Friday, 31 December 2010

christmas picture quiz results


The 10 pictured runners have  the current
So that gave the ranking once they had been identified.

1. Steve Jones     (Newport)           2:07:13     Chicago  20 Oct 1985  (Runner 10)
2. Charlie Spedding (Gateshead)   2:08:33     London   21 Apr 1985  (Runner 5)
3.  Richard Nerurkar (Bingley)      2:08:36     London   13 Apr 1997  (Runner 8)
4.  Paul Evans  (City Of Norwich)  2:08:52     Chicago  20 Oct 1996   (Runner 6)
5.  Geoff Smith (Liverpool H.)       2:09:08     New York 23 Oct 83     (Runner 9)
6.  Ian Thompson (Luton)               2:09:12     Christchurch 31 Jan 74 (Runner 3)
7. Alister Hutton (Edinburgh)         2:09:16     London 21 Apr 1985     (Runner 7)
8. Mark Steinle  (Blackheath)        2:09:17     London 14 Apr 2002     (Runner 1)
9. Hugh Jones (Ranelagh)              2:09:24     London  9 May 1982    (Runner 4)
10. Ron Hill (Clayton)                     2:09:28     Edinburgh 23 Jul 1970 (Runner 2)

The drawn winner with the correct entry is MARTIN LISTER formerly of Harrogate A.C.
As no ladies sent an entry in another prize will go to DAVE RODGERS, team manager of Sale Harriers.   Dave queried the description of the top ten runners as "great" stating that whilst they had done the times, the record of several in championship events  was disappointing,perhaps.
Ron Hill, Iam Thompson  of course all won medals at European, Commonwealth and  Charlie spedding at the Olympics.

The list confirms that current standards have fallen and the marathon has lost much appeal many of the UK's top runners.  Only one top ten time being recorded this century.   With 5 top times recorded in the London marathon  it indicates that initially the race fulfilled one stated aim of improving UK marathon times.  But as I have stated numerous times before,  the incentive for UK runners needs to be addressed if more "club runners" are to put the effort in again to challenge these top ten times.



Tuesday, 28 December 2010


I can't quite remember whether my last school reports were posted to home or taken home  by ourselves. I do remember though  it was wise not to be around when the envelope was opened!   Let's just say my "A" level studies tended to take a backseat to my running, my odd jobs and the lure of Northern Soul in the clubs of down town Manchester.  Good job I applied myself later in my 20s.
 At 61 I don't have a coach, of course, to sit me down and point out my failings; so it's very much a case of self assessment.  At least it's much easier nowadays to review the year's training when it's all nicely laid out on the computer screen and even the adding up is done by "autosum" on excel.  For anyone competing, as opposed to merely participating, in races it's useful to look back over the year as it invariably shows up strengths and weaknesses and highlights areas for possible improvement or aspects of the routine to be addressed.  So here goes.....
  MILES RUN.   Not a total measure of effort of course, but serves as some measure of our commitment, I suppose. Years of over 3000 miles per year are in the past but, before a December marred for us all by adverse weather , last year's total of 2389 (average 45.94) was there to at least be matched.  As it was I ended up with 2328 miles just failing to hit the target of 45 mile weekly average with 44.76.  So not too bad.  No days in 2010 when I didn't put my running shoes on so that was an improvement on 2009.
Yes, I'm counting that painful mile on the treadmill on Christmas Eve. I have to believe it when I'm told that the "rest" through December has been good for me....but I'm not entirely convinced.
  Those 2328 miles have not all been without "effort".  There's been a reasonable degree of commitment to "speed" with 40 TRACK SESSIONS; virtually all unaided, many in unfavourable conditions.  OK, not a case of 2/3 track sessions every week as some might be looking back on but quite pleased with that for myself. Track sessions always figured in the training since 1962 so I suppose as long as I intend to be competitive in events I'll try to keep them up.
  Those that know me well, know that I believe in the value of  OVER DISTANCE RUNS related to race distance being targetted...yes, including marathon.  I targetted a couple of half  marathons early on in the year
and did manage a few 13 milers but only once went over distance with a 14.   I picked up distance wise late summer with  a few 12 milers but failed to exceed that and also failed to turn out in an autumn half marathon.
  The one aspect of training which perhaps need to be addressed is HILLWORK.  Not only are there few hill reps sessions down on the sheet but most of my steady running tends to be flat on the canal or the Wharfe valley bottom. Something to work in.
   The number of RACES RUN  at 19 matched 2009  and again but for a poor December, with so many races cancelled, would, probably, have been exceeded.  I think about 20 races per year is a reasonable number all things considered.   I know many race much more frequently than that but  us old guys need time to recover, pick up again and then ease down a touch between events.
    I was keen to record times for 5K, 5M, 10K, 10M and half marathon in 2010. Ticked off each distance but  failed  to run a 10 miler.  Again 2 winter possibilities were cancelled.   I'll try to tick them all off in 2011.
    BEST YEAR'S TIMES.  Regretably I can't write about P.Bs/ PRs anymore. Very much a thing of the past.  It's just a case of trying to defy Old Father Tyme really. 
 I posted in a blog at this time last year....."Can the downward spiral of slower times be halted in 2010?" I was surprised in the review to see that I had actually recorded  better times at
5K with 20.20 (2009 20.35) at 4m with 27.22 (28.59 in 2009) and 10K with 42.19 (42.30 in 2009)
but the 94.44 half marathon on Blackpool's icy promenade couldn't go anywhere near the 91.03 in the Brass Monkey in 2009. 

