Category Archives: Counting cars

A nice run and a sore neck

The intention for this weekend was to go for an outing of approximately 5 miles on Saturday to enable recovery for another short outing on Monday to allow a nice recovery period for Juneathon to begin.

Well between being too tired to do much at all on Friday evening, painting the shed on Saturday combined with shopping and an outing on the motorbike (trying to find some decent gloves which give the same bomb-proof feel my current ones have…they’re about 13 years old now, though, so despite having kevlar stiching and that, I’m not sure they’d be good in a fast spill. The search isn’t going well. Is it me or have bike gloves taken on a more fashionable, less robust direction of late? Why did Kushitani stop the GPR anyway?), my intention was adjusted and the run was postponed until today.

A not very early start was still good enough to allow me to have breakfast, finish painting the shed, have a cup of coffee and then get out of the door at about 10.15. The incessant wind of late is really starting to get on my tits (and being semi-retired from skydiving, god knows how annoyed I’d be if I was trying to get some jumps in) but the route I planned offered little real shelter so either the out or back section of my loop would be into it pretty much head on. And deciding I needed to loop around the unfinished bit of housing estate to bring the mileage to 5 without going miles further or creating a silly jink in the run, I opted for headwind on the return leg.

The majority of the route consisted of my favourite 6 mile outing and felt pleasant enough.

A minor tightness in my left calf gave initial surprise (I’ve been stretching lately and everything…honest!) but eased as I did the half mile or so on gravel that the local route offers and it was all I could do to remind myself that I wasn’t in a race and, as such, should keep the pace down and my breathing under control. I kept finding myself pushing on, however, and it was a bit of a battle to maintain a nice pace without striding into faster times. Running past a local getting his race car onto a trailer in readiness for an outing reminded me there is more to life than fitness, but my trainers are a touch more affordable than a shiny Honda Civic Cup car, so I balanced my envy against my need to plod on for another 4 miles.

The quiet country lane bit revealed a walker (who I passed again 2 miles later) and another runner with a lone cyclist being the only other human seen outside a tin box, of which there were only 7 in total so all in it turned out to be a quiet outing. I stopped briefly to pick up a soft-ish yellow ball which kept my spare hand busy for 2.5 miles and other than that, the run was unremarkable except for the distance. The loop around the estate brought the mileage to exactly 5 from front door to front door. No jogs around the garden or stopping at the gate, simply turn the key, stop the watch and enjoy the accuracy of the outing. Marvellous.

And a recovery followed by painting of the lounge ceiling (separate panels with multiple beams…miles of cutting in and a massively sore neck) has rounded out the week before the idiocy of my Juneathon plans can take hold of my life for 30 days.

Not a bad weekend with one more bonus day to go. Hope I make the most of that, too. Maybe a little run, maybe not. I’ll see how my legs and foot feel in the morning.

1189.28 miles to go.

Self loathing and ibuprofen

Last week was a low one, morale wise, excepting a happy half hour on the mountainbike, and not wanting to flow into next week on a negative, I set myself up for plenty of gardening and the prospect of a Turkish restaurant in Islington as the potential high points of the weekend.

A bit of research on that internet thing, as well as advice from the font of all knowledge over such things, lead me down a path I fear treading. But the marathon means a lot to me. You see, about a year ago, when injured during training for the Hastings half, Cathy suggested ibuprofen for the inflammatory reduction effect. I dismissed it, knowing it also kills pain and i’m stupid and if something doesn’t hurt, despite the knowledge it’s still healing, i’ll abuse the lack of pain and kill myself.

I repeat, i’m stupid.


Those who meet me next week at Reading will be able to verify this fact for themselves.

Well. Ibuprofen plus a large dose of stupidity plus a huge dose of self hate and a small desire to explode myself equates to some nice counting statistics.

Today, I was passed by 172 cars. 5 motorcycles. 4 cyclists. 1 pedestrian. I passed 1 man fixing his gate. The same man who’s usually weeding his verge on his knees. I ran 20.04 miles in 2hours, 48 minutes and 51 seconds.

And now, i’m going to walk to the village, buy a paper and crawl home.

