the next street rather than walk up this one”. While, in shops, Mrs TwinBikeRun was stuck by displays blocking the pram from getting round – shops are not designed for babies, which I’m okay with, as they don’t have a wallet so why should they have a say in how shops are laid out!?!? 🙂

It was less strange than I thought to be in town because there wasn’t a great change in how I shopped. I walked in, I looked round, saw nothing I wanted to buy and then walked out, just as I did a year ago. I’m not a slow browser: I check shops with all the speed of a soldier running across an exposed courtyard with a sniper somewhere on the roofs above.  

I was in town to find a new pair of jeans as I don’t like ordering jeans on the internet. They always look different, and you can never tell the fit from a website photo. And I don’t want to order them just to send back. It’s for the same reason I wouldn’t order a mail order bride. Some things need to be seen first.

Baby TwinBikeRun slept through the whole trip and missed out on seeing all the shops with queues out of the door. Primark’s queue stretched along the front of the shop and around a corner. Zara too had a queue which stretched down Buchanan Street. I wondered if the queues were a sign of popularity or a sign of a decent social distancing policy. Perhaps the shops without the queues are the ones to avoid because they spray COVID on the clothes and cough in the changing rooms?

Most people were wearing masks, even on the streets. A few had them over their mouth, most had them around their neck, or, in the case of one man, on top of his head like a clown hat.

That’s because he talks out of the top of his head,” says Mrs TwinBikeRun.

We put masks on each time we go into a shop, so did everyone else but, in Glasgow, the numbers have still been rising all month. As the rest of the country has moved in tier 2 we remained in tier 3 and, as I write this on Friday 28 May, it looks likely we’ll stay in tier 3 for at least another week.

If so, it’s another week I can’t leave the city unless it’s essential travel – and Celtman is not essential travel.

I now put my chances of taking part in Celtman at less than 10%. I don’t feel at all confident that I have the swimming strength for 3.4km. While I have managed 1 – 2 swims a week since mid April, my arms are very tired after 2km and I haven’t managed to do anything longer.

I’m comfortable with the thought of the bike and the run, and think my running is probably the strongest it’s been before any other long distance race, but, just like evolutionary biology, you can’t run before you can swim.

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