Archives for Musings category

5k in 34:13 – Bit slower but also a bit hillier!

Posted on Oct 06, 2012 under 5-10k, 5k, Injuries, Musings, Regular Runs, Slow Runs | No Comment

Another 5k with mixed feelings, right leg never felt 100% but seemed to survive if I kept the pace really slow. Had been swimming earlier in the week, which is great, but at £2.80 a time can work out more expenseive than hitting the road!

I have a current theory about my injury, which goes back to the fall I had over the summer, cracking my back hard on a rock. I’m wondering if I compressed a nerve, as when I had 2 weeks off running, some other symptoms I had, such as a mild numbness in certain places, subsided, but seem to have returned along with starting running again, so am wondering if running is putting pressure on it and this is in fact what is causing the leg pain…

I will see what happens after this run. It may be that I need an extended break for the nerve to uncompress itself (funnily enough, after swimming, and stretching my body out, the symptoms greatly ease). Maybe I will even have to quit running altogether.

Good or bad news? Who knows! I’m thinking of the Zen story where a farmer’s son breaks his leg, but thus avoids being conscripted into the army and killed. Maybe my injury will help me avoid a rendezvous with a truck or maniac gunman…

An easy 5k embracing Mindfulness of Running – 31:30

Posted on Jun 06, 2012 under 5k, Easy Runs, Musings | No Comment

Have had something of a personal retreat over the long bank holiday weekend, avoiding facebook, forums and text messaging as much as possible. Well to be honest have avoided facebook altogether, forums altogether, and just maintained brief contact with a select few. Have spent a lot of time meditating and entering into some quite blissful states, and this morning I needed to go the the shops, which was an interesting walk, I had to stop and marvel at the beauty of a single red rose in a garden, and everything had a certain aliveness.

So I wondered what a run would be like, and was due a run, so had to resist the urge to contemplate my navel for another 24 hours and slowly got my kit on (deciding to wear my casual La Santa t-shirt rather than a proper running top for a short easy run), then stepped out into some nice early afternoon sunshine, though there were dark clouds here and there. Sunglasses and baseball cap on, I set off and played slalom with the bin men, one of whom kindly let me past before he dragged two bins to the van. Quite often I feel aggressive and irritated at people in my way when I run – probably hormones and adrenaline and all that, but on this occasion I felt quite at peace with the world around me, slowed without complaint for cars and road crossings, and just concentrated on my breath and running at a nice easy pace after a high mileage week last week.

Even the hills didn’t get a curse and I felt a sense of flow about this run, I did get quite puffy with the hills but didn’t overheat and kept the pace nice and easy and enjoyed really engaging with my surroundings – cars, leaves, cyclists, litter, tarmac, sky, it all had this quality to it that is hard to describe.

My weather control faculties were fully operational, as I had nice cloud-filtered sunshine for the run, and as soon as I got home and opened my back door to cool off, the heavens opened! In keeping with the tone of the last few days I walked out into it and embraced the sensations of the rain cooling my skin and felt quite at one with everything.

Am not sure a hard 5k time trial would have left me feeling quite so peaceful, but I think these easy mindful runs should definitely form a more regular part of my schedule in the future!

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.


JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

7.2 miles in the pouring rain – Zen and the Art of Running!

Posted on Jun 12, 2011 under 10-15k, Long Runs, Musings | 2 Comments

I’ve been interested in Buddhism for a while, and increasingly in Zen lately, and I must say that running in the rain has a certain Zen quality about it – just being, living in the moment, one moment after another, feeling the beauty of the wetness instead of trying to keep it away with layers of clothing. Also there’s something very childlike about splashing and sploshing through puddles without a care in the world.

There’s also something manic about me, which relishes the funny looks I get from folk wrapped in their raincoats, which says “You crazy mother******”. I do feel crazy at the time, like I’m invincible, like nothing else matters, totally in the moment. Or perhaps they are the crazy ones, huddled against the wet, or standing in doorways smoking their death sticks while they watch the crazy runner get a bit wet, unable to partake of the pure joy of being. I wish they’d give it a try!

For the record I did 7.2 miles, I did one of the kms in 5:12 which left me a bit out of it for a while, and was going to stop at 10k, but then decided to make it 10 miles for the week and pulled in an 11th km of 5:44 before slowing to a crawl and stopping on 11.6k. Not had much chance to run this week, so was good to get out.

Why would a little torrential rain stop me? Every rain drop, like every moment, is just part of the picture of how things are. Maybe it’s just the endorphins, but I do feel a certain Zen quality right now. 😀

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.