The end of the road


This is a quick post. While I’m happy to be running again now, I just don’t feel I’m committed to this blog anymore. As you probably know, I debated carrying it on after the marathon. In retrospect, I think it was best left as an archive of that event as opposed to an ongoing thing.

Thanks for your support.

David

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Running up that hill


Took my running gear on holiday last week, but it didn’t really go so well.

We were staying near Bilsdale on the North Yorkshire Moors. A key aspect of the cottage we were in was that it was by a river. All very pleasant.

The first time I went out, early one morning, I felt great as I ran over the bridge, past the field full of horses. But this soon ended when I rounded the bend and remembered that the beautiful river was, of course, in the bottom of a valley. Every road out took you up a pretty horrendous hill. Not great when you are just getting going again.

I slogged to the top if the hill thinking “at least it’ll be easy coming down!”. Not so. Have you ever run down a steep hill when you are recovering from a back injury? Every step hammers up your spine. Not fun.

I went out once more, but a storm the night before had resulted in a couple of freaked-out horses getting out. They didn’t react well to me running towards them, so I called it a day.

With my back aching a little, I decided it was better to wait till next week’s physio appointment before I go out again. Hopefully that will see me clear.

David

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“Shape”, easy to get out of…


Out for another 2 miles tonight. Starting to get back into good habits, and my back still feels okay.

What has shocked me is just how out-of-shape I’ve got. It took such hard work to get in shape. A few months without exercise and I’m back where I started.

This time last year I could easily do 5 miles, not breath heavy, not have my heart rate elevate. Tonight, two miles, and it felt like 20. All I can hope is that my base level of fitness is now better, and I’ll be back in shape soon.

In other news I’ve finally had my physio referral through, so I’ll get my first session on September 25th

David

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Swallows and runners


Went out for my first run in months at long last this morning, just a quick mile-and-a-half, in a little over ten minutes.

The good news was that I got no trouble from my back, which bodes well for getting back in shape. On the downside, I feel like I’m pretty much back where I started long before the marathon. Hopefully I’m building from a better underlying condition though, so I can be back in shape by the end of the year.

My route took me over a grassy field (got lost), which was brilliant. The local swallows loved me disturbing the insects in the early morning dew, and swooped around my feet. I should know better, but lived in fear of hitting one… Far chance! They’re far too manoeuvrable, and almost mocked me with their grace and agility, and speed.

Going out again tomorrow, hopefully feel fine.

David

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On running, Olympians, and Paralympians


So, post-doctor I’ve not done much still. I was given a referral to the physio, but that’s not manifested yet. A friend had similar and was waiting three months, so I’m not holding my breath.

Three months is too long to wait to get going again. I’m off on holiday on the 8th September, and I’d like to be up and running for that, so I need to start testing things out. I’ve had little bother, even running from one side of Carlisle town centre to the other with no pain (late for a train), so I’m confident that I can chance a short, slow couple of miles this week. Going to give it a go tonight. We’ll see how that goes.

Feels terrible moaning about my back when the Paralympics start tonight. Hard not to have that put your own minor pain and suffering into perspective. I’ve loved the Channel 4 trailer for the Paralympics, with that awesome Public Enemy soundtrack.

On the subject of athletes and videos, slightly more fun, have you seen the Olympian “Don’t Stop Me Now” video

Great fun, and a fitting way to remember such tremendous achievments!

One little inspiring story I picked up on, on the day of the closing ceremony, while everyone was winding down, getting ready to party, I was delighted to be listening to BBC Radio 5 Live as a commentator excalimed in surprise “The Brownlee brothers have just gone past me on a training run!” A great reminder that while it may only be every four years to us, it’s every day to the athletes.

David

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Make me an Olympian


Good news from the doctors last week where it was confirmed I had a prolapsed disc, but that I’m recovering well and rapidly. I’ll see a physio now, and I’m going to try a gentle jog tonight.