   RACING HIGHLIGHTS  and LOWLIGHTS.  It's by no means the fastest of courses but views in the middle part of the HAWESWATER HALF MARATHON are really unforgettable.  Highly recommended but don't expect a fast time!  
The shoulder to shoulder "scrap" with  a rival M60 category runner over the second half of the Illuminations 10K was also a memorable highlight. 
  Not a great fan of mass participation events but racing past hundreds of "fit" looking young guys in the MANCHESTER 10K was fun and pleased with 3rd out over 200 in the age group.  Though not impressed with the prize...a free entry for 2011 race!  In contrast,  a below par run in the BMAF 5K at Horwich  was disappointing ; as was running the 4th but last leg of an incomplete 12 man team in the Northern relay on our home patch.  But more disappointing for our club captain.
  I  stressed the importance of enjoying training yesterday and it's the same for races really.  I mentioned trying to sample several new events for variety instead of the same old events year after year.   I think I enjoyed all that the races run in 2011, except the lowlights,   but there are one or two more that look long as entries don't close ,of course.  So that was MY 2010.


Monday, 27 December 2010

Running........intrinsically enjoyable!

1978. I was Phys. Edn. head at St. Mary's Menston R.C. School.  A Leeds authority upper school. It's the last Leeds Schools' cross country league fixture of the season and I'm stood a half mile from the finish line, waiting for the under 14 runners to appear over the hill top. The first runner comes into view. I spot the distinctive blue t-shirt with white and maroon chestbands (not my choice!) A teammate follows him. the another. A rival. Then another and another. A rival. Another and on it goes.

 They put 7 in the first 11 finishers. The "A" team wins the event, the "B" team finishes second.
Another teacher shouts over,    " What you feeding them, Terry?"
  "Enjoyment.........pure enjoyment!  I replied.
                        That's what it's primarily about,  our running, isn't it?

  On the Monday the squad plus the u/12s and u/13 teams piled in at lunchtime for more training together.  As a teacher, rather than a coach, I had to come up with sessions which catered for all abilities from the "stars" to those coming for the very first time. Not easy.   They were as keen and eager as always.
  I congratulated them all on their success but was keen to stress that the medals, getting their names in the papers (the photo above appeared in the Yorkshire Post) and the kudos in the school were worth nothing unless they enjoyed the simple, natural act of putting one foot in front of the other in that rhythmical fashion we call running.
 They went on that season to finish 3rd of 100+ teams in a major regional competition and whilst I was very proud of their of their successes and pleased that they had reward for all their efforts I repeatedly stressed that I would be most pleased to see them enjoying their running long after leaving school,  long after the medals had been thrown away or stored at the bottom of a removal box, long after those newspaper clippings had turned brown and curled at the edges.
 I tried to stress that running would be their passport to a better, healthier way of life and allow them to appreciate sights and sounds in the natural world  that non-runners often miss out on, particularly on holiday, perhaps.  Spectacular sunsets, cliff top runs,  forest trails discovered, the view from the top of a mountain climbed.  For example,  an old holiday running shot ...........

