The teenagers clearly think my running style is hilarious. I’m pushing my baby son in his buggy at speed with clenched buttocks. I’m groaning. They’ve no idea how hilarious things are about to get. I’m going to sh*t myself. I have no pants on (they chafe) and my baggy shorts won’t be enough to stop my shame from splattering across the pavement in front of them.
It’s my own stupid fault. I was in a hurry; I wanted to get my run done without any fuss and be on the sofa with a beer by 8.30. It is Friday after all. But my blood sugar was low (2.4mmol/L or 43.2/dL, in case you’re interested) and I didn’t have time to wait for nuts and milk to bring it to a safe level, so I opted for fruit instead. All that sugar will sort me out in no time. I had a banana and three plums. Big mistake.
Within a mile my guts have turned to magma and are threatening to erupt. I haven’t eaten so much fruit since I cut the carbs and the plums have set an awful chain of events in motion. I turn around and increase my pace, scanning the bushes for a bolt hole. By the time I reach the teenagers near my block my son is squealing with joy at the speed. I’m doubled up and sobbing. The teenagers are pointing and laughing.
The communal stairs to the building are the final insult. With every step I heft my son up, my grip loosens. Somehow I avoid the indignity of this all ending on the communal stairs and get through the doors. I whimper all the way up to our floor, desperately trying not to end it all in the lift. The doors slide open and I burst into our flat, to salvation. Just in time.
I share this sorry tale as a warning: runners, avoid plums like the plague, please. Apparently, a plum contains about a gram of sorbitol, a sugar that’s not easily absorbed by the body. They also contain the laxative diphenylisatin and about half a gram of fibre. Hence the arsequake. You have been warned.