Monday, 31 January 2011


 Whilst the old legs are far from 100% and I have another consultation to attend tomorrow morning,  I did at least manage a full week of training in week 4 of 2011.
 The tortuous 3 on the grass on Thursday was really disappointing but I put it down to running after sitting at the desk in the previous hours which the left leg seems to object to and hoped that I could still mange a better effort on the Nelson track on the Friday morning.
 The leg held up for the 2 mile warm up and so I clicked the watch for a very tentative 12 and 1/2 laps. The first 5K time trial of the year.  Whatever the time it would tell me how unfit am I and what needs to be done to  get back to 2010 levels. I'll be honest after the previous night anything around 30  minutes would have been a welcome survival exercise.  But  a pain free leg allowed me to knock  out initial laps just over the minute mark and dip under 2 for the last few to record.........25.27.   Over 5 minutes slower than my fastest race time for 5K but very reassuring that efforts to "hang on in there" as I put seem to be working , to some extent.

 We were away over in Boston Spa on Saturday night so Sunday morning's 7 would have to take place on unknown territory.   I did a recce on gmap-pedometer but hadn't expected it to be so hilly.
 Nor did I expect to see such an impressive building as the Catholic church in Clifford village!  I was intrigued as to why a relatively small Yorkshire community should have such a large and seemingly extravagent building.  Apparently, it was built to serve the population of workers from Ireland brought over to work in the local flax mill in the 19th century.  Completed in 1866.
 The undulating tour of  countryside was far from comfortable  but I was able to go over the planned 7 to make it an 8.  So again reassuring in terms of distance as well .
 That made made up 36 miles for week 4 and brought the average up to 24 for the year.  Far below last year's 45 but 48 weeks to go ! Hopefully no more setbacks.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011


  A club mate asked in an email if I was actually running at the moment; presumably as quite a few of my blog posts have been nostalgic rather than yet another post simply stating.....I ran today, it was still a pain!!
  I read yesterday that 56% of runners get "hurt" every year.  When I look back over the last few year's it would seem I've settled into a fairly good safe routine when I review the few times when I have had set backs.    I have suffered a calf strain doing a track session too soon after a half marathon; a back injury stretching whilst washing the car and a strain loosing balance whilst gardening.   So not too bad.
  Being able to train in the light means I'm able to limit the amount on tarmac so the softer grass and trail running helps ease the pounding. Having access to the track for speed work again saves  the road impact
except in races and, of course, I'm fortunate that I don't have to wear shoes longer than necessary.

 So this current hiatus has been particularly hard to cope with.  Before
yesterday I would have related that I'm being very patient and progress has been very steady whilst uncomfortable throughout.
 Last week I resolved to just run 4 miles flat on grass or road (to push the pace a tad) and managed that to record 24 miles for the week.
Diligently applying ice pads or ice massaging after each run.
 For this week I have planned to nudge the length of the runs up with a
5 Monday,  a 6 Wednesday and Friday and a 7 on Sunday.  With an easy 4 on the grass in between.  Monday went well, I thought. Managed 5 , all below 9 mins.  So thought Tuesday wouldn't be a problem. Wrong!
  After 5 minutes the pain down the left leg had returned and I was brought to a limping halt.  Desperate.
  At this point I really felt like giving up.  However,  I thought no...get home, bang  the ice pads around the thigh and come back and give it another go. I AM NOT A LOSER !

An hour later,  I drove down to the field again and with  only slight discomfort  ran  4 miles and even included some sub 8 minute pace efforts to finish off with!   My thoughts keep returning to my previous thoughts of the sciatic nerve being pinched and then released.   I would appreciate any thoughts or comments, readers.

 So resolutely sticking to this week's plan  I  set out on the canal today in hope that I could manage 6 miles.  I wanted a change from the roads of Ilkley and after a 30 minute drive the leg was a bit sore for the first mile but gradually I was able to ease into the run and the pace picked up with the last mile a very respectable 8.17.
  I must admit when I see so many people seemingly enjoying cycling and so many guys my age on the Ilkley golf course I keep thinking that having been racing since the early '60s,  it's time to give it up. 
  But then I look at my times from last year and ,whilst they are not any where near the very top M60s around,  they are still times which so many younger runners would be proud of  and are striving for.  


