Sunday 29 May 2016


Running to find the zone  - Part 2 was the title of my last running blog nearly ten weeks ago. I've changed it to take account of circumstances as you can see. Now my Part 3 celebrates the fact that I have succeeded in running to keep running. Let me explain.

A week after my 34:30 minutes local circuit run in mid-March (see Running to find the Zone - Part 2) I fell prisoner to the Stivian cold virus that was doing the rounds. That put me out of training - running or gym - for two weeks. I managed a run in early April around the local circuit in 36 minutes on the morning of the day I attempted later to give my 76th pint of blood. I failed the finger test. I was still slightly anaemic after the cold virus. Fair play, I thought. Now I can concentrate on my

Feeling the pain in my fastest ever half marathon since my first in 1989 (Bungay Half Marathon 02:08:04)
Norwich 2008 - 02:19:39 was my adjusted time.

training and not have to take three weeks out because of the blood donation. Little did I know. We went to the theatre a few days later and saw the Kidz R Us production of Avenue Q. At this point you need to read my blog entitled 'Rough Sex in St Ives' to understand how much we enjoyed the production. Now this blog I'm talking about was composed in around two hours on the Saturday morning after the show. At the dining room table. For the first time with the computer downstairs. I forgot to look after my back. Disaster! Blogger's Back was self-diagnosed the next day.

It took a physiotherapy session with Ben Donaldson and a chiropractic appointment with Tanya Read to get me through the next two weeks but by the very end of April I had managed a recovery run in 36:40 minutes around the local  circuit and was back at the gym. But ten days into May and I was

afflicted by a back muscle strain that took another week from the training schedule. I began to ask the inevitable question: 'Was my body saying enough? No more running and races for you, chum!'

Sunday 15 May I determinedly set out to run the local circuit although my body was protesting as soon as I began running. 'Bugger you', I thought. 'You won't beat me'. I just kept going. One foot in front of another. Slowly running. I completed the circuit in 40:27 minutes. It may have been slow but it was a triumph for me.

Sunday 22 May I set out again to complete my local circuit and this time add around ten minutes running time - the classic method of marathon training that I had now decided to employ for the half marathon in Oxford in October this year. I had already completed a mid-week run in 37:10 minutes. and now this Sunday I was round the circuit in 35:25 minutes and ran for another 9:25 minutes on a second circuit. 44:50 for the day. Well pleased.

Oxford 10K - 2010 - 64:16 minutes

Sunday 29 May. Today. What a week! Travelling to Guildford on Tuesday as a senior examiner for AQA to attend A-level Philosophy standardisation on Wednesday and seeding on Thursday. Followed by supervising online standardisation on Friday and Saturday back home in St Ives. And today beginning my own marking. Somehow I had survived an absolutely sleepless night through the early hours of Thursday when the Cornish Riviera, the night sleeper from Penzance to London Paddington, arrived 3 hours and five minutes late at Reading. 04:05 to be precise. My reclining seat in the quiet carriage, carriage A, turned out to be feet away from the group of 30-50 year olds who were lost in vodka fuelled revelry that had begun as they waited for three hours for their journey to begin at Paddington.

And yet ... today I set out at teatime and completed my local circuit in 36:30 and went on for another 14 minutes of running - 50:30 minutes in total. We have regularity - three consecutive weeks - and we have the distances and times building up. We are back in proper training. We have given life back to the body. Oxford here we come!   

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