 Of course,  all this went over the heads of some of the lads and they stopped running as soon as I left the school !  But having forged a link with my own club, Bingley Harriers, several of them went on to achieve great things with the club  and one or two are still racing at a good level.
 It would be nice to think that in the current climate the majority are still getting out and doing a bit.  Interestingly, many ex-pupils who didn't figure in those teams frequently come in the shop and participate at races and very often say they wish they had done more at school! reviewing  2010,  running wise,  the first question perhaps we have to ask ourselves is
                 " Am I still enjoying my running?"   Answer being ...."Yes!" 
  With far less emphasis on times and placings in events,  the main aim has been  to introduce as much VARIETY as  possible  into the training week. Road, canal, woodland trail, reservoir trails and of course the weekly crucial track session; by far the fastest surface.  Plus finding some new routes in the Lakes with spectacular views.  Variety also maintained by freshening the events list up with a few races never run before..........
The Preston Docklands 5,  the Haweswater half, the Boggart Hole Clough 10k, the Platt Fields 10K.

                         Tomorrow,  the more "depressing" (?)   aspect of evaluation.   
A review of  training done and training missed.  A review of races done and races missed. 
And finally, refering to races missed, commiserations if you were entered for another victim of the snow ,the Ribble Valley 10K.

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Boxing clever on St. Stephen's Day

 As I wrote in the Christmas Day blog,  today was the last day of my 52 week training year which began on Monday December 29 2009.   As I managed 3 miles yesterday I was determined to at least give the leg a go and see if  the year's "streak" could be maintained.   The "least risk" plan would be to repeat the initial valley bottom 2 miler as Christams Day and then see how it felt.   A case of not being too ambitious or too adventurous and risking a set back again. 
 Getting out of the car at the Old Bridge in Ilkley a guy ran by and I must admit thinking I should be able to keep up with him and get have some company. But whilst he seemed to be just idly shuffling along he easily drifted away and was well out  of sight  as I turned after a mile.
 Consolation was that whilst the pace  was only moderate the discomfort was tolerable.  Reaching the Old Bridge I was able to run on and managed another couple of miles; making the last run of the year 4 miles.
Not quite the long Sunday run I would have liked to have finished the year but certainly suggesting that the sciatica will behave....... if I behave!
 After yesterday's run I had to use the inhaler as the temperature had closed the chest down somewhat. Slightly less cold today but no sign of a thaw.  These shots taken after today's run show the large stretches of the River Wharfe are still frozen..................

                                          A view from the Old Bridge Ilkley down stream....... 
The suspension bridge to Middleton Woods..........
View down stream from the suspension bridge..............
View up stream from the suspension bridge............
Not so good for the wildlife........

And finally,  ever thought why the day after Christmas Day, essentially St. Stephen's Day is called Boxing Day?  Let's just say if any of the local tradesman call today I have their Christmas "boxes" (tips) ready. None have called  so far.

Christmas Day.......light relief!

 Not having children,  I can't remember the last time I missed a run on Christmas Day.  Often I have used it to post "on the day" greeting cards to neighbours and friends living nearby.  I recall one particular Christmas day morning venturing up on to Ilkley moor and wading through snow over a deep with the sun high in the sky and just thinking how great it was to be able to do it ; not cursing that I'd failed to anticipate how bad it would be up there.
 Today, I would not be so adventurous.
 No, having put my 3 icepacks into use on the leg and rubbed in plenty of my magic cream, Hirudoid,  I would just test the leg over a couple of flat road miles; not risking slipping on snow covered fields.                                                                                
 I am pleased to be able to report that the ice packs did the trick and  not only did I manage the minimal 2 miles but added another for good measure.  
  So going back to my coast to coast run analogy I can smell the North Atlantic, I can see boats bobbing up and down in the harbour, I can see fishermen landing their day's catch.   Just one more day......
  Finally, let me share with you some shots taken AFTER the run of Ilkley, Christmas Day 2010

Christmas day lunch for some.............