Monday, 24 January 2011


Congratulations to readers who gave it their all yesterday at York in the Brass Monkey half; especially those who took advantage of pretty favourable conditions and the fast course to
record PBs.  
 Double congratulations to those of you who also came away with individual and age group prizes.
 This shot features blog follower Kevin Ogden (455, red/ gold vest) on his way to a great PB placing of 14th from 1561 who finished.
  Well done Kevin.

It was particularly pleasing also to see young female friends,with whom I've shared many a mile,occupying second and third places. 
 Both  were using the race as a key build up race to spring marathons and, all being well,  they are both on the way to great  performances over 26.2 miles in just a few weeks time.
  Well done Amy  Green and Sarah Jarvis.
 Looking at the results it's great to see such a large percentage of the 1561 finishers are female in comparison even to 25 years ago, 1986.

 Naturally, perhaps pedantically,  I cast my  evil eye over the times  of the leading 2011 men  compared to 1986.  Yesterday's winner, Paul Martelleti,  pictured here, would have shown me a very clean pair of heels with 65.21 compared to my 67.55 but the rest of our class of '86   would have bettered each top ten placing with the '86 tenth crossing the line back then in 72.35 compared to 73.59 yesterday.    Looking at the vets of 1986, there were only 4 in the first 50 compared to 14 yesterday; confirming current trends.  
 Reading other blog reports of yesterday's race, it would seem that the York Knavesmire club race committee will once again be having a long look at the event and no doubt reviewing  the policy of  total online entry and collection of numbers on the morning before 10.00 a.m. which proved problematic.  Perhaps simply a later start!
 I can't help thinking the total online entry system clearly works against anyone who isn't computer savvy or anyone who was out training on the Saturday morning when the entry system opened and closed.  But as long as they get 1500 plus I don't suppose they are bothered who they are. The race will be full again next year, that's a certainty.
 Working in the Nelson shop last Saturday, I was asked if the Brass Monkey, in its 28th year, was a big race back then.  I don't have full results but would guess about 500 ran it.  For me it was significant in as much as it was a key race building up to  the Bristol Marathon in the April.
 However, the diary entry for the week  preceding the York race of '86,  even puzzled me to read it.  Monday started OK with a 6 in the a.m. and a 6 in the evening followed by 6 Tuesday a.m. and 4 x mile in the evening.  So far so good.  But  on the Wednesday  we woke to a gale blowing down the valley and so, ever supportive, Pat drove me up Wharfedale to Burnsall so I could run back to Ilkley with the gale force wind behind.  And blow me it did..............11 miles in 66 minutes.  Hardly, a moderate midweek run before a race.  Talk about gone with the wind.
 Thursday reads,not surprisingly,....simply..... "knackered".....4 easy.  But  keen to approach 80 for the week, it was 2 x 6 on the Friday and surprisingly,  2 x 6 again on the Saturday.   Hardly the ease down that I would afford myself now and would advice for others either. 
 Nevertheless,  a win and a PB were managed with thoughts returning to  plans  for a good run in Bristol. But  more immediately, in just another 3 weeks, what to run before a trip abroad for another build race.....the MALTA MARATHON ,  where I would have not one but 2 European marathon champions to contend with.  All good fun!
 I recall having the Fastrax factory make up a special red and white vest for me (Maltese colours)
to wear in on the mediterranean island in the hope that it engender some local support!  Did it work....I'll come back to that later, no doubt.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

(No) Monkey business!

 This scene will be replicated for the 28th. time tomorrow morning at 10.00 a.m. at the York Knavesmire racecourse as over 1000 runners set off to complete the BRASS MONKEY HALF MARATHON.

