Sunday, 17 February 2013


  It seems every single day I hear or read about a runner being injured.  I suppose it's just comes with the territory; almost inevitable for the competing athlete.  More annoying though are injuries which occur when we are not in our running kit!  Take Friday morning......
  I went into the (Complete Runner) shop to find a large carton of hoodies, sweats and tees had just been delivered.  I thought there's  no way I'm  going to risk a back strain by trying to carry it upstairs so I simply bent down to move it ...and strained my back anyway!   Extremely painful, annoying and frustrating with two sunshine filled days being forecast for the weekend.  
  It isn't 100% but  plenty of icing,  use of  hot warm wheat bag and my magic gel, HIRUDOID  enabled me to finish off the week with an accelerating 8 miler today; a day when I'm sure 99% of runners were up and out to take advantage after so much poor weather of late.  8 miles but  it was a great day for more wasn't it?  
 What a contrast to just 4 days ago.  Last Wednesday I ran from the house zigzagging down to the shop in a blizzard. So glad I had remembered to don the SUNWISE "MARATHON" glasses with yellow lens. Ideal for the conditions to stop the eye sting!
 It was noon by the time I set off with Pat "in support"; having blown the dust off her bike to keep me company on the canal.   In over an hour's running  we saw over a hundred walkers,  dozens of cyclists but only one  As I said perhaps they had all gone out early.
 It was another "par" week of 40 miles and included the first track session of the year  ( the classic 4 x mile)
with a visit to Manchester's Sports City stadium. A venue buzzing with the excitement of the National Squash Championships for 2013.  Championships catering for age groups right up to 75. 
 For once I didn't have the track to myself.  I watched a young lady finish her warm up, strip off and flash around a 250.  She then put her  kit back on and left.  She was "racing at the weekend".  
OK for some I thought.   I'm coming back as a 400 metre runner!
 It's not just my back that's been bothering of late.  I "acted on impulse" late one evening a few weeks ago and entered the CONISTON 14.  So with that undulating course in mind I've been including  more hills into the programme.   No real problem but I think the downhill  stretches are  taking a toll on my old knees. Again having to pack them with the ice packs; which works well.
 So what with the weak back and sore knees I think I'm in need to look into some conditioning!
I wish I could say spring has sprung after today but we know it doesn't quite work like that does it? Remember the high temperatures and days of bright sunshine we enjoyed last March?



Tuesday, 5 February 2013


  Well I had hoped we'd seen the back of the white stuff for this winter but it came creeping back life a thief in the night to Wharfedale to create mischief and mayhem early this Tuesday morning.
  Fortunately by the time I ventured out for a flat 6 miler the roads had virtually cleared . But I correctly predicted lunchtime blizzards and was suitably prepared with windstopper tights, softshell jacket, windstopper gloves, thermal hat and clear lens in the sunglasses to protect the eyes from the snow. Sorted.
Equipped, protected but still a tad unpleasant coping with it all.
At  least it was a flat run. I'd finished last week, week 5, with a tough hilly 8 miler centred on the Strid Woods. A run which brought the week's total back to average plus with 42 miles.  No track work yet but a good wind assisted 5K on the Thursday  which hinted of good times to come.

  We've  been pretty busy in the Fastrax office the last few weeks; orders which included several for universities coming to Leeds for the British Universities & Colleges Sports cross country chanpionships.  Fondly known as the BUCS.  The championships were hosted by Leeds University on their Bodington fields; a venue which had already suffered from two other cross country events in recent weeks. 
 Needless to say they hadn't really recovered and so the students were faced with a very challenging course of relentless deep mud.

  Runners from both ends of the spectrum were on show from internationals like
EMILIA GORECKA and LAUREN HAWORTH (pictured above) to students clearly just making up the numbers but all would have found the conditions very testing indeed.
 Over the last few years young female runners have started adorning themselves with race "warpaint" in their club colours but Saturday many students took the practice to another level.  And it wasn't just the fair sex.     Lots of lads were following the example set by their female teammates.
 Possibly the most extreme being one young man from Durham University.....