Monthly Archives: September 2010


Last Monday seemed to lead me into the despair of a cold and a feeling of getting nowhere with increasing leg pain and slow running. So I have slacked. I could gloss things over with excuses about feeling rough and drawing my windows for planning approval and that, but really I just couldn’t be arsed.

So when I returned to normal on Sunday, the only question was when I’d run. And since last night involved weights, I went for a plod this evening instead.

And for the first half mile I experienced no pain at all. Zero. Nothing. The slightest twinge crept in over the remaining 2.5 miles, but generally I’m delighted that maybe a week off was what I wanted.

I don’t think I should slack more often or anything, but at least it seems to have done me some good.

And a surge downhill to home made me smile at the ease with which a “fastest” pace can be fabricated onto the Garmin log for a run. A slow plod averaging 7.47 for 3 miles was glammed up with the “fastest” tag of 5.35 for all of…well, probably twenty yards! But in the spirit of doing something odd on each run, it’ll do to keep things fresh.

Too long

Since I last ran, really.

I missed my proposed hill session owing to being far too old to a) not feel tired after driving a racing kart for half an hour (and slowly…age hasn’t been kind to my lap times!) and b) not feel too tired after a late night (well, comparitively late – about midnight in reality) and c) recover from the previous run because my legs still hurt.

The leg hurting is all new – they feel tired and sore which, when combined with a run, makes it feel as though they are jabbing down into the road instead of gliding along it. As though all my cushioning has been removed during a summer off running. It just doesn’t enamour me to going for a jog when I feel below par for any other reason.

And Sunday was sacked off due to running out of time to do everything and deciding that since my legs still hurt, I’d rather do weights instead.

But this evening saw no excuses.

Setting off saw my slowest downhill run for several centuries (over 8 minute mile pace for the first mile, three quarters of which were the same hill with a following wind) owing to the aforementioned pain returning. I promised I’d run through it and, as I hit the flat so the pain subsided.

A new route towards Rye Harbour was elected upon and the middle two miles were nicely paced along the dullest road I’ve ever ventured onto. The return leg up the hill to site was slow but pain free and, as I type, there is no residual pain anywhere.

Just over 4.5 miles made it the longest run since injury. I didn’t like it, but I think the style is returning even if my fitness is lagging back a touch. Not running won’t see a return to form, though, so I guess I’ve got to plough on through. With winter coming, that might need some decent motivation.

Did someone say Grim?


Back to work with a bang and some horror meant I was looking forward to a run, but not in the weather around Rye.

It’s been blowing a gale and occasionally pelting down with rain, but come 5 o’clock I was keen enough to go out and head towards Cock Marling, uphill into the wind, in an effort to feel less bloated.

Such a shame that my legs hurt from the knee down, both left and right, so much that I was slowed to a crawl. The right shin fracture site, ankle, calf and foot as well as the left calf, shin, ankle and heel. Every step made me want to turn around and each step seemed to take so long I wondered if I’d ever get to the turnaround point.

Strangely, however, I was still happy to be out and thinking quite lucidly about how good it is to be running, even with pain, compared to doing nothing. So just before I turned around, I headed down “Dumb Woman Lane” (it does exist, honest – just outside Rye on the Udimore Road – Google will confirm it for the doubters!) to satisfty my desire for silliness on a run – it’s a car wide and second gear steep, so any traffic proves a problem and coming up was going to hurt.

Well, there was too much traffic and so I turned around before the bottom.

And yes, it did hurt.

More than the trip out to it had.

Still, the route back to the office was slightly downhill after this, with a following wind. But my legs still hurt so much that I kept the pace right down in order to let them recover a bit. Which, I think, they have.

So I look forward to seeing how I feel tomorrow. To Thursday and a trip out in a go-kart at Buckmore Park. To Friday and a run and weight filled evening following my lack of run on Thursday. And to, hopefully one day, feeling a little less bloated than I seem to all the time at the moment.


Several times over this last week I have called into question my ability to remember things.

And, judging by that first sentence, I’m calling my ability to phrase things in the style of Yoda into question, too.

Right – start again.

I’ve questioned my ability to remember things several times this week. Forgetting what I’m saying half way through a sentence isn’t even a surprise anymore, but the running annoyance today revolved around deciding not to take a bottle of water on the jog.

