Tuesday, 31 August 2010


After enjoying some welcome running frolics over the Bank Holiday weekend I'm reminded of how good it is to be running again. Even more so with a return to the mundane business today; train-office-another train-another office-another train-home-eat-bed. I'm hopeful that I might be over the worst of the shinny injury and daily running can be re-inserted into the week's routine pretty soon. 

I plan to have another nursery training week to keep an eye on the leg though I’m thinking this may be less shin and more calf niggle now. I find these things so difficult to determine; having bulging calves of a stout footballer who knows what's going on in there. Plan is: no better by Friday = call to the physio. 

If anything the shinny issues have fired me up again and so I have whiled away a few hours over the weekend planning my winter training and racing. A nice 10 miler building to a half marathon might be a good start before considering more serious race goals into the spring. Jack Daniels has made a comeback on the bedside table and is re-lighting this running fire.

Sunday, 29 August 2010


For anyone holding their breath at my apparent recklessness with recovering body parts, it was all okay. After much stretching and icing and rubbing in funny smelling gels  for two weeks the shin was driven over to Carnegie yesterday (on a purple cushion with tassels) for a bit of a track outing. Saturday was a test to see to what extent the leg has recovered or if in fact I'd created the whole thing in my head, (I'm quite imaginative you see). M likened my approach to driving a car at full speed to see what parts fell off. Needless to say I rejected this analogy, (though knew in my head he was right). But I've been going a bit stir crazy not having a proper diagnosis and I just needed to know. I realise that seems a bit bonkers.

The plan was to warm up with M for a couple of miles and then potter around a few 400 reps and see how the change in pace felt. The spikes were left in the car boot and instead I stuck to some big, clumsy trainers to avoid any extra strain. The warm up felt fine, no tweaks though a bit of stiffness remained. By the time we were ready to work the legs felt well oiled. So, off we went around a very gusty track; working for 400m, recovering with a 90s jog over 200m. The combination of very strong wind and my shin caution brought me in at 78s per rep, a few seconds down on usual pace but respectable and a good stretch for shinny. It all went good but I stopped at 8; no point in overdoing things. There was no pain. Running back on my toes felt so good. It's now a waiting game; no more hard stuff for a few days just to see how everything recovers.  But I'm happy with that.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Track Test

Day 13, 9.42am. It's been a long two weeks trying to back off from training. I've successfully distracted myself from the annoying shin pain that emerged after my hilly exploits. I've been working far too much and fiddling with my camera in between. Blogging has suffered as it just serves to remind me of all those lovely runs I'm missing out on.

I've had suggestions of shin splints being the cause. I'm trying to ignore this possible diagnosis, though the fine and straight talking Coach Scobie would describe it as denial. I've been dutifully following his instructions; packing the ice and wolfing down the anti-inflammatory pills. I'm hoping the funny achy, tight and sore bit will recover quick. Each missed long run and track session is one step nearer to being the lumpy, unfit and sweaty animal that I remember last time I had to start all over again. 

I'm feeling panicked that all those tough sessions stacked up in the fitness bank; like fine and neat rows of colourful knitting are slowly but surely being unravelled. So, after a couple of weeks of taking it all very easy with only a test run or two I'm gonna poke it with a metaphorical stick and see what happens. M is on the track today, so I'm following. I won't be going full throttle but I will try a bit of mixed pace to push what the leg can do. It will end in one of two ways; hopefully no tears will feature. Wish me and the shin luck.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Burnsall 10M 2010

We spent a long and wonderful afternoon immersed in village life at the Burnsall Feast Sports. A traditional Yorkshire Fete with a road race, a fell race and a Wicker Man! With a slightly gammy left leg I couldn't race this favourite of mine. So I looked on, confined to the sidelines with camera in hand. I longed to be in the picture instead but happily watched some great runs unfold; M ran strong despite feeling terrible and took nearly a minute and a half off his time from last year. Our local star Runningfox was his inspiring self and seemed to be as fresh as ever during a post race chat. More race news to follow. 

P.s. Spot the dog...

Friday Feeling

Day 4, 23.59pm. After four days of doing no running at all, ZERO MILES I thought I'd give the leg a chance to redeem itself and bimble around a small field at a snail's pace behind M. We ventured out onto the grass for a soft and flat nursery run tonight to see what would happen. My left leg didn't fall off. It didn't get any worse either. It was a bit sore but seemed to ease a bit after a mile or so. I'm feeling a bit optimistic that I might manage another outing this weekend and clock more than the 4.5 miles total so far for this week. We will see what tomorrow brings. I'm now becoming a wise old tree with all these mistakes to learn from.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Strain Pain

Day 2. 19.16 pm. I've spent a second day dragging my left leg around behind me as I tried to climb the work stairs or hurry to avoid being squashed whilst crossing the road. A rather sore and achey spot on my left calf has now evolved into a deep, hard and very sore lump. M's just worked a bit of massage magic on me but there's a residual lump of pure pain that's not just tightness but more likely to be a tear. $@#%! I'm RICE'ing as I type.

It could be just a day or two of rest and I'm hoping I can get back to some gambolling about by the weekend though I'll have to monitor the lump closely. It's really flippin' painful and I'm so annoyed with myself now for racing last Saturday. It's Burnsall this week for $@#%'s sake! I knew it was risky, so why did I do it!? 

Runners; they never flippin' learn.

