Tuesday 22 March 2011

Old age and decrepitude

A summary of last weeks activity - and reasons for inactivity.

Monday: Feeling a wee bit blah after fifteen miles at the weekend but set off in the morning on a regular 6 mile run to the hamlet of Yarnbury - and back. This scenic run incorporates two fast miles which I completed  in 6.52 and 6.48. I've run them faster, and recently, but was happy with the day's performance.

Tuesday: Maybe it's old age and decrepitude that every now and then manifests itself in what I call 'a banana back' when I've difficulty getting out of bed and walking is painful. With a very distinct lurch to starboard running is out of the question, and so it was today. At such times when I can hardly hobble out of the door I keep myself motivated by reading other people's running Blogs (like that of Julia Armstrong), or inspiring books (such as John L Parker's Once a Runner), or by affirming choice mantras like one recently sent me by Julie Reyes, aka The Hotlegs Runner, that simply states 'I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me' (Philippians 4:13). 

Julie's Mantra below the picture in my quiet corner
Wednesday/Thursday: My aching back continued to cramp activities so very little got done on these two days. I figured my body was trying to tell me something, i.e. "It's time to take a short rest from training activities, I'll let you know when you can start again". Yeah, OK body, message received.
In the meantime a large and exceedingly healthy looking rat was playing about on my lawn. It seemed to think food I'd put out for birds was intended for it, and maybe it's family, so was storing it in a neat little tunnel under the compost bin. It was fascinating to watch but might be different if six of its mates arrived, especially if I happened to be sunbathing on the lawn at the time! I phoned the pest control officer who plugged various holes with little sachets of something exceedingly nasty and assured me I wouldn't see the little critter again. 

Friday: Got out of bed to discover I could walk straight again. Had the pain really gone, or were the umpteen grams of Paracetamol merely masking it?  I decided to give it another day before running again - mainly because I didn't have much time anyway. I'd run out of food so there was shopping to do. Bulbs and seeds needed planting and other annoying little jobs reared their ugly heads. Ah, that necessary evil of good weather - gardening!

Saturday: Dawned warm and sunny, so couldn't resist donning shorts (for the first time this year) and vest to set off along the River Wharfe on one of my choice runs. My Garmin registered 10.42 miles for the out and back route and the good thing about it was it only took 7 seconds longer for the return leg from the turn-around point at Barden Bridge. Those few seconds might well have been eliminated if I hadn't slowed briefly to talk to a couple who were training for the Dales 100 mile race that takes place in May. When I caught up with them at Howgill they'd already covered 18 miles and still had another 6 or 7 to do on their way back to Grassington. Wish I could do that!
The afternoon was taken up introducing our next Methodist Minister, Rev Janet Clasper, to the delights of Hebden Chapel, in the Grassington Circuit, where she'll take up her preaching duties in early September. Important things for her to note were (a) the pulpit can only be accessed from the right side of the Chapel. If she enters by the steps on the left she's likely to fall down a hole at the back. And (b) there's an almost invisible swing-arm in the Communion rail to gain admittance, so no need to inelegantly stride over to take our offerings, or when administering the Sacrament.

Sunday: We'd intended parking at Barden Bridge and running a 5 mile circuit to Cavendish Pavillion, and back, but by 9.30 in the morning every available parking place was occupied by weekend visitors to this lovely stretch of the River Wharfe. We'd chosen that area because my wonderful partner had been thrilled to spot a Kingfisher when she ran there a few days previously. I wanted to see it too! Not wishing for a particularly long run after yesterday's 10 mile effort we backtracked along the road to find a suitable parking place and ran a different stretch of the river. It was a very pleasant and relaxed four miles, but no Kingfisher.
The evening was spent eating, drinking and generally being quite merry in the company of friends who'd recently returned from their earthquake ravaged home in Christchurch, New Zealand. Despite all the groans and grumbles about this country of ours, and how it's run, I'm not sure I'd like to live anywhere else!


  1. I think you live in one of the most beautiful parts of the country too. You are right that we should't complain about wind and rain and cold when there is such devatstaion in Japan and NZ.

  2. Sympathy for the back Boothy - mine is doing a not dissimilar thing as a result of all this crazy marathon training. Runs over 16 miles are definitely not good for my body. But how wonderful to be out enjoying the fresh air in the spring sunshine!

  3. I like your quiet corner - it's a good idea... and thanks for posting up links to those other two great blogs - always a treat to discover good ones! Spring is the best of all running seasons I reckon, and your pics prove that.

  4. The first shorts run of the year is always a great moment. Glad you're back out there. Take care of the back.