Monday 9 June 2014


Billions of good guys to replace the bad...
    The devil (in the guise of old age and decrepitude) has been conspiring against me lately, but he'll have to go a bit.  Seventeen days of two different types of antibiotic (Metronidazole and Cefredine) have zapped just about everything, not only the offending bugs but all the good ones too. They almost zapped me! For quite a few days I was wandering around not quite sure whether I was on this earth or Fuller's Earth! Feeling tired and weak I even struggled to walk the half mile to the village and back for odd bits of shopping. I felt dizzy if I tried to run, so abandoned that idea for a while. I'm still trying to work out the significance of my doctor getting up from his comfy chair, shaking hands and wishing me good luck as I left his surgery with that deadly prescription in my hand. He's never done that before! But I trust him. He's sport orientated and has a pretty shrewd idea of how my body works and how to fix it when it's not working.
      I swallowed the last two bug-blasters on Friday of last week. It was a beautiful summer day with hardly
My comfy NB MT10GY minimus trail shoes....
a breath of wind, the type of weather I love to run topless through wide open spaces, allowing hot sunshine to caress my body and saturate it with healthy Vitamin D. I'm certainly in need of it at the moment, and all the minerals it fires into life to promote healthy intestinal absorption. I was eventually lured out of the house for a steady three miles of a supposedly rehabilitation run. I was wearing lightweight New Balance MT10GY shoes which are fairly minimalist with only a 4mm drop from heel to toe. In the past I've only used them over short distances but on Friday I'm afraid I got a bit carried away. Such was my joy at finding I could run again.

I decided to do some hill reps - but not many....(click to enlarge)
     I started off running directly up the steep nose of Castle Hill from where, after a circuit round it's flat top, I'd intended to jog back home. But my legs were feeling strong again so I cut across fields for a mile or so to Farnley Hey, then on towards Farnley Tyas before dropping down steeply to Roydhouse wood. Looking back up the field from the stile into the wood it struck me it might be a good place to do one or two hill reps. So I did - until my body declared enough was enough. My minimalist shoes still felt comfortable as I jogged down through the wood, over fields and into Mollicar wood before crossing the beck and a long ascent for a second time onto Castle Hill.  Sunshine had brought out the sight-seers so it started to feel a little too crowded for my liking. I turned tail and jogged home feeling pretty pleased with myself. I stopped my Garmin at exactly 6 miles which, with 683ft of ascent, wasn't too bad for starters.
      I'd a wake-up call at Sunday's Church service when Rev Heather Houlton began her sermon with the words "Are you drinking enough water?"  Well, I most certainly aren't - other than in tea, coffee, fruit juice, the odd glass of wine or, quite rarely
My kind of water - in strict moderation, of course....
nowadays, as a soothing treat of mellow malt whisky. I dislike tap water and, being a Yorkshireman, am far too tight to buy expensive bottled stuff.  I've considered buying a filter, but that costs money too, and I'm not convinced it would filter out all the nasties. But Heather's words came along after many other people had recommended that I increase my intake, amongst them my physio, a consultant surgeon, nurses who treated me in hospital and a few running friends. Not to mention all the advice shelled out in the running press that has half the population of modern day runners cavorting around the streets clutching bottles.. In all my marathon training I never carried water though I always topped up with an electrolyte drink at the end of a long run. However, when the question arose in Church it kind of had a divine ring to it and prompted me to give it a little more consideration. Which is why I missed quite a lot of how it tied in with the rest of Heather's sermon!

Stepping stones on the way to Mossdale....
     I put the kettle to boil for a stimulating cup of coffee while changing from Church clothes into running clothes. Half an hour later I was jogging up Hebden Ghyll en route to far-off Mossdale with warm sun on my back and a cool breeze blowing on my face.  God, it felt good to be running free again and reckoned my legs were strong enough for a good ten miles. With the first 4¼ miles mainly uphill it wasn't exactly easy but, at least, I was doing it and far from noticing any discomfort I'd a big smile on my face and feeling rather chuffed.  Wheatears, curlews and lapwings all scolded me noisily for venturing too close to their fledglings. Strangely, though running through the middle of a grouse moor, I never saw/heard a single grouse. After passing the 1,500ft contour it was a pleasant, run down into Mossdale before turning back over Kelber, through the sleepy hamlet of Yarnbury and dropping back into Hebden Ghyll to follow the beck down to the village - and home. The animal was happy!
      As part of a recuperation process I'm currently piling lots of probiotics back into my depleted gut both
Waving dumbells about - and trying not to do any damage!
with active yogurt and with Acidophilus capsules from Holland & Barratt supposedly containing 3 billion active cultures. Who counts them? To flush and cleanse the system I'm drinking lots of fluids (even a few cups of water), waving dumbells about to regain some upper body strength, cutting back on coffee to reduce caffeine intake and, when I remember, doing a few stretches. I'm also using the Stick to roll out any knots in my muscles. I find the Stick particularly useful for restoring the length of hamstrings that always seem to shorten when I'm running. Hopefully, I'll be firing on all cylinders again when we motor down to Cornwall on Sunday for our annual two weeks camping holiday at Higher Moor, Crantock. Until we get back at the end of the month no more posts will appear here.


  1. Antibiotics although needed can have an adverse affect on us, and our bodies have a fight on their hands with good bugs/bad bugs etc.

    Pleased to hear you've been out and about enjoying the runs and lovely air.

    Have a lovely holiday ...enjoy all your drinks, including water.

    Take Care

    All the best Jan

    1. They certainly had an adverse effect on me for a day or two Jan, those bugs put up one hell of a fight! Mind you' they've hospitalized me in the past, had me on drips and things - so I think I'm winning!
      We're really looking forward to being in Cornwall again where we'll do lots of running and hopefully come home with a nice tan....

  2. If you changed the wine I drink into water we might be drinking enough...

    I long to be running with the sun on my body, I might still be running without a top on, but last night I was in the rain and hail!!!

    1. Must admit I love my glass of wine of an evening and maybe a wee dram at weekends. Oh, and I'm still waiting for a suitable occasion to open that bottle of Banana liqueur in the above picture...
      Your weather sounds as bad as ours, though it's sunny again today so the top might come off when I get away from civilisation...

  3. Glad you're feeling a bit better. Enjoy your holiday!

    1. Thanks Karien, we're really looking forward to running in some warmer weather...

  4. Pleased to read that you are on the mend! Your enthusiasm is infectious, Gordon, and that's the best disease to have,

    1. I could say the same for you Julie, your running is going really well now, not to mention all the other exercises, planks, etc...wish you lived a bit closer to give me a kick up the backside and motivate me!

  5. Great to hear that you're back out running and enjoying it. (I'd leave the banana licqueur where it is if I were you!).

    1. Liz, I thought you were hibernating, you haven't posted for a while. Trust all is well.
      Banana liqueur is wonderful stuff, I'd a sample taste in the Canaries and went straight out to buy a bottle. Just waiting for the right person to come along and share it - before the temptation becomes too much.....