 I won't digress to go into the background to the naming of the race; only to say that apparently it has nothing to do with ships and brass monkeys,  housing cannon balls which as  temperature reach freezing,  the balls drop off. 
A load of tosh ! , I read cannon balls were never stored like this.
 No,  I read the phrase came from one Thomas Wolfe (?)(1900-1938)
"It would freeze the balls off a brass monkey- that's how cold it gets"

Should by some freak of nature temperatures rise inexplicably to  summer figures then  a phrase from 1847 can be borrowed........
                         "It was hot enough to melt the NOSE  off a brass monkey"

 Whatever the conditions,  the race will be a chance for serious competitors to monitor their fitness levels after the very difficult period of unfavourable weather.   Provided of course that they give it 100%  and don't lament missed training opportunities  and settle for less.

If you are reading this and racing tomorrow, have a good one , go for it! Best of luck. 

Friday, 21 January 2011

Get out there and run.....but know your limits!

 Perhaps you too receive a "Quote of the day" from runners World U.S.?  Today's was by Ultrarunner and Best Selling Author  DEAN KARNAZES, shown here during one of his runs

....I couldn't quite work out  what he was doing but the "key words"  were
                   ice.......bath......badwater.....roadside.   Explanation anybody ?
  Anyway, his quote was,
  "Nobody cares if you're not a good dancer.  Just get up and dance. The same holds true for running.    Whether first or last we all cross the same finish line.  Just get out there and run".
 I can understand the sentiment and appreciate what he is saying but I don't know about you,  I couldn't help thinking there are a few flaws in the statement.   One,  OK, make a fool of yourself dancing at  a family  wedding,  but getting out of your seat and trying to join Ballet Rambert on the stage might not go down so well with the rest of the paying audience.   OK,   walk, jog or run a 5K "park run" event , fine.   But I think today too many runners want to "get up onto stages"  that they are clearly not ready for.   Whether that be a marathon  or a long distance off road  mountain event.  The latter being more foolhardy as they not only put themselves in danger but also rescue teams.   ( Of course, many events have cut off points)   A case of knowing your limits.  Sympathies to the officials at Sunday's Brass Monkey half marathon as some will  take over 3 hours to come in.  ( Since writing this, I have read that all marshalling and timing mats will be withdrawn at 12.45. So anyone taking more than 2 hours 45 will have to time themselves and not receive an official time)
  My limit this week has been runs of 4 miles!  I won't be repeating my win of 25 years ago at York.   That day just over 5 minute mileing.  Today I  was limping along at just under 10 minute mileing!! Oh, to be young.  
  I think I've overdone some of the stretches which I've convinced myself I should be doing to develop a pert little bum , sorry,  develop my gluteal muscles and avoid hamstring soreness.    As the Scout motto  say, "Be prepared"; hopefully to enable me to go forward for the rest of the year.
  Mentioning scouts,   this photo appeared yesterday in our local newspaper . It depicts Menston Cubs and Brownies 1974.   Can you recognise one of the UK's fastest marathoners?

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Decisions on the run

 Still experiencing some discomfort in the legs  but with the sun high in the sky I thought a return to the reservoirs was called for.   
 But not entirely certain as I set out how it would go.  I've been keeping the runs flat. Could  my healing body  cope with the undulations of the trail?
I've not run more than 5 miles for a while. Could I cope with 6.5 miles?
 Solution?  Give yourself an escape route, I thought. So I toddled off ,somewhat apprehensively, to go around, at least , the Fewston reservoir for a 4. I would have  the option  of going around Swinsty as well for a 6.5...... if all was going well.