Monday, 16 August 2010


After rather a lot of running up and down hills last week I've only gone and done myself a mischief. The cheeky short race on Saturday was followed by a bit of a stiff left calf on Sunday. Being the responsive, sensible runner I am ;) I scaled down my long run plans on Sunday to a 12 miler; a rather monotonous but safe route near home, run at a very pedestrian pace. Anyways, despite my efforts to be good I've set off tonight for a pleasing jaunt around Bolton Abbey with M to find  that my leg won't work. It seems to have decided to go on strike and I've a funny sensation that's lingering even after I've warmed up; a bit of an escalation from yesterday.

So, tonight I was a bit of a sad and lonely onlooker as M trotted off along the river whilst I looked longingly on, with rather sad puppy dog eyes. I turned reluctantly back to the car, limping dramatically and feeling rather sorry for my theatrical old self. Poor me. All pinkies crossed I can massage it back to do the business at Burnsall this weekend.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Arncliffe Amble

Just a quickie cuz it's late. We sneaked in a cheeky race today after a mention of the Arncliffe Fete on Old Runningfox's blog. It was more of a training run in fact after a very heavy training week and a bit of speed work last night to finish us off good and proper. An undulating four miler under a sunny sky, enveloped in one of the most beautiful valleys in the Dales. We both ran a bit below par with tired legs. If nothing else it paid off as a tempo session and was followed by a fine afternoon tea in the village and then happy  rambles in the sun and lots of friendly chat. What a gorgeous afternoon it was. One for the diary next year for sure.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

I Leica Long Run

It was a return to the tough stuff  again this weekend, including a visit to the track on Saturday for some painful 400s. The usual 12 reps were cut short though; legs and calves in particular were grumbling ferociously by number 8. I called it quits, as did M saving ourselves for the long one today. We reminded ourselves of the importance of knowing when to stop flogging a dead horse...those hills from Tuesday seem to be sticking with me for now and there was much needed cake awaiting to replenish our depleted stores.

For a refreshing if slightly exhausting change M planned an 'undulating' route for us to run together today for our steady 17 miles. A late start after staying up to watch late night telly  left us setting out from Gargrave at midday under a warm sun. The  slighly wonky lollipop route took us through lovely Dales villages, Airton, Kirby Malham and Hetton. If only the hills had been less hilly. All four legs were well and truly mashed by the final miles but we consoled ourselves with reassurances of it all being fine prep for the Burnsall 10 in just under a fortnight. There's just the egg throwing training left to worry about now.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

New Stuff

I've been a bit of a geek tart one might say; being distracted from my usual blog fiddling by other shiny things on the WWW of late. After having lots of fun creating picture books I've been distracted again by other cool new stuff. Spookily Kate's comment about her daily photo journal came whilst I was checking out Blipfoto.

I joined the site after the pure and simple excitment of discovering a quietly creative and positive place where members load a daily snap; the simple rules being only one pic per day, taken on the day of publishing.

The site is really fab and a source of constant inpsiration, but also very addictive. As every minute ticks by people all over the world upload their chosen daily snap sometimes accompanied by funny, inspiring and constructive words. If you like taking pics then you're likely to love this

Back to blogging and all is going well. My creaky old legs are starting to grumble less  and so to celebrate I put them through their paces with some hill work on Tuesday. Hill hell was less hellish than I remember though the pain may have just dulled along with my memory these last 48 hours. 8x90s reps up a steep and steady climb saw me chasing (and overtaking) some men on bicycles. (She writes smugly). 

Monday, 2 August 2010

Blurb...The Coolest Thing

I just had to blog about this very cool site. Forgive me if this isn't new but I've just stumbled across this application whilst browsing some photo blogs. It's a very clever and easy peasy way of making your own book!

After a very brief dabble I managed to throw together a Runningbear picture book in about 20 mins. It's such a fab idea, just wish I'd thought of it... There are so many things you could do with this, I can feel some very cool pressies coming on! Once you've uploaded your book you can even order a hard copy online and if it's any good you can sell it..check Blurb out:

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Round Hill 2010

It's been another funny week of seemingly doing nothing much but feeling like time has whooshed by. I reckon this is partly due to being glued to the box with hours of running inspiration being shown every day on the BBC for free. What a great week for GB and Irish athletics. For me it was topped off by our marathon girls getting some telly action for their team medal; what a proud and inspiring telly moment that was well as being just a little bit of a jealous moment, but amazing all the same, well done Michelle, Susan, Holly, Helen, Jo and Rebecca.

Today is also the last day of freedom and its back to the office tomorrow. The weather has been predictably pants again but I've at last bagged another great training week, finishing up with a long run today; a hilly 17 miles from Timble village across the moor road dropping to Otley and then home. The run was preceded by spectating a fine  local race this morning, the Round Hill Fell Race. Having not quite recovered from a dodgy foot ligament last XC season I've avoided racing anything with tussocks but M went for it and had a storming run around this challenging but beautiful and runnable 9 miles of moorland near home.

M ran bravely despite the impact of running a 400m for the club league match yesterday (eek!) and had enough mojo in his legs to smash his previous time by over 5 mins and finish in the top ten. It was a fine race organised by Otley AC and a competitive male field as the pics convey, including awesome running giant Ian Fisher who seemed to dominate the event whilst merely jogging.Well done to all those great local lads and lasses who had a great run in perfect conditions today.