I’m in pieces, but have run 20 miles. Before, I felt I was in pieces, but hadn’t. I wonder how much i’ll hurt when the drugs wear off?

Oh, and Cathy – there were fields and fields of lambs, all chasing after the little stick man plodding beside their pasture. It was ace.

A Friday flat

Not wanting to believe what I was hearing on the weather forecast, (and not wanting to pester my BBC employed personal weather forecaster for details [i’ll save her for emergencies and when I really want to take the piss out of a proper, bona fide celebrity!]), didn’t stop me packing my cold weather options for tonight’s run, and it turned out to be the best option.

My day was only ever going to be hectic and this turned out to be the case, but with a jacket on all day I wasn’t sure how cold it was getting until I stopped around 4.30 for a tea. And my mind was made up for a proper jumper and my long, proper running trouser/tight/legging type things. I only fancied a jaunt along the seafront, but it felt good to be out, the sea was surprisingly rough for the light wind, I saw no runners at all, only three cyclists but plenty of dog walkers.

And since the tide was in, the obligatory couple of anglers getting frozen. Now i’ve no idea how they do it, standing in a cool breeze on a cold evening, but fair play to them. I guess with angling being one of the largest participation sports in the country, i’m in the minority in my exasperation of the pleasure to be gained from fishing but it still beats me. I guess it gets them out of the house, though.

Still, my run went well, my toe was a bit painful for the first bit of the run then that eased away, but it is hurting a bit now, so i’ll continue to treat it gently. Next week, I intend to do two hilly runs, but am out for an evening with the electricians on Friday, so will run Saturday morning if i’m not skydiving. Need to get a jump in, it’s been over a month and tomorrow isn’t looking too good for it, i’ve got to work Sunday then the following weekend it looks as though i’ll be dressing as Santa to run around Dagenham for a few miles having worked the Saturday, so things are looking busy. Nice, but not good for getting the jumps consistent enough for a push towards a “B” licence. We’ll see.

Ah, and on Wednesday night, I counted my last car. Decisions have been made, but I ought really to talk to my marvellous girlfriend about my plans before I broadcast them on that internet thing, so details will follow. It feels good to have another direction. And at least now, I can concentrate on counting panes of glass as guilt free pleasure and don’t have to record the results!

So; 0.5mm rain, 1 correct statement about peanuts, and a CD to order tomorrow if I can remember.


Later, shorter, worse!

Sorry for my most depressing post yet on Friday. I guess things weren’t going too well. Which is daft, really, since generally life is pretty good at the moment, especially with Cathy being down at the weekend and life’s general things continuing pretty reasonably.

Still, a bad run is a bad run. And I was low.

So, today I promised work wouldn’t get to me (which it did) and that I wouldn’t get diverted from my running cause. Which I did. An overly active afternoon was followed by torrential rain for half an hour when i’d planned to run, so I went straight to Sainsburys for food and promised i’d run when I got home.

Well. A chilli con carne later, two pints of water, and after a chat with my fine girlfriend, I felt keen enough to set out for a 4 miler around the dark country lanes. Until I got out of the door, started to run, realised how nasty a damp cold evening can be, and talked myself out of a proper run. So, instead of turning left, I turned right, jumped out of my skin when a car came around the corner without me hearing it (I was sprinting, since I was doing a short run – my breathing was laboured and I was scared as it was dark!), instead of going straight on I turned right and found myself back home a mere 2.1 miles later. The head torch running experience isn’t something I enjoy massively, so I guess i’m going to have to sort current work issues out, especially with the marathon looming.

Still, the run was ok, no pain at all, at least I got out, so I can do proper runs on Wednesday and Friday and still feel ok about the week and not fear the lard monster approaching for a bit.

Oh, still 5 cars (been cleaning teeth late so there haven’t been any – honest!) but it’s rained a bit. A trace every day. Nasty.

Did I mention Cathy? Hope so. She deserves it. And a mention.


Today at work was shit, my run was shit, my toe hurts again, my knee hurt as I ran (4 miles), which are both shit things and piss me off. I’m going to give up running, spend more time on the bike and lighten up more.

