Saturday 26 March 2016


I wrote and published my blog 'RUNNING TO FIND THE ZONE' on Saturday 20 February, last month. It was a celebratory blog. I had just completed my first run for six months after recovering from a foot injury, plantar fasciitis. Five weeks later, I am writing and publishing this update: 'RUNNING TO FIND THE ZONE - PART 2. This focus on my running side should have some life in it - I've entered for the Oxford Half Marathon on Sunday October 9 2016 and I reckon I'm good for around a six-part story between now and then.

Heading towards the finishing line in the Edinburgh Marathon in 2014

When I belonged to the Bungay Black Dog Running Club in East Anglia - see my website - I took up the offer of a weekly blog in the local newspaper as I trained systematically for the Bungay Half Marathon in 2009. That was good fun to write and an excellent opportunity to heap praise on a

running club and its members who were being so supportive. Last year I returned to East Anglia and with less than adequate preparation completed the 2015 Bungay Half Marathon in April. My time was 02:35:04. Six years previously, in 2009 after all that systematic training and local blogging, I had recorded a time of 02:21:18. My very first half marathon was the Bungay Half Marathon in 1989 and my time then was 02:08:04. We may not wear the bottom of our trousers roll'd yet but we are getting slower.

So what time will I record in Oxford in October of this year? Will I be fit enough to make the starting line? What happens between now and then?  For me, that's part of the excitement of entering a race. It's not just about the hours or minutes of running the race and finishing with a time and a medal. There is this pleasure in planning for the event over months - working out a training schedule, recording progress, knowing that part of life must be shaped in a certain way if the training goals are to be met. Whatever else is going on in the life journey, there has to be an emphasis on running. Yes, my first book 'The Road to Corbyn' will be published in the summer of this year. My present literary venture 'Jago Stone - An Artist's Life' is developing as the online detective story gathers pace. We have a 40th wedding anniversary to celebrate in north Wales and a Greek idyll on Patmos in the Aegean to  enjoy in the late summer. But amidst all this, I have to have Oxford in my sights again.

I will have help. In my blog last month I thanked Ben Donaldson, my sports injury therapist, and Anne-Marie Leddy and Tanya Read at the Gilbert's Coombe Chiropractic centre for their part in mending and sustaining my bodily frame. I thank them again for their continued work and effectiveness.

Heading towards the finishing line in the London Marathon in 2012

My first outing in six months around my local circuit took 39 minutes. Since then, I have brought my running time back down to where it was before my injury. My last run over a week ago took around 00:34:30 and I felt for the first time that the zone was very close. It is extraordinary and wonderful how adaptable our bodies are. After six months of relative inactivity, I am back in touch with how I used to feel when running. A pity but I've been fighting a cold virus for some days now - with some success - and I won't be out running again until I'm well enough. All part of the systematic planning. I look forward to composing Part Three of my journey to find the zone in due course ...              

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