 The drive to and from Manchester on Christmas Eve only served to aggravate the sciatic nerve I have been nursing along again after I had thought it was on the mend.
  Keen to maintain this year's "streak" of daily runs the plan was to squeeze  in a short session on the treadmill before going out for the evening.  Let's suffice to say that I managed a mile before being forced to stop because of the pain.
  Scitiaca really does deserve to be called the Terminator.  Thought to be well and truly on the mend; then it comes back and literally bites you on the backside again!  And of course all down the leg.
  I did manage to go out for the meal but there were some strange looks as I kept pulling my knee up to my chest as a form of relief.
  My dilemma?   I have only 2 days left in my 52 week running year and haven't missed a day (yes, I'm counting that painful mile on the treadmill!). 
 A friend said surely you must rest it?    I replied this would be like running coast to coast west to east across America without a problem,  only to be forced to have to stop within touching distance
of the North Atlantic.  Not an option..........!!

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Season's greetings!

   Hope you are all enjoying a great Christmas Day and managed to get your run in.   Check out the competition below.   You are still in with a chance of the prize;  very few fully correct  entries so far!

Monday, 20 December 2010


Runner 1

All of these 10 runners have achieved
great success in the marathon.

 Runner 2

 Can you identify each runner?

 Runner 3
 Can you then rank them
 according to their
 best times in the event,
 fastest to slowest?   No need to know
 their best time. In fact.....

 Runner 4

if you give me their exact times
I'll know you have cheated!
Runner 5 


 Runner 6



Runner 7

            MENS  FLUO YELLOW OR
            RED.  OR LADIES IN BERRY

Runner 8        

Runner 9

Runner 10      
Don't forget to add your contact
details as you enter so we can
get in touch to
arrange delivery.

Sunday, 19 December 2010


 End of week 51.  Nearly the end of another year.  At least on my training sheet. OK it's an hour glass but you get the point. One more week and we'll be turning it over and doing it all over again. Hopefully.
 To complete my "restoration" month a final week of 34 miles will give me a pedantically exact 45 miles/ week average; which with the adverse weather conditions, Christmas etc will be about right.
  Next year I may  be nudging down the miles a tad.
I say may as I haven't found this year's volume too problematic not working full time.  Main thing is enjoying my daily runs  and that means staying injury free!
  I've no races entered at the moment but I've been entering into my 2011
diary possibilites up to Easter.   Based on my 3rd in the M60 category, my free entry for the Great Manchester Run has been offered by email.  All I have to do is work out how their online entry system works.  So that is a distict possibilty.  That will save me £35  or so,I think,but noting the entry fees for some of the other races I fancy I think I'll have to surrender my last remaining pension plan.
 The heavily ASICS backed WILMSLOW HALF, a very popular Sale Harriers event, is £26 for example.  It's hardly surprising that many club runners end up running the PARKRUNS, which are free of charge, every week and not much else.   I'll no doubt include a few ALEXANDRA PARK 5Ks in my races.  Not just because they only cost near O.A.Ps £2! 
  It's not the cost of entry that is is the main problem of course it's just being organised and committed enough to enter before the race fills up.   This is a fairly new and growing phenomenon but fortunately not total.
See Snake Lane 10 as well as the Brass Monkey is full now.
  One series which will grow in numbers this year,  with many others races filling up, will be the PENDLE & BURNLEY GRAND PRIX.  Details of the 2011 races shortly  to be finalised will appear on Terry's
News and Views on the COMPLETE RUNNER blog.
  Meanwhile if you've still snow around..........unless you live in Boston Spa where apparantly they have nothing(!).....and are continuing to venture out  TAKE CARE out there!

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Return of the white stuff

 Watching the news last night  and seeing what appeared to be the rest of the country suffering really badly from a return of the snow it seemed inevitable that it was just a matter of time...a short time....before we too would be hit.   I gather the 2 inches landed just after midnight.  Sneaking in life stealthily like a thief in the night!  The view over the valley this morning....

