Archives for Misc category

Abysmal Aborted 4.25k

Posted on Jan 08, 2013 under Jogs, Misc, nutrition, Slow Runs | No Comment

Had a bit of a duvet day today, reading psych texts in bed, but decided to go out for a run…

Felt slowish at first, then picked up some pace, plan was to do about 5 miles, or at least 5k. Got to Mill Lane, was going to loop back along Hyde Road to home, but suddenly felt my energy levels drop through the floor and had to stop, was all I could do to walk to the nearest bus stop and jump on the 201 back to Denton, felt quite ill, but knew it was just because I had not fuelled properly and had low blood sugar, has happened before, must watch that, but didn’t think it would be too bad on a shorter run, mind you has occasionally happened walking, just a matter of eating too much crappy white toast and nothing decent all day 🙁

Definitely need to get some Savers porridge in, or take some malt loaf wrapped up in my pocket for on the run snacking!

A Bit of Begging for Charity…

Posted on May 13, 2012 under Misc, Musings, Uncategorized | No Comment

I have a number of direct debits for charities, and give a lot of my time freely to help others, therefore I only do one event for charity, The Great Manchester Run.

This year I have managed to get one donation so far, I do have some pledges, but so far I am dreading the phone call from Marie Curie to thank me for my fundraising efforts, as I haven’t raised enough to pay for the top they sent me to run in so far, never mind cash to pay for the nurses like the ones who looked after my mum when she was dying.

So if anyone runs across this and could spare a few quid, it would be much appreciated.


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Facing Mortality on a 3.5k Rainy Run

Posted on Feb 23, 2011 under Misc, Musings, Regular Runs | 3 Comments

Planned to do 2 miles, which eventually panned out to 3.5k as I felt I had some left in the tank, plus some interesting thoughts accompanied me on today’s run.

Less than 1km into the run, as often happens, I saw a funeral cortege pulling away from a house ahead of me. I had no idea who it was, whether they had lived to a ripe old age, or whether it was a tragic loss, but there seemed to be a lot of cars pulling out after the hearse; it was obviously someone whose friends and family had suffered a significant loss.

But it coincided with the point in a run where I usually start to suffer as my heart and lungs begin to struggle to pump oxygen to my hard working legs, and it struck me that as much as people often describe struggling during a run as “feeling like they are dying”, it is very much the opposite – it is a sign of being vibrantly, crucially, exquisitely alive. Rather then try to distract myself from the growing distress, I let my awareness rest on it, and wondered about that person in the coffin – what would they give to feel their lungs struggling like this, breathing hard, beginning to hurt, but so very much alive? And I realised that every moment can be like this – on day I will be that person in the coffin, no longer breathing, gone… But this is my time to be conscious, to savour every sensation, every moment, to not shun experience but drink it in for what it is, the glorious, visceral, beautiful feeling of being alive.

Damn – Not Again!

Posted on Jan 23, 2011 under Health, Misc | No Comment

Just when things are starting to go well, I wake up with a sore throat and the sniffles. I’ve been back running for about 2 weeks since the last bout with a cold stopped me running for over a month.

I really hope this one isn’t going to be a bad one, I really need my running at the moment, would like to be fit for some races in the spring, and aside from the running it’s a very busy time generally.

Go away cold!!!!!!!!! 🙁

Running and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) – Coping with the Winter Blues

Posted on Nov 20, 2010 under Health, Misc, News | No Comment

That I haven’t updated this blog anywhere near as much as usual, is not only a sign that I haven’t been running much – it’s also a sign that I’ve not been feeling as enthusiastic about running, and if I’m honest life in general, lately. Not coming to the blog to update a run is typical of my general “can’t be bothered” feelings lately. Through early November, I had a fit of really bad insomnia, and now, for the last 2 weeks, I’ve been sleeping almost double my normal hours, and yet feeling tired and lethargic during the day.

I am in the grip of Seasonal Affective Disorder. Or SAD, as it’s often, perhaps unfortunately, known.

I’ve always felt “bluer” in the winter. Less active. I guess most of us do. For some of us, it can be worse than feeling a little down in the dumps – SAD can run the whole spectrum from mild “winter blues” to major clinical depression.

I fall somewhere in between. It can depend what’s going on in my life – last year I was in the throes of an exciting new relationship, and the winter blues passed by practically unnoticed. This winter I have a few stresses and strains on my shoulders, I am back at Uni doing my MSc in Counselling and Psychotherapy, and with the recession, and the cuts, my freelance work and website affiliate sales have been hit hard – so things are very uncertain financially, and there are one or two other things going on as well. I find at this time of year my mental health can be a bit like a house of cards – keep it in a draft free room, kept safe by positive things, and it’s fine – but open the door to the wind of a bit of stress and strife, and the whole thing can come tumbling down. But I will survive… I just long for spring!