Proceeding cautiously at what felt no more than a shuffle I was able to savour the splendour of the spring like day.  Once fully into the sun the gloves were off and I was becoming more than cosy in the Gore Softshell jacket.  The trail was littered with walkers similarly enjoying  a fantastic respite after the snow and so many dreary grey days.  Hopefully more to come.
 Unfortunately, by 3 miles the old legs were beginning to shout perhaps 4 will be enough today.   I reached the point , at the end of the trail shown in the photo here .........

where I had to make a decision.  Left and down for 6.5 or right
and back along the dam  for 4.  The heart and lungs were saying left, what's the problem?   Both legs were saying, why risk it?  Quit while you're ahead,  live to fight another day.  Give yourself something to look forward to next week.  Go left and you might not  make next week!
   A day in the past I would have gone left and suffered, run through it. Not wimped out.   Today.....I just did 4!
   The trail run gave me a chance to try out the ADIDAS ADIZERO XT.  The outersole coped well with the tacky trail where the sun had hit and coped well with frosted sections in the shade.   No problems comfort wise straight from the box.  The cushioning proved more than adequate for my bony feet and I felt they offered good support.   I particularly like the way the heel counter external band attaches extends laterally to form the middle of the 3 adidas stripes. Clever.
The red/black is the 2010 colourway; the current in store colourway being ...

Just one model in an excellent trail offering from Adidas for 2011.  

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

A week of mixed fortunes.

 Back online now after some admin. changes.  So a bit of a catch up and a review of a week of very mixed fortunes.......
  A week last Sunday I described how a zero effort, leisurely midday stroll along the shore of Lake Windermere  turned into a painful trial,  punctuated with periods spent stretching my left leg to relieve pain.
  7 days later I set out  to run 5 miles on the road and hopefully manage to register 2 of them at sub 9 minute pace.   I managed 4.  Not exactly smooth and comfortable but reasonablby satisfying.  What a difference a week makes.
  The week had included 2 chiropractor visits and I have to think that the treatments contributed to the progress.  However, after the 25 minute session on Friday,  I decided that it would be the last.
  When we sell shoes in the shop we do our very best to describe the shoes being offered and how they meet the needs of the runner buying them.  In comparison, what disappointed me in these chiropractor visits was that I was not really being told what he was trying to be achieve by each phase of the treatment.  In fact,  I only realised, being face down on the bench, that  I was having ultrasound on Friday when I noticed the timer ring.   I had to ask the benefit of the acupuncture.   The final manipulation was extremely traumatic for my frail aged upper body.   He achieved the "click" he seemed to be striving for but I gave thanks that it was not a rib breaking.  
  Despite there being 4 days last week between visits I was given no guidance as to how I might help the problem myself and I left without any guidance about strengthening exercises which might prevent a reoccurrence of the problem in the future.  A bit disappointing I thought for a fee of £31. 
Or was I expecting too much ?   Any comments welcome.   
  To  add to the mix my own GP disagreed with his diagnosis and said he would arrange for me to see someone else. 
  Working backwards, Saturday, Friday and Thursday went OK but the Wednesday run was again a struggle.  It was an evening run, after a full day sat at the desk  in a meeting.   Lesson learnt! 

  The meeting was with our Saucony rep. showing delights on offer for next autumn /winter.  Mainly colour updates and tweaks to existing models; but one notable new shoe will have minimalist afficianados salivating.
  The SAUCONY HATTORI   coming in at 125gs (most of their range being in excess of 300gs) is unbelievably light.  The designers have  take the buyer as close as they can to running barefoot with its sock construction.  Its basically a thin compression molded eva midsole with "ultralite mesh" sock on top secured to the foot with a velcro
Saucony add the Hattori to their minimalist offering of Mirage, Kinvara and the trail shoe Peregrine. 
  The minimalist movement advocate shoes which  encourage midfoot/ forefoot running.  All very fine. But
having had forefoot surgery following years of forefoot  running I have to admit to some reservations about this minimalist trend IF they are used for ALL training. 
  Of course we've had very light shoes for years but they were strictly reserved for racing not training.   So light that we didn't even warm up for races in  our racing shoes.  But at that time no runner would weigh more than 11 stone and pronation was not in our vocabulary.


Friday, 14 January 2011

Marathon build up races.....getting it wrong?

