Archive for November, 2011

So sayeth the Lord, “wheveverest though debit, so shall thee credit”.

That was hard, I think I might be getting a cold, kind of achy all-around, off my pace (look at that, I’ve got a ‘pace’ now) and sweating a bit more than usual.

However, it’s not so much about the running today, but about a conversation…

Late last night (well, late for me) we were talking, as we sometimes do, about things to do when we win the Lottery. The suggestion was that if you have enough money, you’d go and work for VSO, or something similar. Which sounds fair enough.

However, I asked what we had to offer, and we realised that, basically, that is the gift of accountancy.

After giving it some thought, I’m not sure that accountancy is a gift you’d want to receive; imagine you’re a tribe, newly emergered from the jungle, and the VSO turn up with doctors, teachers, engineers and an accountant. Picture, if you will…..

  • “I appreciate that last week your wood was worth three chickens, but in the current macroeconomic lumber market prices have slumped. I’m afraid you’ll have to impair the value of that lumber, but only as a carrying adjustment, as the price may recover”,
  • “Your colleague owes you two boar, but has not yet paid you. Are you prepared to write that off as a Bad Debt, or would you like one last chance at recovery? Given the statutory interest rates on late debtors, you could be due an extra haunch by now”,
  • “I know you received half a ton of berries for the house you built your neighbour, but you can’t eat them all now. You’ll need to expend them over the life of the asset you created, which is usually assessed to be forty years”; and
  • “Ah, Chief, I understand a neighbouring tribe performs some hunting and gathering for you, and the fact that your nephew is chief there suggests you have more than 40%of a controlling interest in that tribe. Break out the Group Accounting Manual, this is going to get complicated”.

Of course, there’s always the saving grace that it’s possibly a better gift than the gift of auditing, and that’s potentially the one thing that would keep you out of the cooking pot. Moral of this story – if you’re going to deliver the gift of accountancy to a newly-discovered tribe, always take an auditor with you.

If you’re not an accountant, then I apologise, that may have all been a bit too geeky…

Indicators (using the GREEN, YELLOW, ORANGE, RED, BLACK terminology):

  • Preparedness: GREEN
  • Motivation: GREEN
  • Ability: ORANGE
  • Aches: YELLOW (hello, knees)
  • Fitness: ORANGE
  • Weight: RED

Route: Panama
Activity: Wk 4 Run 2
Google Maps URL:

Shortened Google Maps URL:
Import URL: Started: 29 Nov 2011 06:34:20
Run Time: 49:52
Stopped Time: 0:00
Distance: 6.20 km
Average Pace: 8:03 /km
Fastest Pace: 5:14 /km
Ascent: 28 meters
Descent: 17 meters
Calories: 646
Official: Yes

Route: New Route
Activity: Wk 4 Run 1
Google Maps URL:

Shortened Google Maps URL:
Import URL: Started: 27 Nov 2011 07:55:03
Run Time: 59:26
Stopped Time: 0:00
Distance: 7.68 km
Average Pace: 7:44 /km
Fastest Pace: 5:02 /km
Ascent: 15 meters
Descent: 21 meters
Calories: 797
Official: No


Posted: 27/11/2011 in Journal, Running

Well, perhaps a slightly older model, who’s been left in a garage for a while and not oiled.

Week 4 starts here! It’s only a week late, but we’ll keep that us for now, eh?

After a week of reduced running to take care of my knees, today was the day to step up to the dizzy heights of 2:00 run / 3:00 walk. Never a book to disappoint, the Beginning Runner’s Handbook suggested 11 repetitions was about right, which was more than I think I’ve done so far, coupled with the extra run.

It was windy too, not in a “ooh, a gentle breeze to soothe my furrowed brow” kind of way, more of a “we’re not in Kansas any more” stylee. So, to sum up that’s longer runs, more of them and a tornado.

It was ace – seriously – and I’m kind of surprising myself that I’m enjoying running so much. Granted, if it was a bind I’d still be plodding around to get to the end of the thirteen weeks, but I’m actually looking forward to getting out, tornado or no, and waiting for the next session. Especially as the doctor said I had good muscle tone, and that after only three weeks, imagine by the end of the thirteen, I’ll be ripped (though presumably only the bottom bit of me, which I imagine will be Charles Atlas-esque, while the top half contines to look like Mr. Muscle – the real one, not the rubbish one they have now – after an all-night pie-fest).