So what has this got to do with running? Well, as far as I know, exercise is supposed to be the number one symptomatic relief for Seasonal Affective Disorder. Perhaps not surprising when you consider that exercise for ordinary mild to moderate clinical depression has been to shown to be as effective as chemical antidepressants.

But the problem is, getting out there in the first place. When my general motivation is at its lowest for the year, and when the weather outside looks so utterly miserable, it is hard to convince myself that donning some running gear and going out into the rain/cold/sleet/dark/snow is going to actually make me feel better. When the heating is on, and a swaddling bed beckons… Even though rationally I know that the chances are a run WILL improve my mood, my emotional self does not wish to recognise this. All it can see is the burning lungs and the pain, and tries to tell me it’s not worth the effort at all.

But I force myself out. One step at a time. On with the running clothes, the running shoes, and then out of the door. Walk till the Garmin finds a satellite signal. And then run, slowly, just 100m at a time, with a vague target in my head, and see how I go. It used to be I would do that, and at some point I would start to feel good, and be glad I got out, but lately that isn’t happening so much. These are my latest runs:

4/11/2010 – a 4k run which was supposed to be a 5k. I felt chest pains at 2k, slowed down, and just didn’t feel up to completing the run

7/11/2010 – a 5 mile, yes 5 mile run, the only run I have felt at all good on lately. Yet I got chest pains again at 2k – eventually I tracked this down to a bit of a muscle strain over near my armpit – as I naturally sped up at 2k, my arms swung more, and hence the pain. Not really a bad pain, but enough to be a slight worry for a while. The 5 miles gave me high hopes of getting back to form – despite the horrendously slow time of 52m 50s!! 🙁

11/11/2010 – 5k in 32:30. Struggled, felt too warm

19/11/2010 – 5k in 33:03. Struggled. Not sure if it was just because I hadn’t run for over a week.

So even when I do get out there it’s not as if the running is setting me alight. It’s like the majority of my mind, and certainly my body, just don’t want to run.

But I do feel a bit better after the runs, even if it is a bit short-lived – and I realise I am running somewhat intermittently. A friend suggested to me, that if I can just get out twice a week, and run 3 miles, and run it slowly, it will keep my fitness ticking over and will give me at least something of a physical boost. If I can do anything more, that will be a bonus.

So I am going to be stalwart, force myself to get out of the door twice a week and run three miles (more, if I magically feel up to it, but no pressure to run any more than 3), and just keep it going. And just accept that for now, my body just doesn’t want to work on going faster, so I just have to work on keeping it going for the time being.

Would be interested to hear comments from anyone else who has eased the symptoms of SAD (or standard depression) with exercise, or if anyone else is feeling that seasonal affective disorder is affecting their running routine.

Roll on spring, light nights, and maybe a few races to get me motivated and out there again – I am entered for the Great Manchester Run – yippeeee! 🙂

5K Jog – 31:33

Posted on Jan 16, 2009 under 5-10k, 5k, Jogs, Misc, Uncategorized | No Comment

Managed a 5k jog, mostly all run, just with a 2.5 minute walk break after 3k.  Felt good, but tired at end.

After comeback run/walk the other day, was very stiff and sore for several days, but no ill effects so far from this nearly all run effort – the running mojo must be coming back!

Onwards and upwards! 🙂

It’s a Long Road Back

Posted on Dec 18, 2008 under Info, Injuries, Misc, News, Uncategorized | No Comment

Apologies to anyone who thinks this blog is dead (or that I am dead, it might well look that way, but I only feel half dead at the moment!) – I did manage a couple of comeback run/walks, managed to run for 15 minutes out of 30 at a time, and the hip injury didn’t make so much as a whisper.

So after 8 weeks – or a couple of months, I was just getting back into it when I got hit with flu and a chest infection – so will be off the road again probably until early 2009.

It is so frustrating, but I am determined to get back to fitness and enter some races again soon!

Hip Injury Update 2 – Saddlesore!

Posted on Oct 25, 2008 under Cross Training - Bike, Injuries, Misc, News | No Comment

Well it will be 3 weeks tomorrw that I bust my hip, and it’s only been this week that I’ve started being able to walk more or less normally. The pain subsided a lot earlier in the week, but I’m not counting any chickens yet, as I went walking around town yesterday and the more ground I covered, the more I started to become aware of a little discomfort around the area – so had to slow my walking pace.

So it looks like a while yet until I can run again. In fact running is becoming a bit of a distant memory and I almost don’t think of myself as a runner any more 🙁

I’ve been doing some work on the exercise bike but need to work hard to get my lungs going at anywhere near capacity as the leg muscles need working up. I did manage to do 5 miles a couple of times, and much faster the 2nd time, but ended up with huge sore welts on my bottom from the saddle 🙁 So having to give that a rest for a little while now as well.