Only going out for three and a half miles doesn’t warrant a bottle but, by the same token, if I fancy a drink then not having anything even for a short blast is frustrating to say the least. After two miles I fancied a drink. Mulling over the not having a bottle, I started to try and think of the word that was on the tip of my tongue for how it felt to not have a bottle, keys, fruit, jelly babies or anything else I needed for the long outings when I could run properly.

It took until three miles exactly until the word “liberating” popped into my head. A mile of head scratching to come up with such a simple term. Was this due to concentrating on running form, having started with a bit of pain in my shin, or was it simply because I’m rapidly turning into a fuckwit?

I’ll not know, but the run was summed up as 3.5 miles; 7.49 average pace; bit of pain in the first 300 yards but fine ever since; felt nice and easy; wanted a drink for the second half of the run; didn’t slow or speed up over any of the slopey bits; happy to be home and drink a glass of water, eat a plum and a damson picked straight off the tree (and be surprised that the damson was waaaaaaaaaaaay tastier than it had any right to be!).

Work tomorrow, so back to a hill session on Tuesday or Thursday (I’ve yet to decide which). Oh, blow.

Stop! Carry on…

I took the less lazy but more foolhardy but probably just as quick option for collecting the motorbike this afternoon and ran.

Another run under my belt, another 4 miles, another increase in mileage to test my shin. And so far, so good.

I set off slower, intent on not causing injury as well as wanting to maintain spring in my step despite tight calves from yesterday (tight calves…after 4 miles…when I was putting in 18 and 20 mile runs with no calf pain throughout the winter…oh, how the fitness fails when you can’t walk!), but all pace went to the wall as I passed the pikies at the end of Chart Road and had to a) outrun the two dogs that started to chase me; b) stop and (in what I hope was a convincing “I’m your master” voice!) shout “stop – go home!” at them when, two corners later they were still chasing me at a “we can go much faster and do you if we fancy, but we’re really enjoying cocking up your run, so won’t” pace. One of them went home, the other plodded on until a well timed 4×4 nearly ran it over and slowed it enough that I could make my escape, only for; c) having to stop at the only bit wide enough for the 8 wheel tipper truck to pass me on it’s way up the hill which I discovered yesterday, waiting aaaaages in the process as it climbed slowly up.

Frustrated and sore by now, I looked at the Garmin and discovered I was only 2 miles in!

Then the A28 and clearly some traffic lights further up the road sent a huge wave of trucks, coaches and cars towards me, forcing a stop in a clear bit of hedge as they passed, only for the same to happen twice more over the same stretch, slowing the pace at this bit to a slower than run-walk pootle.

And with it, I think I can claim my most disrupted outing of the current campaign.

But I’m still injury free, my legs are tight but feeling good, I still have two days off before the weekend when I collect a new pushbike, the porch and toilet are looking good (if still a long way off complete) and, apart from wanting to spend more time in the garden but only having a finite quantity of seconds available, I think I’m enjoying my time off.

If only Jogblog would get healthy again, we could enjoy the couple of days out I promised.


Being off as I am this week, and working on the porch and downstairs toilet as I also am, running might well have taken a break. But for my fantastic motorcycle.

Booked it in for a service a few weeks ago and yesterday, it being dry and all, I opted to take it in a day early and use the excuse to run home. I was going to blog it yesterday but computer problems stopped me.

Bad computer.

So, a day later than expected, I can confirm that it’s just about spot 0n 4 miles from here to the motorbike shop, that there’s a flippin’ big hill that I didn’t know existed on the route if you use the back road that I ran (the main road skirts the lump and I’m so inattentive I simply didn’t notice it was there. Good running!) and, at 4 miles, it’s the longest run I’ve done since the marathon.

And despite a little soreness when I set out, my legs now feel fine and dandy. Except for slightly tight calves.

Now…Jack’s just called to say the bike’s ready. Do I drive/ride/cycle/drive the sensible way to collect it, or jog back just a day after my last run?

I’ve an hour to decide.


I seem to have developed a few lingering associations of late. Some good, some funny, some bad. Today they turned odd.

Since Wednesday, when Michael (my fellow site manager) serenaded me in the site office with a rendition of “The only way is up” by Yazz (I think serenaded is the nasty term for it…I was changing in the office for my run; he parked at the bottom of the stairs and turned his stereo up to daft volume, with said song blaring, and waited until I came out to throw things at him before wheelspinning off to the delight of Will, our assistant, who was again left wondering if Michael is in fact 30 or really just a 12 year old in an adult body) it’s been stuck in my mind on rotation, annoying the hell out of me.

