Snakes and ladders

Snake Lane 2017This time last year I was really feeling sorry for myself. I had just finished recovering from a horrible and long running cold which meant I had to pull-out of one of my favorite races, the Snake Lane 10 Mile.  This year, I had flu during January but have been back running for a month now and was able to run Snake Lane.

About a month ago, I worked out that to train back to full fitness would take around three months and I am one month into that programme.  So, how did I do?  Well 1:26 is not my best time for the race but I felt good and for one month into three that isn’t at all bad.

A month ago I wasn’t sure I would be able to do that distance so quick but in the end, I have exceeded 100 miles in February so I might even be ahead of schedule.

As for Snake Lane, well the race used to have one of the most unique prizes in road running, a rather attractive and rustic mug, bearing the race name and the year.  Regrettably they are not able to continue with this tradition (the manufacturer is no more) and we were all wondering what would replace it.  The offering is a Snake Lane branded stainless steel water bottle of the type sold in climbing and camping shops.  I suppose it’s rather nice but what exactly are you supposed to do with it?  See the photos of the two momentos, you decide!

Mug 2017-02-26-16-59-38


‘Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead?  Luke 11:11 NIV


Runner’s High

Indoors at lastThe weather forecast was always rubbish for today.  There was no other way to look at it, either heavy rain or heavy sleet to be accompanied by a 16mph easterly wind.  With a temperature of 2 celsius it isn’t technically freezing but with that wind it jolly well feels like it.

Solution?  Well it didn’t look too bad so I thought I would run “around the houses” for a bit, not too far from home so that if things got too grim I could simply call it a day.

I set off up Wood Lane planning to run a through a few nearby housing estates to see how it goes then I thought: who am I trying to kid? If it gets wet and horrible and I am near home, what is going to happen?  Well I would go home of course!  I asked the question, what exactly do I think I am made of?  How afraid of getting wet am I?

So, I decided just to keep going and do an 8-mile round trip route which I have done many times before and there is no “bail out” option, its all or nothing, death or glory!

What happened?  Well in the end I did really well, kept up a good pace and as far as the weather was concerned, it was wet and cold but this mattered less.  The only thing I would change was better protection for my hands and fingers because the gloves I was wearing got wet and made matters worse.  By the time I got home my fingers were numb!

All in all I feel really good about it and it just goes to show that sometimes you have a to abandon your fears and just do it.

“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7 NIV

I would run 500 miles and I would run 500 more win an awesome piece of bling to proudly hang upon my door!  When Awesome Virtual Running Events announced a 2017 1000 mile challenge, I just had to enter, I’ve always been a high mileage man so this appeals to me immensely.

My goal for 2017 is in fact 1,500 miles and during the year I want to do a 200 mile month.  Maybe I’ll award myself the medal when I’ve done both of these things but then again, maybe i’ll just get it when I’ve done 1000 like everyone else!

I have often observed that when I do high mileage, I do my fastest times in races.  It’s a correlation but whether  or not it’s cause and effect it continues to hold true.  This doesn’t work for everyone because many of my running friends don’t do nearly the same mileage as me but run a lot faster; it’s not fair.

Although  I have been taking it easy of late, there is such a thing as being too cautious so although I wasn’t planning to run today, I went out for 6 miles.   This went well and I think a 100 miles for February is definitely do-able.

“Watch out that you do not lose what we have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully.” 2 John 1:8 NIVUK