Posted on: 04 Aug 2015

The problem with not blogging so regularly is there is more to say whenever you do!

I’m still logging in and reading most mornings but just not recording my own progress quite as often.

So, what’s the news?...

Firstly, I’ve not really recovered fully from the foot injury that I reported in the last blog in July. Its definitely plantar fasciitis and I’ve been doing things to help it but its still hanging around in an annoying kind of way. It feels like walking on a bruised left heel and I’ve missed two long runs now.

On a more positive note, my team took gold in the family Olympics last week and I’m now a triple gold medal winner ! The first in the family to get three gold’s ! It all came down to the final game – a shoot out.

5 tin cans to knock down with 5 pebbles, 5 playing cards to hit with 5 darts, 5 plastic cowboys to shoot with 5 rubber bands and 5 wooden stakes to lassoo with 5 rope  rings per team. We did it by one point ! Couldn’t have been any closer, poor Hamish and his team got the wooden spoon this year, he’s not used to coming last but that’s the family Olympics for you ! Indians beat the cowboys in the team event too so a double victory, great fun as always despite the rain this year, lots of laughter and happy memories .As part of the winning team we get to choose the theme for next year....


So  to running. I have been doing some and when I do it I’m putting in hard effort, I’ve just been cautious about overdoing things as most of what I’ve read says to rest the plantar faciitis to recover from it. Rest means at least two runs a week instead of four which I know isn’t sensible .

The foot pain does diminish during the run but as soon as I finish and then particularly the next morning its worse again. Speed sessions have been hard work put I’ve been hitting targets so know that I have some form but not so much endurance.


I went down to Snappy ( Special Needs Activities & Play Provision for York ) last Friday. To be honest it was very shocking and upsetting to see such profoundly disabled children. I was there to try on their crocodile suit which I was planning on wearing for the York marathon. The first one they gave me was huge ! the foam body was like a sumo suit and very heavy, the arms were part of the suit but the  shape of the body meant that my arms had to be held out like a permanent “Barber”. I was sweating inside it standing still! The head was massive too and the eye holes were through the mouth, it kept slipping down when I walked which meant I couldn’t see anything. I’m not saying that it would be impossible to run a marathon in but it would have perhaps taken 6 hours plus and tripping over things would have been a major hazard . They then remembered another suit that had never been worn before – this one is much lighter weight with a built in head, I tried it on and reckon I’ve got a good chance of getting round in this one. They seemed really thrilled that I was going to give it a go for them, some of the kids with special needs and autism are engaged via sensory stimulation. The croc suit is made from a silk shaggy fabric and two children couldn’t stop hugging me and didn’t want me to take it off or leave ! It was a humbling experience to see how they were cared for and will be an honour to wear the crocodile suit for them at York. They’ve let me bring it home so I can have a practise in it , then I’ll know what sort of target to set for the marathon.


On Saturday I was climbing outdoors with Hamish and a group of talented young climbers at a place called Kilnsey in Yorkshire. I say climbing,  he was climbing and I was belaying him ( on the safe end of the rope ! ) We had a really good but very long day out and then a drive home. Getting out the car when we got home my back had seized up, I must have pulled a muscle during the day and it was the York 10k the following  morning. I took ibuprofen and had a large G&T in a hot bath to ease it off a bit. Got a nice text from Ali wishing me luck and telling me to give it my best. Went to bed a bit apprehensive and slept badly, kept waking every time I rolled over,  in the morning it was no better, getting out of bed was painful, putting sock on took 2 minutes ! I took 2 more painkillers and tried to stretch a bit. Then I got a text from Hollywood. He told me to ignore the pain and fight through, once I had done that then I would have learned a lesson , that lesson could then be used again when needed ( probably in the Scottish Highlands next May ). Hollywood  was out running a marathon, if my back was sore it was probably a minor twinge compared to his ruptured disc and crumbling hips ! No question for it, go and try and run the 10k as best I could.

I should point out here that there was a bit of a dilemma as my wife favours a completely different approach – she says “ listen to your body” ie’ if its really hurting then don’t make it hurt any more, let it mend then start again. Jill could see me struggling to tie the laces on my running shoes and said I was crazy to run, Hollywood Dave’s text was saying that  I had to go out an run and learn to run with pain and discomfort. I’m not sure who the angel was and who the devil was on my shoulder but I made my mind up to cycle down to the racecourse and give it a go,


I met Katie ( Ali’s friend who ran with us in Snowdon last year ) in the queue for the loo’, great to see her again, she’s running more than ever and is doing back to back marathons in a couple of weeks. I then met up with my two running mates, both twenty something’s and looking for sub 41 PB’s. We decided to set off together and see what happened.


What happened is that it hurt for the first half mile then the miracle of endorphins and adrenalin masked the pain and things loosened up. Mile 1 - 6.24, Mile 2 – 6.13, Mile 3 – 6.36, Mile 4 – 6.38., Then a feeling of exhaustion, tightening up. Time to slow down, mind telling me it might be an idea to stop. Shut up ! Mile 5 – 6.40. I can sense a PB, I can also sense the possibility of a 10 minute last mile . Mile 6 – 6.13. Nothing to give. 0.2 to go and I tried to scrape what little is left and sprint as fast as I can. Stride pattern feels awkward, left hamstring is tight. 0.1 to the line. Focus on the word FINISH on the arch above the timing mat. Cross the line and suck in the air like I’m drinking it. I think its harder than a marathon, there is simply no place to relax or enjoy it until this moment when its done and you exchange a few sweaty hugs and handshakes and the world reverts to its normal setting again. The time is texted through within minutes of finishing. 40.05, a PB by 1.20.

Of course I’m happy with a PB, they are the things that we strive for, that the training is aimed at. But, 6 seconds off sub 40 is annoying. I’m never satisfied am I !? Almost as soon as I began to cool down things started to tighten up again and I developed a back pain and left leg limp. The body is amazing to allow you to run a 40 minute 10k then 5 minutes later I could barely lift my leg over the crossbar of my bike, it took three goes !

I’ve been very stiff since Sunday, left hip and lower back are both very tight and sore, getting up from sitting down is the worst and hinging forward from the waist is impossible at the moment. Was it worth making things a bit worse to experience this years York 10k? –YES.


we are off on holiday for a week this Saturday, will hopefully find some interesting places to run early in the morning before it gets too hot, then it’s a case of recovering in the pool with cold beer.


I learned quite a few things since the last blog.


  • I’m quite a good shot with a rubber band
  • Its better to be an Indian than a cowboy
  • Crocodile suits come in two models
  • Compared to lots of people I’m very lucky, my children are lucky and I take it for granted.
  • Some pain and discomfort can be overcome if that’s what you choose – you might pay for it later though.
  • Strong mind is as important as strong body where running is concerned
  •  Sometimes a PB isn’t quite enough


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