 Yesterday's post  related  race frequency  and race build up,  focussing  on the marathon. As an example of perhaps a sensible approach  I went back to 1983 and the London Marathon in April.   There was perhaps less temptation  to over race in the first 3 months of the year, as having had a relatively easy November and December,  there was still a feeling of building back up in the first quarter.
  Later in the year, however,  I was definitely guilty of "going to the well" too often and consequently paid the price, albeit small.   In 1985,  by the end of August I had run 12 races including a successful 2nd in Selby Marathon (2:27.49)  Build up to that one had included 4 half marathons, between 70 and 72, so again faster than marathon pace.  So far so good. 12 races in 8 months.
  With a rare "high value" team prize up for grabs our team at Valley Striders (Leeds) next targetted the Humber Marathon (Hull).  There would be 12 weeks between the Selby and the Hull races. Again the build up looks sensible with a 22K,  a half, a 15 miler, a 20 mile race.  But another half two weeks before the Hull and a 10K the week before look questionable in retrospect and ill advised.
  I was beaten at Selby by team mate Steve O'Callaghan by just 50 seconds.   12 weeks later he beat me by over 3 minutes at the Humber.   Consolation was the team performance.   Martin Hopson (8th 2:27)
Steve O'C. (9th. 2:27)  Terry Bean (10th 2:27)  with me 11th 2:30.41.   But not good enough to win the team prize and so we resolved to turn out again in force in the local Leeds Marathon. ....just 6 weeks later!!   Perhaps that was what we were plotting in this post Humber photo or was it the fact that with 8,9,10 and 11 there had been no team prize to collect!
  I think if I was advising an athlete today I would say OK,   do it if you must,  but let's ease down for a couple of weeks, pick up for a couple of weeks and then ease down again.  Run the race and have a rest from racing for November and December. 
 Trouble was I didn't have a coach.   This is what I did in the 6 weeks between the 2 marathons.

  Week after marathon......SEPT 22   Sale Half....................71.41
                                            SEPT 29   Blackpool Half .........70.25
                                            OCT    6    Nidd Valley Half......70.33
So 3 half marathon in the 3 weeks following the Humber....time for a rest? 
No chance, why not run 2 races the following Sunday. One in the morning. One in the afternoon !!
                                            OCT   13   (morning.....Horsforth 10K......33.03
                                                                afternoon..York  10 mile.........56.34 
                                            OCT 20.....wait for it.......REST ...NO RACE (that made a change!)

 Naturally, having  had  a week of racing I must have felt "well up" for the LEEDS and  despite a quality  field with a dozen sub 2:30 runners in it, decided I would try to break them early......making a break after just 2 miles...WRONG!!
 I can recall drifting back from 20 miles. Eventually dropping out of the top 10.  Not totally disastrous but I had hoped for much more.  I eventually finished 12th in 2:31.19. 
 This picture below clearly shows my frustration in the finishing funnel just ahead of ALAN DENT of BLAYDON.  Alan ran 2:31.26 for 13th.   You can check out Alan's current running at

Looks like we're doing the hokey kokey, doesn't it? You put your left shoulder in, put your right shoulder in.....but don't shake it all've just run 26.2 miles.

  You can read as much as you like about marathon preparation but no where will it tell you to race another marathon within 6 weeks of another, let alone slot 3 half marathons and more in between.     This was binge racing in the extreme.  Why on earth did I do it?
  In my defence,  looking back, I can only think that we must having had the van selling at all those events and I tended to do the races that we were selling at.   Madness!
  In conclusion,  if you  are focussing on a spring marathon, do just that..... focus.  Choose your build up races wisely and run them 100%.  You should be as fit as ever.  Go for some PBs.  Not marathon pace. You never know what might happen before your big day or  on  the big day itself.  Have a good build up!

Marathon build up races...getting it right.