Until tomorrow when i’ll probably feel normal again.

My decision in 5 cars’ time might be amazing. God, I fucking hope so.

Wind and Rain

Well, the weather certainly seems to have turned. And with it, my eagerness for a good run seems to have returned.

The weekend went all too quickly, the mountainbike got a new suspension pin and bush as well as a chain and rear cassette, so Sunday saw me pestering jogblog for a bike ride, my goal being to check out Epping Forest and see if there really was a patch of greenery bigger than Walthamstow and Hackney marshes within 5 miles of her. And there was. And it was wet and muddy. And the bike worked nicely, but will need a really good, fast thrash over something challenging to see if the shock bush is better than new. But overall, I have to say, it was all good.

Oh, and Chingford looks nice. If anyone knows good reasons not to move there, let me know, will you?

So, after a draining day at work with no computer system, I got to 5.15 and decided it was time to change, so pulled on a tee shirt and headed for the seafront, into the gale that was still blowing but thankfully free from the rains that had been deluging Hastings all day. Well, that didn’t last, did it? The first half of the run was sheltered by the buildings on the North of the prom, then I turned around, the rain really started to hammer down again, I crossed to the sea side, got blown home to the sound of the sea crashing on the shingle (massive waves in huge lines. Very impressive. Who needs an i-pod with that soundtrack?) and enjoyed the loneliness of the front without seeing a soul on the return leg. What a contrast to the “summer” when it was crowded with tourists and drunks.

My toe seems to be ok – it aches a bit all the time at the minute, but hasn’t shown any of it’s previous pain, so i’m intending another run on Thursday before pushing it on the hills next week. Plans. Nice.

Oh, and 12 cars left. 18mm of rain over the 24 hours. Already we’ve had more rain for November than in the whole month in the previous 2 years, so I wonder where it will end.

Back to the old school

Looking at my running log, it’s been rest, rest, rest, since the 12th October. Owing to my ability to acquire injuries since I got old, my intention to cure my foot with rest is with the most genuine of hopes.

So, having had a pain free Wednesday a week ago, I put off running for a week; a night out in the week and a need to do grown up, owning a house and arranging my brother’s birthday evening stuff put off my run until tonight. But come about 4 o’clock, I was actually excited. Properly excited.

Still, I needed to finish another odd week at work, so it wasn’t until 5.50 that I got out and put in the first trepidatory paces on a dodgy toe. And the first steps weren’t hopeful. I’ve been rotating boots at work, wearing my DC trainers more than my Etnies (they seem broader but more supportive), even keeping my feet warm with thicker socks, but I think i’m going to have to see someone after all. The seafront beckoned, the wind was strong, the sea was rough but despite all this, there were loads of runners out (mostly wearing masses of clothes – how hot do they want to get? It wasn’t cold, just windy) and I was happy to be there. Oh, and I think I might invest in a Garmin – i’m still struggling to keep to a sensible pace when I want to and wonder if a “training partner” might help.

Still, I paced along to my turnaround point, noted my foot ache, jogged back, saw 3 of the runners i’d passed on the way out now going against the wind, and wondered why my legs felt so fresh after 4 weeks off. Nice. But on returning to the office, my toe nagged without feeling bad, I got home and creamed it to try and continue any healing, thought it felt ok but as the time is now wearing on, the pain is returning so i’m going to see how it feels in the morning and if it’s bad, i’ll seek help. I won’t attempt 26 miles in April in an under-prepared state due to injury, even i’m not that daft.

Oh, and why did I return to the office with a cold old chap? I’ve not noticed a cold pecker before when running through the winter, despite some sleet and snow affected runs, so why now? Very odd. And not even particularly pleasant!

Still, the car count goes on…only 16 to go. Expect a brave decision to be made sometime next week! I’ll be running again before that, though, so it’s all good. Even if my foot does drop off as a result.

No skydiving expected over the weekend, but a forest mountainbike ride should be a laugh in the mud. Hopefully Jogblog will survive the experience too, she’s promised to venture there with me on Sunday – if she blogs that as amusingly as her catbook post, it’ll be worth it for the blog alone!