Monthly Archives: February 2011


I’ve been waiting patiently for my foot to heal enough to give me confidence that a gentle plod out won’t bring with it days and days of pain and during this time I’ve been trying to assess where the pain starts from and what the cause might be.

Curiously I have been having good and bad days despite attempts to treat it the same all the time and my conclusion is that there isn’t a pattern. Nothing seems to make it better or worse except the trend has been improvement. To the point where I decided that yesterday would be a small jog day.

The morning started well enough, weather wise, but then deteriorated into heavy rain which cleared mid afternoon, encouraging me that I could get out and back between showers. So I set off on a small loop through the lanes and back through Park Farm, stopping mid way for a chat to a groundworker and his bulldog. And it was ok.

A bit of foot pain immediately afterwards wasn’t very nice but the proof of healing should be the longer term effect, I reckon, and today has given me no serious causes for concern at all, I went for a 16 mile ride to the hilly part of my future cycling commute to test the speed difference I’ll find on the out and back route (to work will be predominently downhill and proved 2mph quicker for the half distance today) and everything feels good.

I might even attempt another plod on Monday night if timings and enthusiasm catch me on the right side. But then I have got a house to do bits on, seeds to plant and a garden to tidy over the evenings (just not making a dent in the jobs list without addidng chores into the list at the moment, so weekdays are about to get busier), so exercise might be taking a small back seat for a while at least until I’m happy the house is in a fit state for me to ignore it again.

We’ll see, though. Don’t want to be fat for my middle age, after all.

1792.26 miles to go.

Still Here!

I haven’t given up exercise, even if my blog has been a bit inactive since January. The only problem has been that none of it has been running related over the last week.

I’ve given best to my foot problem at the moment and am resting it out of necessity…walking around at work was being compromised by constant and sharp pain, so exercise has been upper body related and cycling based.

13 miles on the road bike on Sunday afternoon has been supplemented tonight by 8 more. All of it seems to be at an average of 16 miles per hour and it’s all a varied mix of country lanes, town roads with traffic lights and stuff and slopes but no hills. It seems I may need some clipless pedals to unlock the next league of performance because there’s plenty of go in my legs and lungs but very little gets through the pedals!

I’m enjoying it in the absence of running, though (well…except the constant barrage of cars pulling out of side roads onto me, clearly expecting me to stop for them in a meek and quiet way judging by the shocked expressions I keep getting after I educate them into the language of the average builder!) and the mileage available to explore can only be better over the coming lighter evenings as preparation for the work commute gets under way.

Might need a more comfortable saddle, though. I’m hoping I’ll get used to my current one but experience of past saddles indicates it may be just a stretch too far this time. Brooks, anyone?!

1827.23 miles to go.


Saturday is an age ago, it seems, and as such my last run was an age ago, too. Looking at my SportTracks activities, February is certainly a month of rest.

If only it were also a month of recovery from injury.

My right leg is doing okay. The shin seems to be getting healthier by far; it now takes all I can force through it before protesting that I’ve gone too far and even occasional bursts of speed in my rigger boots on site leave it feeling reasonable.

My left foot is another story. Last night was the first time since Saturday that it’s felt remotely comfortable and this morning I managed to walk from the car to the site office without an extravagant limp. Which made me hopeful of a comfortable run this evening. Unfortunately, after another rough day on site and a return home to an ailing JogBlog, the news when I set out for the run was that of foot dismay almost as soon as I got going.

Still. It could get worse.

Oh. It has.

I set out to the sound of Sean extolling the virtues of keeping my feet to the beat at a cruisey 155BPM for 5 minutes of warm up before launching into the Pyramid 180max workout. Apart from my being incapable of starting my Garmin, all commenced easily enough. 5 minutes eased by and soon enough I was climbing the pyramid and enjoying the pacier sections interspersed with easy running.

All lovely and floaty, like. The ease with which I can maintain 178BPM is incredible, the minute passing by far too quickly, which I guess it might after a few sessions at 175BPM for 15 minutes have been outed over the past months. The 180BPM was where it got interesting. The 75 seconds seems an age when pounding the pavement and no matter how the easing, soothing voice of command lets you know where you are in the cycle, it seems a lie. I’ll be amazed if I can keep up with the Martin Yelling duration after a day on site with no breaks between 7.30AM and 5.30PM when sustenance is grabbed in a banana and apple in the car on the way home but I’ll give it a try if I have many more days like today. I’ll simply have to!

The other thing that happened during the peak of the pyramid was an increase in intensity of discomfort in my foot.