 Lying face down with 4 needles sticking out of your bum is perhaps not the most convivial position to be in whilst having a meaningful conversation,  but there you go! The conversation with the chiropractor  on Monday turned to the number of races run last year. He seemed a bit surprised when I said 19.
 Not seeing a lot of runners,  I suppose he may have thought that most of us only run 2 or 3 events annually; namely THE " marathon" (that means London, of course, as if there aren't any others) the Great North Run and possibly the Great Manchester 10K.
 So you race every 3 weeks, he said.  "Yes, on average", I said.
 But, of course, it doesn't always quite work out like that, does it?
 It would if we aim to peak for several key races in the year, say April, July, October and possibly December.  Running build up races (U.S. : tune up races?) geared to each one that would give us at least 15/16 races per year and that would appear sensible.
  I'm sure there are some who'll  toe the line in a spring marathon with no build up races under the belt. May even include the likes of Paula Radcliffe. But 16 or so weeks without a race to me is a long time  and only adds to the pressure on the "big day." It's a long time to stay motivated.  
 I would always encourage,  at the very least,  a half marathon in the build up, as it gives a good indication of how training has gone and the resulting time acts a good predictor for the marathon itself and should ideally, if the long runs have been put in, determine race day pace.  
   Also, a  PB in a build run race, can often serve as compensation should the key race not go entirely to plan as can often be the case.  

 There is much talk nowadays about practising marathon pace in a build up race.  Personally, I can't the point of trying to run slower than capability over the shorter distance and of course you throw away the chance of that PB and throw away the chance to predict your  26.2 mile pace.   Some might opt for a February half at MP followed by a March half at 100%, of course which sounds like a better plan.
 I'll close with one build up which would appear to have worked.  London Marathon 1983.
Finished 1982 with Leeds marathon (Oct 31) 2:32.  Recovered in November and December with just one race. A 10 miler.
                           1983   JAN 16    FERRIBY 10                    53.24   (SNOWY CONDITIONS)
                                      FEB  27    RIBBLE VALLEY 10      51.52 
                                      MAR 13   SPEN 20                        1:54.17   (VERY HILLY)
                                      MAR 27   YORK  HALF                  68.08   (VERY FLAT)
                                      APR 17    LONDON MARATHON  2:25.33

A PB by over 4 minutes .   It wasn't the only marathon that went well for me ,  but after some others I wasn't a happy bunny and very often I was guilty of running TOO MANY  build up races.  To follow.....

Monday, 10 January 2011

Lakeside limping

 Discretion being the better part of valour, I didn't take much persuasion to take a break from running for the weekend.  The chiropractor on Friday hadn't actually said not to run, but with a couple of nights in the Lake District planned where flat safe running is quite hard to find  I decided to give the leg a break or should I say rest.
  So I was quite looking forward to taking the Hawkshead ferry across Lake Windermere on Sunday morning for a gentle stroll on the far lakeshore over a few miles.
  The morning was quite mild with the noon sun breaking through the clouds as seen on this shot from the ferry which carried just 4 cars and 6 people in contrast the densely packed loads carried at the height of the summer.
Sitting on the ferry I felt some discomfort in the leg again. I was wishing I could reach up, scoop up some of the snow from off the mountain tops in the distance and apply to painful areas.

I'd like to report that the walk went as smoothly as the swan in the pics above gliding across Windermere but sadly not.  We turned back after little more than a mile as the pain in the leg had forced me to stop every few minutes to do the now perfected relieving stretch.   Very frustrating and disappointing.   Some compernsation coming with Man United's 1-0 win over Liverpool.
Limping back to the ferry.

I've had another session and again decided not to test the leg but tomorrow.....................?

Friday, 7 January 2011

Hip bursitis......running a risk?

 I wish I could be as posively upbeat in this post as I was in the last. I'm afraid that light at the end of the tunnel is possibly further away than I had thought it was.  That target of 30 miles this week was rather optimistic!!
 True to form having had treatment,  including acupuncture,  at the chiropractor on Wednesday I tested the leg over 3 miles on grass a couple of hours later and that went quite well.  So yesterday rather than repeat the safe exercise which would have been a tad boring , I ventured over to the reservoir expecting that 4 miles would be OK.  Wrong!!

