Monday 26 September 2011

Yay, I'm back!

      I hope the four buzzards circling the sky near Appletreewick didn't have their beady eyes on the scaled down carcas running below them along the riverbank. After weeks of massage, stretching and various recommended exercises to rejuvenate my dodgy knee and strained hamstring Old Runningfox was back in action. And boy, did it feel good.
    After the recent shock of discovering how I'd piled on the pounds during three weeks of inactivity I was determined to get back to my running/racing weight. Such things as bread, potatoes, anything with sugar in it, butter and 80% of milk all went by the board until such times as the scales registered 140 lbs and I was back running again. That day was last Saturday. 
    Rather nervously I laced up my old trail shoes, did one or two warm-up exercises and stepped out the door for a 5 mile circuit by Grassington Bridge and back along the riverbank, past all the old chestnut trees displaying their gorgeous autumn colours. After taking it steady to the half way point I felt fresh enough to turn it into a fartlek session, pushing the short hills and launching into 50-60m acceleration runs along the flatter parts of green turf. I couldn't believe how well I was moving. 
    Rather predictably, in spite of having finished my run with some warm-down stretches, I was a bit stiff the following morning. Getting down the stairs was not easy! There was no pain, not in my knee or anywhere else, just that general muscular achiness that follows a good work-out, the sort you can laugh about rather than cry over. 
Body-hugging Fastrax top and Bandarf
    After breakfast on Sunday I could hardly wait to lace up my shoes and set off again on a slightly longer run, along the river to Appletreewick and back, a very pleasant six miles. This time I took it steady, all the way, revelling in the renewed joy of freedom, movement and rhythm. It felt absolutely effortless so I could only assume the five week lay-off must have done a power of good, enabling me to recharge the batteries and fire up the old engine again.
    If all goes well the next five weeks will be spent gradually building up the miles in preparation for the Guy Fawkes 10 mile race at Ripley on November 6th. I'm looking forward to pinning a number on again and getting out there snapping at the heels of my contemporaries. Roll on, let battle (re)commence!
    PS. With a cold nip in the air I donned my new Fastrax thermal top for the first time (courtesy of a voucher I won in the Arncliffe 4 mile race) and must say it kept me wonderfully snug and warm. It's tight fitting enough to almost display my six-pack - and probably would if it wasn't hiding under it's layer of fat! The buff I'm wearing in the picture is actually a Bandarf. I refuse to pay the crazy price 'Buff' charge for there minuscule bits of material. Bandarfs are just as versatile, fit more snugly, cost around ¼ the price, but don't, as yet, come in the same range of colours. There are many different ways of wearing them. I never go anywhere without one.


  1. Great to read you are back

  2. Glad to hear your back in action.
    Good luck for the 6th November.

  3. Congratulations, so glad you're back. I'll think of you Nov. 6 as you do your 10 miler. Here in Kansas City that is the date of our annual Cliffhanger run--a mere 8k. But a pretty run.

  4. Thanks Ian, Ethan and Ron for your good wishes. It feels so good to be running again.

  5. Dear Lord! I know a lot of 40 year olds who would like to look as good as you do! What a bod! I'm glad you're running again! So glad your knee is not giving you any trouble.

    Re: My dark chocolate bars. They are very small and thin 1 ounce bars! I checked out your Cadbury bars. That sounds good. I'll give almost anything for food, except my 140 calorie dark chocolate bars. Not negotiable!

    :-) Marion

  6. It's always nice to be back, I hope to be back to running in the mornings soon, then again i might just sleep in...

    wish I could loss a few kg!

  7. Great news! And you sound fighting fit and hungry for racing too. A good break has been a recharge by the sounds and what fine autumn sun we have too. So pleased you're able to get back on the horse.. happy running :) RB.

  8. Hi

    Just headed over here from the Uk Runners Forum. I am totally amazed at your bio. You are truly inspirational and if I can be half as successful as you, I'll be delighted.

    Good luck with the training, running sure does keep you young!!


  9. Great to see you back. You have a fantastic store of fitness built up to be able to come back so effortlessly - if I'm out for two weeks I begin with a struggle! Well done, God bless.

  10. Thanks for leaving me some words of encouragement. Just nipped across to read your blog and I'm blown away by how fit you are. Seriously impressive - makes me feel quite ashamed of my half hearted marathon attempt this weekend to be honest!

  11. Mmmmmm. Butter.

    The fartlek run sounds fun and totally worth any amount of stiffness the next day. Good to read you are back in action!!

  12. Great to hear you are back! And I can't help but feel a little envious, as I'm still out of action about 14 weeks after what I thought was a simple calf injury. My latest 'armchair physio' diagnosis is a strained popliteus muscle - it's too high for calf and too low for hamstring.

    Then as if to add injury to injury, 10 weeks in, it felt okay enough to run so I did the local parkrun, which was fine. But on the following Monday I heard the dreadful 'bubblewrap' pop in my calf on the other leg - lower down, presumably the soleus muscle. Agony! Four weeks into that one, and I keep aggravating it. I really should go and see a proper physio.

    But I definitely know your frustration! I've gained a Cadbury's Caramel addiction and 14 pounds in weight so far, and I'm desperate to hit the road again, and banish my delicious chocolatey demons!

  13. I sure understand what you have gone through! I had a bout of severe hip pain, probably arthritis after changing my shoe liners and causing a leg length difference. I had to take two months off while it healed. I cross trained like crazy! When I started running again, it was rough. I had forgotten the pounding, but I got back to it and all is good again! Nothing beats running!!