The slower sessions did little to assist the pain and the warm down (done to the same 155BPM intro I started on…the cool down tune in the Pyramid mix is far too lifeless for my tastes and the 175BPM tracks I also have loaded are impossible not to run to now I’ve got used to their intensity for longer outings) was a mix of loping sideways off the foot and pain when I didn’t.

I now sit here with it strapped right up and a constant pain rolling around between the toes and along the bones. It must ease soon or I won’t be sleeping without drugs. Which will make Cathy happy since I won’t keep her awake with my breathing. Silver linings, I guess!

The good bit to the run is a nice range of speeds over the split distances to show the range of intensity of the running. The overall distance was 3.09 miles (a bit short since the Garmin wasn’t on at the start)…makes me wonder how fun it’ll be to do these intervals as a 10k race and how annoyed everyone around will be – a cruisey 155BPM and running with the 8 minute milers interspersed with 180BPM and racing past them to catch the 7 minute pace gang, only to drop off after a minute and be overtaken by the sensible people, repeated over 6 miles. It could get really annoying for those around and result in (averaged over today’s run) a 45 minute overall time with a really interesting blog to boot.

Unlike this one!

So, enough. It’s time to get ready for bed and rest the foot. Hopefully it’ll heal quicker this time (must get better quicker after 3 miles instead of 6, I reckon) and be ready for a jog around Hyde Park on Saturday with some fellow Janathoners. Time will tell.

1853.71 miles to go.

Brake lights

And on the fifth day, I ran again.

A couple of false starts in the week (contemplated running Wednesday but leg recovery got the better of me; Thursday came and went in a flurry of excuses after a busy day and Friday wasn’t going to happen if I was to get out today) made me promise myself I’d get out today and put in a swift 6 miles to see how the legs are doing with a bit of rest. And I kept my promise.

An early morning start went down well, getting me well pushed on with loading the shed with garden tools and that before a surprise visit from my brother halted progress and made a good excuse to remain disturbed and head out for a plod.

So changed I got. About three times before I was satisfied with my layering (it’s not in the least bit cold, but it’s chilly in the wind which is still very strong here).

Then the route was always going to be my new loop around the tree house and owl sanctuary. The first mile was a warm up for a still painful left foot while my right shin just grumbled along like it has been all week despite no running miles troubling it. The foot was the worst bit, to be fair, and each morning it feels so stiff and sore that the first trip down the stairs is always a joy of sparks in the nerve cell department.

Everything settled down, though, and I eased into a respectably quick tempo while trying to stay light in pace without kicking my heels up too far and without stretching my stride too much – I wasn’t in a race and didn’t want to risk injury just because I felt good to be out “for myself” and not part of a group thing, as Janathon felt even though I was largely running alone.

Near the second mile mark, a Renault Espace came past with another car behind. The Renault then put his brakes on to execute a turn in someone’s drive, indicating at the last minute and nearly having the following car hit him squarely fron behind. Very nearly. Squeeky close. I then realised that I knew he was braking because I heard his discs rub. Due to his typical slack style of indicating after he’d executed his action, the other car had no idea what was happening due to the Renault having no rear lights at all – brake, tail, nothing. Since he was only doing about 10mph when I came near to him (he was now driving towards me), I waved and flagged him down which, it must be said, took far more effort than I’d have thought (probably thought I was in distress and didn’t want the hassle of stopping!), and then had a few seconds waiting for the passenger to work out how to wind down the window before I could tell him he had no brake lights which caused huge surprise, whereupon I continued on my way. It probably took 10 seconds in all, hopefully will save him a new rear bumper and some distressed children (assuming that a crash is more traumatic than a sweaty runner poking his head into their car!), and lead to me running with a revitalised stride for the next quarter mile or so. Good deed done for the week.

The route back seemed heavily into the wind but I kept a light stride and almost enjoyed it. In fact, my quickest split coincides with the bit most directly into the wind, possibly because it caused me to focus hardest on efficiency.

On the final stretch, a glance at the Garmin told me to run past home to clock a full 10k for a change, so I dutifully did just that. The result was a nice round 45 minute time (44.59 precisely) which I’m quite satisfied with considering the lack of pace work over Janathon, the aching leg and painful foot. I want 5 minutes off it if I can get fit for a flat 10k before the year’s out and don’t think I’ve quite got it in me, to be honest, but I’ll give it a good go. To take 3 minutes off will be difficult enough but I think the initial goal of averaging 7 minute miles for the distance is well within my grasp given some effort, so the year is looking better than a fortnight ago when colds and injury looked like wiping me out before the first month was over.

Lots to look forward to, then. It feels nice to have some pace goals instead of focusing on just running for the sake of getting out.

A quick cycle last night means 1856.80 miles to go