31 Days of Madness

imageSince 1st January, I’ve done: An epic New Year parkrun double;  The gruelling Temple Newsam Ten: hilly muddy and wet;  A Temple Newsam parkrun in the icy cold – 4 laps round a field reminiscent of a distant memory of hated school cross country;  A cold, wet, windy and dark Nostell Priory night run and, a total of 132 miles of running (for which I am expecting a gong from Awesome Running Events).

Now, my beloved sister would call all of this “madness” and she may have a point but consider this.  Some take succour in out-of-context reports of research that “proves” excercise is harmful but quoting from the NHS web site “If exercise were a pill, it would be one of the most cost-effective drugs ever invented.”  When my GP with a great big grin on her face (after looking though blood test results) says that there is no advice she can give me to improve my lifestyle and the senior consultant cardiologist (who treated my arythmia), is always so pleased to see me because he has a patient who he describes as “exremely fit”, I think to myself that all this “madness” is worth it.

Today, like a computer message that used to appear on my Saab, I feel like I have “Limited Performance” and don’t feel “extremely fit” at all.  My planned 10 mile run ended after about 3 when my body told me it wasn’t going to happen today.  I’m not discouraged though because I know it’s just the tail-end of a virus and I just have to take it easy for a few days.  Now that Janathon is over I now don’t have to justify this to anyone and I can have a few guilt-free days off.

As for the Blog, well you haven’t got off so lightly because MarathonMann will carry on blogging till the 24th April at least.  My aim is to document the journey to London so that’s what I’ll do.  I thank you all for reading, following, commenting and supporting me through January and I do hope you will find my story entertaining, informative and even motivating so please do keep reading.

The Night and the Day

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When Helen and I started doing parkruns in 2008, there was only one in this part of the word, namely what is now call Woodhouse Moor.  A work colleague of Helen suggested that we try a thing in Leeds called a “Time Trial”.  At the time, I didn’t think about it as something you would do EVERY week, but just once in a while to get a time recorded.  Today we went back to Woodhouse Moor and I recorded my 208th parkrun (103 of which were at Woodhouse Moor); you will gather I eventually came round to the “every week” way of thinking.

So from something that was terribly familiar to something completely new, we went this evening to the Night Run at Nostell Priory.  Now we know the route quite well because parts of it are used by parkrun and the Nostell 10K in the summer.  It’s normally a road shoe job but just in case, (and because the whole universe has been rather soggy the last couple of months) donned my Innov-8 trail shoes and man, I’m glad I did.   Granted it wasn’t a PECO but coupled with the darkness it was hard going.   I have to say that personally, I struggled.  For some reason I just didn’t have that “get up and go” this evening and was really glad to get to the finish line.  During the last lap I even gave up the will to try and compete, but people didn’t stream past me so maybe I did better that I thought in the conditions.  It was wet, cold, dark (guess that was the point), sleety at times and there was a chill wind.  Apart from all that everything was fine and dandy: there was an awesome glow-in-the-dark medal awarded and the goody bag is fantastic (the bag itself that is) and will certainly be re-used by me (it even has a high-viz strip).  And it’s totally awesome of the National Trust for organising this event and supporting grass roots running by allowing parkruns on its properties.

So the 7 “pace” miles in my training plan have been achieved today but at what cost?  Shattered!


Not Going Out

Cafe FridayWhen you see things being blown about, which have no business being off the ground at all, you know things are not right.  You think of scenes from documentaries about tornadoes in the US, where combine-harvesters are thrown around like pieces of paper!  Of course, the series of storms currently battering the British Isles are not in this league, but when I was running once I felt extremely uncomfortable when large pieces of tree started landing on the road in front of me.  Not that I’m a complete wus, wind can be “character building” but today was supposed to be a gym day in any case.  Since the gym would have involved dodging trees in the car, I took the quality command decision to do the excercises at home.

The whole balance thing including those lateral hops, bridges, lateral step-ups and the dreaded foam roller; all good.

It’s Friday evening though and I needed to go out this evening because what I do on Fridays is run Cafe Friday at Rothwell Baptist Church, our community cafe. Parents (or anyone else for that matter) can chill with a coffee & cake or toastie, while the children have a whale of a time in Friday Club.  If you want to come along do so, from 5:50 – 7-30 PM Friday during term time.

To be honest, for me, that was excercise enough.  Bring on the running tomorrow.