Monday 12 January 2015

Run, limp, walk....... other words, something of a downward spiral from Tuesday through to Thursday, and the animal is definitely not happy. The week begun well enough with a 4 mile progression run at a manageable pace that left me feeling really good - in spite of some inclement weather. I'd been kept awake by wind moaning in the chimney and rain rattling on the windows for half the night, but both had moderated when I forced myself out of bed at 7.30am. After a quick coffee I was jogging up the road dodging the puddles and screwing my eyes against the myriad car headlights before 8am. After a comfortable 12.03 first mile I progressed to 11.34, 9.46 and finished with a satisfying 8.57 before a short cool-down jog. A nice work-out.
Why I kept on running - Wednesday's sunrise.....(Click to enlarge)
Next morning things started to go downhill. Out again before 8am I'd barely run 250 yds before I sensed a slight pull at the top of my Rt hamstring, or lower glute - somewhere in that area. I toyed with the idea of abandoning the run and walking home, but a flush of pink in the eastern sky lured me onwards with its promise of another glorious sunrise. I left the main road and diverted down a quiet lane where no-one would see me if I had to walk, something I always find embarrassing if dressed in running clothes. Although the pain was getting worse I forced myself to keep running. It didn't feel too bad on the uphills but the forward swing of the leg on the flat, and particularly on the downhills, produced a painful twinge. To lessen the pain I tried not to swing it forward so far which made my gait look a bit odd!
      As I crested the top of the hill I was almost shouting at the sun to 'gerra bladdy move on and start the day'. The sooner it rose, the sooner I could go home and start popping some Ibuprofens. Eventually, on my third circuit of the hill, it obliged and set the sky ablaze in spectacular fashion, stopping me in my tracks while I fiddled with my camera to record the moment. In recent months I've become rather obsessed with watching and recording sunrises, so my picture library is bulging with far too many crimson megabytes. I jogged home, the last mile almost two minutes slower than the previous day, gave my legs a good old stretch and popped 600mgs Ibuprofen. I've plenty to go at having ordered a new batch before setting off to Scotland with the idea I'd be unlikely to survive a week running those treacherous cliffs without some sort of accident. Best be prepared. Amazingly, I survived without even a stumble!
At Torr Point - Screel Hill in background - climbed Dec 29th,2014
      Then came Thursday. Talk about fun, it was hilarious with a howling wind hovering up the top end of the Beaufort scale and gusting to goodness knows what. On Castle Hill it was impossible to run in a straight line at the windward end, but blessed relief to jog the leeward side. The strain of battling the wind, and the curious contortions it forced me into adapting to maintain any forward momentum, did my injured leg no good at all. To make matters worse, my Rt calf muscle started to give tell-tale twinges on the run home - which reduced me to a walk, regardless of what anyone might think. I blamed that on a new pair of Inov-8 Roclite shoes I was wearing for the first time that day, though I've worn out three previous pairs of Roclites without any problems. I'll be mighty glad when New Balance re-introduce my favourite MT101 trail shoes. Shouldn't be long now.......

      So that was the week that was, 12 measly miles. At the weekend I refused to walk any farther than the coal shed, and may not venture any farther for the whole of the coming week. Calf injuries worry me and there's no way I'll run with one, so there's a possibility the blog may be suspended for a wee while. Or I may print a few recent photographs - like the one above of my wonderful partner, taken on a walk to Torr Point in southern Scotland January 2nd, four days after climbing Screel Hill in the distance. I may even introduce people to some of my favourite video clips - like this one of Danny Macaskill on the Skye Ridge. Its background music haunts me and I often find myself singing snippets of it, or hummimg them, while out running. Watch this space. Or have a good listen.....


  1. Sorry to hear about your injury ..... sometimes it is best just to rest and allow a healing.

    If you do rest from running please keep blogging, I'm sure you have some lovely photo's to share - and if you feel like having a 'wee' moan about being cooped up we'd understand.

    Take Care and ......

    All the best Jan

    1. Thanks Jan, I'll try not to moan too much. And I'm going to include some nice pictures specially for you....

  2. I hate it when the body acts it's age and not the age we think we are...

    This might be a running blog, but we don't mind if you write about the other things happening in your life!

    Hope you're on the trails/roads soon!

    1. Not a lot of 'other things' happen in my life Coach, running is the only thing I'm still reasonably good at! We've a lot of snow at the moment so I'm managing to get out walking over my beloved Castle Hill, enjoying the wonderful views and snowy landscapes. Leg feels OK now but I'll give it another few days before I show it who's boss.