 I choose the wrong way to run around and already having had to stop twice to sit and stretch the leg a hill in the last mile reduced me to a very painful walk.  I had received no real advice from the chiropractor as to what kind of running would be safe but I have since read that any running should be very slow on flat grass!
  Had another treatment  today but with snow falling hour after hour, the decision making was very run today of any kind.  
  Professional footballers earning tens of thousands of £s per week are upset that they don't have a winter break.   So that's what I'm regarding this as for me...... winter break and with the pursuit of PBs a thing of the past, why not?
 I've been applying ice packs and ice massaging the hip to reduce the inflammation in the burca sac area and taking ibuprofen.  So hopefully with this self help and the chiropractor's work it will not be necessary to have an injection to further provide relief.  Two more treatment sessions planned next week. 
 Typical, I go years without having to see anyone then this.   Once the inflammation has been gone it's clear that some strengthening exercises are going to be necessary to develop the "glutes".
 Apparently, better toned muscles and tendons should then glide more easily and help to prevent the hip bursitis flaring up again in the future. 
 Grateful for any comments from any readers who have experienced this apparently common running injury.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Running towards the light

  Having reviewed your 2010,  I bet all you fit,  young people are thinking in terms of long term aims and short term objectives for 2011; and why not!  Go for it.
   Whilst it would be nice to compete at 100% in another 20 races this year,  equal or better the 8 catergory wins this year and perhaps even improve my Run Britain handicap,  my initial objective is to take the fear out of sitting at this computer for a period,  take the fear out of putting socks on and take the fear out of going to the toilet.  Actions which have not been unlikely to bring on a return of leg pain!  Fortunately relieved immediately by application of ice pads. 
  Looking at the bigger picture, in line with popular thinking I'll accept December and last week as a period of restoration for the body generally.  So this week I'll regard as week one and will aim to start a period of gradual return to routine with 30 miles. 
  I have to feel sympathetic to injured readers whose problems prevent them from running at all. Whilst the
December left leg pain is preventing a routine to my 45/50 miles per week routine of last year,  at least I've been able to tick over,  albeit with some discomfort.  The last 5 weeks have at least produced 122 miles.

  I had thought I was over the worst but during a very disappointing birthday run on Sunday I had to stop and stretch the leg for relief. A clear suggestion that without professional help any relief I could impose would only be temporary.

 I was able to secure a consultation with a chiropractor today as he returned to work. After filling in a questionnaire and discussion he set about a physical examination and manipulation which proved extremely painful and acupuncture which was not painful at all. All of which took an hour and  a half.  So very thorough. The conclusion was not totally defined but strong indication was that the problem is not sciatica as I first thought but bursitis just below the pelvic girdle.
 I'm plucking up courage to go again on Friday!

  After lunch and an hour's sleep to recover from the wresting I returned to the grass to judge if the session had had any immediate benefit. I managed a pretty much pain free 3 miles.   Not at all fast; just 10 minute  mileing but..............
 perhaps light at the end of the tunnel!
 Let's just hope that my needle man does not advise  me not to run; but judging the results of today's work that looks unlikely.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

1949 My First Run?

 I don't know what you were doing 62 years ago today but I seem to recall that I was in some kind of a cave filled with some kind of water.  I was lying back comfortably  having a nice soak when suddenly I was being pushed down some kind of dark tunnel. There was a lot of loud high pitched kind of whining going on all around me.
 Quite unneverving! Put me off potholing for life I can tell you.
 Anyway, within seconds I emerged into a very  large open space full of lots of strangers and bright lights.  I was lying there minding my own business,just studying the strange forties furniture and wall decor,  when one of them picked me up and for no reason whatsoever gave me a right smack on the backside.  Probably a way of preparing me for my future school days.
 I thought I'm not having any more of that so I jumped off the bed and starting running......
 and I've been running ever since!

Saturday, 1 January 2011


                We hope you have a happy, healthy and successful 2011.  Pat and Terry Lonergan
Keep on blogging!