Upon return from work on Friday (a late return, caused by a visit to the pub), the house had the aroma of burned things about it. This was traced to the toaster but, as these things do, everytime I turned it on since, it has re- burnt. Intentions to clean it out have been forgotten each time with the thought that “I’ll do it when it’s cool to avoid damaging the elements” turns into “bugger, I forgot to clean that out again” next time it’s used and causes the smell.

Then today, Cathy had a sausage and egg sandwich for lunch. The aroma was rather pleasant but, having had my lunch then gone out on the motorbike and returned, the aroma was still in the house. I changed quickly, put the flour and stuff in the bread machine for a pizza base and pulled on my running shoes to run into town and collect Cathy’s bike from yesterday when, upon leaving the house and turning into the next road, I could smell sausages again. They weren’t following me, I hadn’t been marinaded in the flavour, it simply turned out a barbecue was carried on the wind all the way down the road, but it alerted me to habits for long enough to make me worried my life will descend into a blur of repetition if this carries on.

The run itself was unremarkable. Shorter than of late to allow for two long ish runs in the week (5 miles from the motorbike shop when I drop it off for a service, 5 miles back to the shop when I collect it), but a useful outing. My buttocks hurt from effectively powerlifting the flatbed of a 1983 Ford Transit a few too many times yesterday, so that made me weary beforwe I set off, but for everything else it seemed dull.

And I like dull – it means no pain, no niggles and a happy jogger. Long may it continue.

Without Yazz. Or anything by Cornershop getting into my head at breakfast, come to that. I had enough of that last week.

Repeat to fade

Yep, that just about sums things up.

A day at work sped by in a fit of fury and ire at general incompetence (not all of it my own) and too little time.

And lo! It was 5 o’clock, time to stop work (by which time things had degenerated so far that I was scaffolding, of all things, so not really producing anything of value to my normal role!), get changed into running kit and, for only the third time in Rye, go for a run.

It suggests something about my form that, having been in Rye since the 29th March, I’ve only run there a couple of times. Along the canal and, more memorably, through Cock Marling. Today didn’t even see me go off site.

But for good reason! I left the site hut with line marker paint and measuring wheel and, starting at the top of site, marked 50 metre intervals down the road until, 250m later, I was on a flatter portion of road and at my starting marker. The longest portion of hill runs at a steady 1 in 12 gradient, the most the highways department will let us get away with nowadays and all 250m is slightly uphill. As set out, the section from 100m to 250m was all on the hardest pitch just to add to my pending misery.

The plan was to run 50m up as hard as I thought I could and still be running at the end of the session, so a little unknown on the “how hard can I push” front. I jogged back down, only to turn around and push for 100m as hard as possible, jogging back to the start. Repeat to fade through 150, 200 and 250m before working my way back down the hill in 50m increments to form a pyramid of effort which turned out to take 12 minutes, 10 seconds and make me wonder if my heart was going to make a guest appearance outside my chest.

Su bloody perb as a change from running. 1.62 miles total and loads of stuff learned.

Like that I consistently used 4 fewer paces from 50 to 100m than from 0 to 50m. That (in having pressed a new lap at every turnaround point), from the 250m peak run every subsequent interval was 3 seconds slower than the first run – for every distance! 3 seconds slower, whether it was 200 or 50m run. That can purely be psychological, not physical tiredness or the times would be graded to the distance, no? But mainly, it gives me a gauge for future runs to see how my fitness improves. Or my sprinting ability, I guess (but I reckon the 250m uphill seperates it from sprinting somewhat and into something more meaningful for a middle distance jogger).

My average time seems unnecessary, considering half the distance was in recovery and the rest uphill, but I guess as fitness peaks, so the recovery speed will rise along with the climbing speed. This time, the average pace was 7.32 per mile. I’ll see if improvements in splits are reflected in slower average pace or if it all changes accordingly.

Aside from all this, though, it was fun.

12 minutes isn’t a lot. I don’t know if it’s enough, in fact, but during my recovery phase of short distances, it seems somehow right. I guess I could warm up with a jog first, or warm down instead of sitting in the car immediately to come home. These details I can tweak.

These things don’t bother me, though. Becoming a fitter, faster individual does. Having fun does. Doing different things does.

Success on all these counts.