So tentative plans for a couple of pleasant runs over the weekend  have to be abandoned.   No big deal really though for me in a grand scheme of things and sympathies to those trying to maintain serious training plans for next year's events.  So back to the garage and the treadmill for probably  a couple of days.
Shame because yesterday whilst there was a bitterly wind, unusually fron the west being so cold,  the old leg had seemed to have coped quite well with the moderate effort on the track on Thursday.
If you did venture out for a run in the snow this morning...well done...hope no trips to A.& E. necessary!

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Track 5K in blizzard

 Anyone driving past the shop this morning around 3 A.M. (!) might have thought we were copying Meadowhall with extreme late  night  shopping;  but of course not the case.   The alarm company had phoned at 2.30 a.m. saying that the shop alarm was going off and the police were attending.
 Within minutes Pat and I were up and dressed and at the shop.  No sign of a break in but we followed the
patrolman in and confirmed that the strong winds must have disturbed a door.   We have to wait then for the alarm company to send  their night man to reset the alarm.   So nearly 4 a.m. by the time we were back in bed!  Not good. 
 Nevertheless, I stuck to routine on the planner and, in  a bit of  a blur, we  drove over to Nelson for a rather perfunctory track session.   If I'd have been fully awale I would have remembered  a  vital piece of kit necessary for the interchangeable sunglasses with clear lens fitted  to protect my eyes from the snow blizzard which  decided to hit me as soon as I pressed the START button for my 5K effort.
  As I'm enjoying some abbeviated weeks this month, besides the foul weather,  I cut the session down to I mile warm up (no stretching, no strides)  a 5k with just 1 mile cool down  (not that I'd generated much heat!)
  With my left leg feeling as if I'd just been taken out by an Arsenal midfielder I figured 25 minutes for the 5K would be a fair target. Besides the maths would be easy  needing to take a minute for each 200 metres.

The snow flurries had started about Skipton on the way over but kindly abated for the warm up.  Not too bad, I thought.  But as I said as soon as I started the effort the next blizzard came through and,mischievously,  played itself out as I finished.  
For the record laps were.......
 2.01  2.05   2.04   2.02   2.03   2.04   2.04   2.01   2.02   1.58   1.57   1.57  54.............25.17

So 17 seconds shy of target ...............

 But   all things considered........."satisfactory".... and easier than the treadmill.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

New Complete Runner News Blog Set Up

  New on ..........
 Readers of this blog seem to enjoy references to running product judging by comments.  Whilst I'll continue to make reference to shoes and clothing I may be testing on this running on empty blog,  I've been busy today setting up another blog which  will give me a chance to be more expansive in that area.

 The link should you be interested is

Again, apprecaite any comments.   A busy then but managed another 5 late morning away from the road this time.   Mainly on grass and as expected 5 minutes slower than 5 on the road yesterday.  Not totally pain free but so much better than this time last week on the treadmill.
 It looks certain the dreaded white stuff is on it's way to us again.  It's apparently come straight down northerly so let's hope it's dissipated before it reaches Wharfedale. Everything crossed!

Monday, 13 December 2010

Monday.....winter with a pinch of spring.

  End of another busy day; looking at more forward orders from shoe companies and chasing up some new Fastrax products  which are now on the horizon.   But  broke off late morning for the daily run.  Blessed with moderate temperatures and bright winter sunshine for a 5 mile run which served to consolidate yesterday's run over the same distance.   Significantly today's was nearly 2 minutes faster over much the same terrain.
               The other bright spot of the day being Man. U's win tonight over Arsenal....1-0
 Back to not full but tolerable mobility running wise but  be warned , reader, if you should suffer sciatica running may prove the easiest aspect of a normal day where sitting is involved.
 A previous blog title was "spring with a pinch of winter"  today it felt like the reverse.   Mind you I was dressed as normal for near zero conditions.
 For the record then, the thaw in Wharfedale is all but complete. Just the odd pile of cleared snow lingering at the side of car parks and long drives.  Sad then to read that other areas are still precarious and sadly caught out Gary Dunn...   who had a nasty fall running to work this morning.   We wish him well. Not good.

