Archive for July, 2013

I’m not sure I did – but we got a dog last week, he’s a five year old Golden Retriever, and came from some nice folk who just didn’t have the time to walk him enough. Well, we’ve walked him quite a bit, and he seems to be a bit runny, so I thought I’d see what he made of it if I plodded along with him…


(Is it time for a walk? Can you check your watch? Again?)

Well, I took a punt tonight and went out for the post-work walk in my shorts and trainers (with the dog). With a mind to not pushing him, we crossed the single road to the playing field and I let him off the lead. Whoosh! Like normal, off he went, but I ran a nice slow pace behind him, keeping pace. Across the field and through the golf course, and he kept on going – stopping a couple of times for some especially smelly bits, but broadly ecstatic to be on the go. I figure he ran about as much as usual, just in a straight line rather than around and about. We walked a bit on the hill and down to the gate into the woods. Other side of the gate and he took off again, not so fast, but I went nice and slow so as not to push his pace. Along to the stream and in he went, wandering through and having a drink.


(Dog collecting rubbish – he’s good at that)

Around the overgrown path, mostly walking, then back to the path out and a sit down for a proper drink of water and a bit of a pant. Walked back through the golf course and home – I’ve got a very panty but pretty happy looking dog – think he may be having a sleep soon.


Bloomin’ eck, we got a dog…


Next One

Posted: 21/07/2013 in Uncategorized

One Ultramarathon and you’d think I would have learnt my lesson?


Just entered the Jedburgh Ultramarathon on 27 October. I used to live by Jedburgh, so it’s a bit of a return to the ol’ manor. I reckon the run over the Eildon Hills will be a high point (pun definitely intended – and how often do you get to run over an extinct volcano?), but I think a smidgin of training may be in order. At the moment, 38 miles feels like quite a long way. Estimated my time at nine hours using my scientific approach of blind guessing something slightly under the cut off time (10 hours), but who knows?


First go at this, went for a short evening walk with Mrs Angrybees. One bag – lot of Moam wrappers, which seem to be the sweet of choice for the litter unconscious.


Run In Trash Out

Posted: 14/07/2013 in Randoms

I’ve invented a new game. Well, it’s not a game, more of a social responsibility thing, but if I tell you it’s a game you might get excited…

When I was running through the woods today, I came across a crisp packet. SLightly dismayed, I picked it up and stuck it in the pocket of my trusty Ronhill Trail Cargo shorts. A bit later on, I came across the bottom of a popular mountain biking descent, and found a multi-pack Double Decker wrapper and all it’s attendant  individual bar wrappers. Again, into the pockets they went. What now, a family size Peanut M&M packet. Pockets getting a bit full now.

OK, so there are no bins in the woods. That’s a good thing, I think, but it doesn’t give people a free pass to drop their rubbish. There are also no bins in the car park, which means you have – oh no! – take your crap home with you. Or in this case hope someone else might do it for you.

In geocaching there’s a saying, Cache In Trash Out – and I think we can pilfer this one for running.

I’m inventing Run In Trash Out, and next time I venture into the woods I plan to take a spare carrier bag. If we all take one or two bits, the world will be a tidier place in no time.

I hope you might join me in the game – heck, send me picture of the trash you’ve collected and I’ll post ’em up on the blog, complete with a ringing endorsement of what a fine human being you are…


No, not you, come back! Sorry, I can see how that might have confused matters…

Three weeks on from completing The Wall, and my knee and toe seem to have recovered sufficiently to plod off about the place again. Thank goodness, as I’m not sure how much longer the stabbing pains could have kept my agitated brain at bay.

I’ve discovered a new hobby – getting lost. In essence, I plod off into the woods, take paths at random and marvel at the bizarre places I come out at. The gingerbread cottage with the nice old lady with the enormous over was perhaps a tale for another day, but there are other examples.

Earlier in the week I headed out to the bottom of the woods, down near the river. I took a few random trails and ended up running alongside the river. Very nice, and I didn’t know you could get that far down. I ran merrily along, enjoying the watery interlude until I came to a big ol’ swimming hole (well it would be if we were Americans, but we’re not, so it was jolly swimmy bit). Then the path ended – this was clearly the thing people had headed to at one time or another.

I could either run the half mile back along the river bank to the main track, or I could find another route. As luck would have it, a ridiculous dirt path, near vertical in places appeared at just that very moment. Um, I wasn’t thinking about climbing actually, so I closed my eyes, hoping it would get a little less vertical.

Open eyes, no luck.

It’s this or nothing, I thought, so I gamely started to head up, small step by small step. By graspy handhold, by delicate foot-placing by remembering “three points of contact!” from when I climbed poorly for a short while. A couple of times I slipped, a couple of times I teetered. The roots and stones made for halfway decent holds and I hoisted my (thankfully less bulky) frame up and up. A climb up a few actual rocks and the scramble levelled out – I was drenched in sweat – did I mention it was rather warm? Up a tiny teetery track and a few toed in steps and I emerged from the bushes back onto the main track.

Lord knows what I must have looked like, dripping sweat, dirty hands and knees, emerging from a bush. Like a hedgehog in shorts, I reckon.

But it was fun – heck it was fun.

So I went back a couple of days later with my GoPro and video’d my rubbish ascending. You can see it here:

Video – if you don’t like the Pixies (that means you mum) then turn the volume off.

See what I mean – what a fool.

I ran a similar way again today, though avoided the path to the gorge – I was out for a quick jaunt about, not an exhaust-o-fest, but I ended up there anyway – I swear the gorge is stalking me now.

In the same three runs, I managed to get lost another three times – each time I found somewhere new and exciting (one through the sheer volume of ants you can find in one hastily stepped-past nest – yikes!) and fully intend to get lost again in the near future. In a way I’m already sadly looking to the day when I know the woods well and getting lost will not be an option. I think it’s a good few months off for now.

Not sure that it went away, but my running mojo has certainly come back.

Thinking ahead and I’d love to have a pop at the Jedburgh Ultramarathon (40 miles) at the end of October. Whether time, money or life allows remains to be seen, but as I used to live up there it attracts me something rotten. Next up is the Great North Run in September.

I am still the owner of both big toe nails. This, it has to be said, is something of a shock to me.