I guess all I can say is that sporting challenges very finely focus human motivation and the ability to triumph, but these are traits that nonetheless can be repeated in every aspect of our lives. Sometime the challenge is getting a PB on a race day, or running further than ever before. But at times the challenge is just getting through the day, or staying mentally strong to get over an injury, or coming through any of the other 100’s of trials and perils we face on a daily basis. 😉

10 Mile Long Run – Adventure, Mishap and Disaster!

Posted on Oct 05, 2008 under 10 Miles, above 15k, Injuries, Long Runs, Misc, Trail Running | No Comment

My enthusiasm got the better of me today, as I wasn’t feeling in the mood for a 10 miler but watched the Great North Run on tv and was suddenly raring to go! I got my trail shoes on after banging the mud off them from my last canal side run, and set off walking to warm up. It was cold, but the sun was out, so I had shades on! I set off at a nice slow pace and by the time I had got to the hill down into Haughton Dale I was feeling quite comfortable and good. The hill up to the canal was a bit slippery and tough, but settled back to a sedate rhythm, planning to get past the long tunnel at Woodley, and turn back at 9 or 10 k so the ten miles would tick over near home. The real fun began on the canal path, which was deep puddles every few footfalls after the heavy rain yesterday. Some of them were pretty deep, and where I could I ran to the side of them, which sometimes involved running at an angle or runnning through slushy mud and trying to keep my balance near the edge of the canal.

After the long tunnel, my feet and legs were soaked and numb with the freezing water! I was still feeling good though, and turned back as planned. On the way back I started to feel quite heavy legged and felt I was tiring – but with only 4k to go to reach the 10 mile mark, I knew I could do it. Shortly after that my right hip started to twinge a bit, so I slowed, and just decided to make it back to Hulme’s Wood so I could then walk home. I passed what I thought was the right marker before my entry back into Haughton Dale via the waterfall, but soon I was approaching the cobbled footbridge on the way to Hyde, so had to turn back. This was when the real problems began – I headed into what I thought was the right path, and this ended up being a dead end into bushes. Out again, and I tried the next one – this looked more promising, but was very unfamiliar, I thought if I followed the path it must lead back through to Haughton Dale – I had no idea where the correct path had gone! There was a treacherous path, wet and unstable, over a deep drop, and then the path went down a very steep hill covered with tree roots, and I ended up at the side of some kind of river or stream, with no further way forward – now I was at the bottom of a huge hill, and looking up it I couldn’t make out where the “path” was I had just come down, so I had to make my way up and it was almost vertical; I had to grab tree roots with my hands to drag myself up at some points! Finally I got back to the canal and the next path I tried, although unfamiliar, did lead through to the waterfall. I had expended a lot of energy for a 10 minute kilometer and was feeling really dead now, but managed to tick over the last k and by 16.1 at the foot of the hill back up into Haughton Green I could hardly pick one leg up after another.

It was a struggle to walk home, and the hip started flaring up more and more. After sitting down to check a few emails, etc, I stood up and almost fell over, wincing with the pain of putting the slightest weight on my right hip. I had to take mega painkillers to be able to do a couple of things I needed to do. In all, I think the atrocious underfoot conditions are what caused both my hip problem and unusual tiredness – there was a lot of slipping and sliding, running at odd angles with weird impacts and over such a long distance/time this took its toll. The Indiana Jones excursion into the wilderness didn’t help either, as I was already struggling by then!

Ah well, it is a lesson learned, that 10 milers over rough underfoot conditions are probably not a good idea, at least for me. Maybe 5 miles next time, and when the hip is better I will try a long run on the road. 😎

Running is good for you – and keeps you younger!

Posted on Aug 14, 2008 under Info, Misc, News | No Comment

Some people have said to me that running is bad for you, and just wears out the body quicker! I find these are usually people who are a bit jealous thay I’ve got off my backside and have got fit, and usually they smoke and drink and have a lot of ailments, and don’t do 30 minutes exercise in a year, never mind a few times a week!

So I was delighted to read news of a serious long term study which appears to prove that running IS good for you, and keeps you looking and feeling younger and healthier even as you grow older 🙂

Running on a regular basis can slow the effects of ageing, a study by US researchers shows.

Elderly joggers were half as likely to die prematurely from conditions like cancer than non-runners.

They also enjoyed a healthier life with fewer disabilities, the Stanford University Medical Center team found.

Experts said the findings in Archives of Internal Medicine reinforced the importance that older people exercise regularly.

Read more from this BBC Article…