  Going back to product much of what we've seen so far has been new colourways of 2010 offering but the new LUNARECLIPSE from NIKE stands out as one shoe I'm keen to try in 2011.  With their DYNAMIC SUPPORT system, NIKE have shown that they are still striving to be innovative in their shoe design.   However, they must persevere in 2011 to ensure that both the seller and the buyer appreciate the feature and the benefit of their creation and how it differs from their rivals.
  This is the illustration of the system commonly seen BUT if fails to show that the orange section of the midsole is wedged also with the inner, medial side higher than than the outer, lateral side so the upper
upper green section sits against it to form a flat foot platform.

 The two sections, a lightweight "foam" sitting into and supported by the firmer foam carriage as they call it creates a motion control shoe to combat overpronation without the weight and firmness of the medial wedge system employed by thre likes of Asics and Saucony.  
  All well and good but for whilst I enjoyed the cushioning and support of the LUNARGLIDE as tested it has proved a tad wide for my thin bony feet!  Hopefully the Lunareclipse will be a better fit for 2011.  More to follow.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Running through pain

   Well it's would appear this week's pain management of  a self assessed leg left sciatica problem is working.   I've been lucky it would seem.
   Following the pain becoming apparent on the treadmill on Monday when I drew a line after 2 miles.  I tested it again on the 'mill on Tuesday with another 2; nudging the miles up to 3 and 3 on Wedneasday and Thursday.   Icing frequently throughout the days.
 I'm sat on an ice pack as I'm writing this. A solution which it would appear ice skater's share.....

  I managed 4 on grass on Friday, 4 on the road yesterday.
 Certain actions are still proving difficult including sitting and rising from low chairs but setting off today I actually felt quite fresh.   Presumably at the end of a low mileage week. 
  "Restoration" indeed!  and was in fact running  pain free until descending down a short incline there was a jolt and the pain returned, albeit mildly.  About 2 out of 10 on the pain intensity scale so able to get through 5 miles at a pretty acceptable pace.  When running the discomfort is mainly just below the knee on the outside where the sciatic nerve runs to the front of the leg (peroneal) .
 In terms of fitness maintenance that gave me just 23 miles on the week but the year's average is still just above target at 45 plus. So still respectabe.
  It's not quite the end to the year I  planned with no race since November 7 Alexandra park 5K,  but I appreciate there are so many other runners suffering greater problems than mine with so much still they want to achieve.   Whilst the task at my age is merely to ensure PWs still remain respectable ataking in the bigger picture so to speak.

  Hopefully I'll be able to "tick over" and recupe for another couple of weeks, getting back to normal for the New Year.  It's a busy time anyway, having to sort out orders for next July onwards and, of course, sorting out some COMPLETE RUNNER SALE bargains; but I am missing my routine!

Saturday, 11 December 2010

The rest......will be history.

 There will be quite a few runners logging their lowest week's mileage  of the year this particular week;   as so many areas have experienced such treacherous running conditions.  It must be  especially frustrating for those laying the foundations for their Spring marathons training but reading blogs so many have shown great perseverance.  Good to see.
 Many others will have used this period as a time for "restoration".   A chance  to give body and mind a rest and break from routine.  A chance for niggles to mend perhaps, repairing  damaged muscle tissue.  A chance to eat as normal but restore glycogen levels. A chance catch up with that list of jobs "to do".  Nothing new to believers of "periodisation"  in a runner's training year.
 I am often asked,  "Do you run every day?"   I reply , "Do you brush your teeth every day?"
 I am often asked, "Do you run the distance every day?"  No, I have hard days and easy days.
 I am often asked,. "Do you never ease back for a week or so?"  No, unless I've a niggle.
   This week I've had a niggle.   But in the past  easy weeks would come naturally after a major event.
 November was very often a  low key month when I was training at maximum with weekly mileage up to 90 plus  per week with some tough sessions in there.   Several years show a late autumn marathon having been run so the month or so immediately after would serve as recovery.   At that time I had stopped running cross country.  But for those enjoying a traditional XC season that rest will have to wait until March, I suppose.
 Nowadays  the "problem" is I don't have BIG events to  recover from and as such have tended  to maintain  a moderate, consistent approach to training every week of the year.....until this week, of course.
 I haven't seen anyone about my leg.   The pain level on yesterdays' 4 miler on grass  was  "mild"
perhaps 4 out of 10.  (It was good to get out albeit running against a gale at times) 
 Down to 3 out of 10 today on a 4 miler with Pat on the road.   Not much slower than normal.  Hopefully  the discomfort level will continue to reduce to one which is the norm at my age!   Gradual and careful routine to normal  with ....all being well.... a return to normal levels for the new year.
   This period of  "rest" will be history.