The slightly scary notion is creeping into my head that I might fancy running in some kind of event once I’m at the just-plain-running stage. There’s a 10k run in North Tyneside on Easter Sunday, and when I consider I covered over 7.5km this morning, it feels possible. Apparently there’s a hill, but I’ve not been fazed by uphill – I find downhill a bit of a struggle, as I lack the confidence to properly go for it, and so I’m taking tiny Angelina-Ballerina steps.

I don’t know if I’m finding a ‘style’ or just falling into bad habits, but the running itself isn’t giving me so much bother – when I started, I found it hard to put one foot in front of the other, and had no idea what to do with my arms or hands. Now the various parts of me just seem to get on with it, on auto-pilot, and other than trying to avoid choking myself with the wire on my headphones, all seems good.

Mr. Stitch is back again, but like the mucous cough gremlin in the Benelyn advert, I cast him aside, Mexican-wrestler style. Something to do with drinking, I think, as in while running, and no, not pints, but lovely isotonic lemon mixture. I need a better bottle holder – the one I’ve got slips around my waist as it tries to get a look at where we’re going, rather than where we’ve been. It doesn’t realise that it’s supposed to be watching my six, Call of Duty style, especially in the pre-dawn light when the insomniac muggers are out.

Now I’m back, knees are bearable – they ache, but in a put-to-use way, rather than a put-to-death way. I’m hopeful they’ll improve, though I may be properly wrong…

Only this wek to go, and then like an indecisive dieter’s latte, I’ll be half-and-half.

Indicators (using the GREEN, YELLOW, ORANGE, RED, BLACK terminology):

  • Preparedness: GREEN
  • Motivation: GREEN
  • Ability: YELLOW
  • Aches: GREEN (reserve the right to chance this in a couple of hours, mind)
  • Fitness: ORANGE (with hints of lemon)
  • Weight: RED (still red, not gone back to black, get in!)

Route: New Route
Activity: Recuper8
Google Maps URL:

Shortened Google Maps URL:
Import URL: Started: 24 Nov 2011 06:35:55
Run Time: 44:49
Stopped Time: 0:00
Distance: 5.41 km
Average Pace: 8:17 /km
Fastest Pace: 5:18 /km
Ascent: 17 meters
Descent: 18 meters
Calories: 539
Official: No

After my doctor’s sage advice last night, I figured I’d really go for it today, and set out for an eight-interval run, pretty much what I was doing last week.

It went OK, but the knees are painful – the shins are fine.

Not much else to say – should have posted at the time to be honest…

Struggling to get Runmeter to post directly to the blog, so may have to wait a wee while to get a map on the page – for now you’ll have to make do with the link…

Hang on, I think I’ve fixed it.

Love your doctor…

Posted: 23/11/2011 in Uncategorized

By dint of being neither a bone-quack nor a foot-quack, I find myself needing to refer to my GP as a quack-quack. So be it…

I went to see the doctor tonight; not my proper doctor, just the one who happened to be available. I took with me my achy shins, my painy knees and my seemingly happy, if allegedly cursed, feet. I was hoping to get a referral to a podiatrist to get me pins checked on the NHS, as I figure I don’t bother them often, I must be due something by now.

The doc examined my right leg – and I’m not saying that I’m susceptible to a bit of buttering up, but when he said I had “good muscle tone” in my calf, I was feeling like this man clearly knew his stuff, and when he declared me “not over the hill yet”, I was about ready to believe whatever came out of his mouth next.

I relayed my sad tale; the valiant hero, taking up running and facing Adversity from said shins and knees. I told him about the running shop and the suggestion that I needed a podiatrist to examine my pins. I may have mentioned insoles or ever pronation, and he took it all in his stride.

Then, like an avuncular uncle explaining that you can’t blow the top off your head by holding your nose and breathing out, he told me that this whole pronation / biomechanical / insole thing was a bit “unscientific”. I’m sure if he’d kept going, he’d have explained it was un-British and that it wasn’t what had won us an empire and made us mildly arthritic as a nation.

He explained (without using the terms “fat-lad” or “lard-arse”) that starting running is a jolt to the old muscles and that they’re bound to feel a bit creaky. He said inflamation was a common thing, and that a dab of common or garden anti-inflammatory gel applied beforehand was likely to perform wonders. He didn’t tell me to give it all up as a crazy dream.

And then, and this is the bit that won me over 100%, his doctorly advice was this…

“Really go for it over the next couple of months and it’ll probably be fine”. He did finish off with the old “if it doesn’t or if it gets a lot worse come back” which is a mild cop-out, but I’ve come out feeling quite patriotic – I can’t imagine Queen Victoria complaining about shin-splints or wanting insoles, so I’m going to take his sage advice see how it goes.

I now own my own tube of anti-inflammatory gel.

It could all be a terrible mistake…