I’m feeling incredibly inspired by the olympics, and the tremendous diversity of successful athletes. Which got me thinking. I’m 34 now, is it at all feasible that I could be at Rio in four years?

There are certainly events like the equestrian stuff where age is no barrier, but I don’t really have the facilities for horses. Then there are things like shooting and archery, but my coordination isn’t brilliant.

I’m 5’10” so the events for the big men are out, as are things like sprinting, swimming, that are dominated by young men.

It genuinely occurred to me that distance running would be my best chance. But maybe I’ve missed some other options?

This is all a bit of fun, but if you want to suggest sports I could target for Rio, then “make me an Olympian”!

David

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It’s been a bad year


Obviously no-one is reading this blog anymore, as I haven’t posted in months. But it’s been a bad year where my running plans are concerned.

Since rying to get back on-track with the Age UK 10k at Harewood, I’ve been out once. Once. Struggled to feel good with my ankles/feet. But that did eventually clear up. Just as that started to feel okay, I was into moving house, so stuff was all packed up. Then, during moving, I hurt my back really badly. Seeing the doctor soon to establish just what I did, but I suspect a herniated disc, aggravating the sciatic nerve. Not a lot of fun, and at one point I could barely stand, let alone walk, and certainly not run.

I’ve had to cancel plans to run numerous races this year, including returning to the Leeds and York 10k races. Which is a real shame. But hopefully, there’s 2013.

The good news is that my back does now feel a lot better, and is healing. So I hope to still get back running. I’m going to start posting more regularly as part of that, because I think it’ll go back to it’s earlier purpose of driving me on. So the next post, next week, will be a proper medical update. I’m hoping the doc will clear me for light running, and swimming.

David

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DEFRAs planned buzzard ‘control’


Sorry to go off-topic after so long without posting, but this matters:

Can I encourage anyone with a passion for wildlife to email Caroline Spelman MP, Richard Benyon MP, and Richard Brand-Hardy at DEFRA regarding the planned buzzard “control” action?
richard.brand-hardy@defra.gsi.gov.uk
caroline@carolinespelman.com
richard.benyon.mp@parliament.uk
richard@richardbenyon.com

Feel free to adapt this text I have sent:

From the supporting document, it is clear that this is based on anecdotal feedback from gamekeepers, in particular a single site where there is a claim of 25-30% damage to the poult numbers. This is an inadequate basis on which to proceed, for a number of reasons:

1. You cannot extrapolate data from one site to draw conclusions nationally. Even if such anecdotal evidence is correct, other factors may be having an impact. This would need to be clear before any other action is taken.

2. You cannot use anecdotal data as basis for any scientific action

3. Without thoroughly researched baseline data, you have no way of knowing if the action you take has been successful.

4. In assessing the validity of action against buzzard populations, you must compare the effect of other factors on the pheasant populations. Road deaths would be an obvious one to assess.

5. The DEFRA document cites increased buzzard population data as evidence of an issue. However, it is using data on a species that has recovered from near-extinction as a result of past persecution. Therefore the numbers could equally represent a normalisation of the naturally managed population. This is what we would expect. Again, you need data before you proceed to control measures.

I hope you can see you have a woefully inadequate basis on which to proceed with any trial. Even if you are minded to proceed with a trial, you *must* first gather proper data on the impact of buzzards on pheasants first, to give yourselves a baseline.

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Quick update


Apologies for ongoing lack of posts, my computer problems are proving persistent. Should finally be back next week, at which point this drought will see a flood!

David

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Getting to know your Garmin


So, this will be a solid long weekend of getting back out on the roads. I’m aiming to run Saturday, Sunday, Monday as I get ready for the 10k. I’ll be trying out my new Forerunner too, so we’ll see how that goes. I’ve had a brief look at the software and don’t like the maps, which I’m sure is something I can customise. But it’ll be fun to see all the assorted data like pace and heart-rate. I’ll do a new post on it next week.

David

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