Friday, 10 December 2010

I'm a runner.....get me out of here!

 What would you consider to be "horrifying" ?    I'll pause to let you ponder on that before continuing and won't make any suggestions of my own ...............except perhaps,   a Champions  League final in which Manchester United are one nil up against Barcelona with minutes to go and the Catalan team score two in extra time. Now that would be horrific!  Major trauma.  Pat , who gets even more animated whatching football than I do, would definitely need gas and air.
  For one R.W. reader her definition of "horrified" was to find that there had been a power cut at her gym and.....heaven forbid.....she had been forced to.....wait for outside!!!   She goes on to describe how exhilerating it was, fresh air!!!....and what a turning point it was. She writes to the magazine to encouirage all other treadmillaholics to follow her example.   Unbelievable!

    I'm certainly looking forward to some cool, fresh air today.  Not sure about the cause but following the aborted run in the snow last Sunday my left leg has been misbehaving.   Probably, too many deviations from the routine which has taken me safely through the year.   Running in the snow with the feet moving just that touch on impact, a return to the rower,  too much too soon on the weights, a strain clearing snow : perhaps a combination of all these factors?  Whatever the cause the week has been a pain in the rear (left to be exact)
spreading down the leg.  Classic sciatic!?
  I forecast that an injury would force to me to ease back and that has been the case this week.
Enough mobility however  to manage a short spell each day on the treadmill. 2 on Monday and Tuesday, 3 on Wednesday and Thursday.   If it is a sciatic nerve problem then keeping in mobile and putting some blood through the system I believe helps.  Pleanty of icing of course as well to reduce inflammation. 
 Still a good week to have been running less as the round of "sell ins" started for Fall/Winter 2011 with the reps coming in brandishing their wares  for next winter.   Reports on any exciting new product that can be made public to follow.  Some of them like to keep their developments seceret for fear of rip off.
 No,going back, there is absolutely no danger of me becoming addicted to indoor running.  A major thaw overnight means that the local fields are clear and I shall be seeking some cool, fresh air as the R.W. letter writer describes going outdoors. Hopefully I can manage more than 3 miles. But not before I've subjected the leg to more ice treatment; luckily I've 3 ice packs.


Sunday, 5 December 2010


Barden Fell Sunday December 5th 2010
 Instictively, nowadays,  I follow up a session on the road with a run on the trail.  So not today? A quick inspection of the iced up road outside the house suggested popular trails would be similarly  precarious and so we headed for Barden Fell  which we hoped would offer us a good miles of off road on shallow snow.  Wrong! Big mistake!!

 Wearing a new pair of INOV MUDCLAW 272S the first mile on snow flattened by 4x4 vehicles proved Ok .....thumbs up going through the gate onto the fell.....but within minutes it was too deep even for the shoe's aggressive tread and  the slip on each stride was certainly aggravating the discomfort in my left leg  (sciatica ?) which previous outings on the snow have created.
  I often say the most important word in the language is consequences.  The word was uppermost in my mind as I toiled to the top of the first hill before deciding enough was enough.  What if.....? 
 So as the saying goes, discretion was the better part of valour  or as I might have put it prudence proved stronger than intent!   Run aborted....and unfortunately Pat's walk as well.  

 So it was thumbs down coming off the fell; I had managed only to the top of the hill shown over my right shoulder.
 As we drove back we passed several  runners who perhaps more sensibly had decided to stick to snow free "B" roads.  My choice for tomorrow!
 End of a poor, frustrating  week compared to the norm but probably better than many runners have achieved in areas of the country much worse affected than ours.  Down to 30 miles.
 Consolation? Yesterday's road session on a new venue which will be revisited in the near future.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

No time for pottering on Penny Pot Lane!

 Looking out of the bedroom window before retiring to bed last night the icicles outside the window had formed to over a metre long.  As suspected from crackling sounds in the night, by daylight they lay shattered on the balcony.  Witness a rise in temperature!  No need for the treadmill then today ; which Pat finds just as tiresome as I do!  

 But with safety being our priority we would need to head for a  fairly quiet , snow free "B" road ,  wide enough to "see and be seen"  by any Saturday morning shoppers.  
    I remembered a 10K we ran which was organised by the Army Foundation College this side of Harrogate. An out and back course on the very straight and slightly undulating Penny Pot Lane.   A bit of a drive but hopefully worthwhile.
  North Yorkshire had done their bit clearing the roads and all went pretty much to plan.   I was trying out for the first time  a Gore Windstopper SoftShell jacket in orange,  designed to get me noticed by fast oncoming traffic  plus of course keep me warn and dry in the close to freezing conditions.
  The tights also incorporate Windstopper laminate back and front providing excellent protection for the upper leg.  No excuse for getting in a few miles then.
  If you don't have a Gore Windstopper garment in your locker don't delay writing to Santa if you want to stay warm and dry in these freezing conditions which look likely to continue according to  all forecasts. 
The lane proves to be four virtually "dead straight"  miles from where we parked to the College which Pat described as "boring, but not as boring as the treadmill"!

 From my point of view it provided the near perfect venue for a 2 x 2 mile tempo session largely dictated by the undulations of the route.  
Warm up miles of 9.12 and 8.49
were followed by 8.07 and 8.08 (slightly downhill). 
Turning at the College ..... 8.44 and 8.56...back uphill.  
8.07 and 7.50 with a jog mile to bring the heart down. 
So 9 miles in total.  
  I can see myself back on this lane again for a 2 x 2 mile session as it's a fast stretch of road  and being tree lined there is wind protection; except the warm up and cool down would be from the Fewston res. car park. 
 Hopefully there will be less snow around than there was today; fortunately there was none underfoot.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

It's only a slippery slope.........

 Each time I thought I might break off and venture out to combat the snow yesterday, Wednesday,  another storm would blow through.  So much so that  I resorted to a run on the treadmill followed by a return to my old friend the  Concept 2 rower.  Must admit to keying in a 6 mile run on the treadmill but hit boredom threshold at only 3; but made up with 3K on the rower.  
  If these conditions persist I will have improve my tolerance levels.   Both Pat and I find the treadmill much harder work than running outside.  Compared, I read, to others who think the opposite.  Queer.
  A few years ago I did use the Concept 2 rower quite frequently and managed to rank higher on it over 10K than I did on running rankings!  I particularly recall  choosing to row a 10K in preference to watching yet another boring
England football game.   Unfortunately that was the day England beat Germany 5-1!

Much brighter today, so initial plan was to jog over to the nearby golf club and plough around a few laps on it's hill side course;  but the snow was simply too deep in the main and where it was shallower the slopes had already been claimed as a sledgers' playground.
The local grammar school was closed yesterday as the outside steps between the buildings were too "dangerous" to cope with.  Today they were on holiday so they occupied their time by engaging in this much safer activity!

Picture shows a sledger on Ben Rhydding golf course with the Cow and Calf rocks in the background.

  Fortunately just further on is a tree lined,  traffic free lane. With just a couple of inches of snow on it, the lane provided an excellent venue, as it has previously, for ten short hills reps.  
  My INOV8 Mudrocs coped well with the shallow snow on the lane and I was able to concentrate on a pretty good knee lift, pushing off the forefoot as normal.
  But ploughing up and down twenty times on the same narrow groove  the underfoot conditions were deteriorating to ice.   I was nice and comfortable
with what I was wearing but the temperature must have
been down at or below zero.
  I'm sure I'm not alone in being staggered that we are having to cope with these conditions so early in the winter.  I had hoped it might be January, if at all, when I could have lowered the miles and done some more rowing and dare I say it even some weights.
 Let's hope for work and play it goes as quickly as it came.

                                   The view from the top of the hill rep over to Beamsley Beacon
                                            Play continues as I make my way back....