Archive for the ‘Ailments For The Runner About Town’ Category

It’s been a while… well, two months, I guess.

Saying which, there’s not a vast amount of wild things gone on – I’ve cycled lots, but you knew I was doing that. Lots of miles, just one route.

At the end of October I finished my fifth year of running – five years! It’s been a canny year – after three attempts I finally got to run the Kintyre Way, which was epic, and a truly lovely bit of Scotland – definitely worth a trip and the run is spectacular.

I had my first ever DNF (did not finish) at the end of October, on my favourite run – the Jedburgh Ultra. It was entirely my own fault, I didn’t train enough. I kind of knew I hadn’t, but thought I could fake my way round. I couldn’t. Massive cramp going up the first Eildon that led to something going wrong with my leg and I could barely hobble along. I signed out with the marshal, and slowly walked my way off the hills for an early finish. Gutted at the time, but now I realise it was down to me I see it’s a lesson that I’ve got a bit lazy and should take these things a bit more seriously. A bit less cycling, a bit more running, especially as runs get closer and all should be fine.

I had the norovirus – that was horrid, but it came and went.

I consistently nearly bought a Brompton, but I still can’t quite justify it to myself, I really fancy a cyclocross or gravel bike to take onto the bridleways and tracks, or even to have a go at cyclocross, which looks crackers.

I reckon I’ll have cycled just short of 5,000km by the end of this year, mainly since I started commuting in June. I’m hoping to keep it going as far into the new year as possible, but we’ll see what the weather thinks about that.

Not far to go to 2017, eh, let’s see how that goes…



Thanks for all the nice messages I’ve had from folk who’d noticed I’d misplaced my Mojo. After an extended search, I am able to offer the following brief update as to its status:



Not a long run, but it felt good while it lasted. Perhaps not helping in the distance or endurance stakes, but not bad in the finding-my-feet stakes.

Rock on.

Went out today with a plan that said 20 miles, a route of about 30 miles and came back with 3.5 miles. That’s not a good score for the day, is it?

But which one is mine?

But which one is mine?

I felt OK, physically, in fact I was running some pretty good miles. No particular twinges, aches or pains. But something was wrong with the ol’ mind. I just wasn’t into it today – it’s been a long time since I felt like that.

I can only hope it’s a one off and will be better next time, but it was a bit off-putting and I have to admit I’m not especially pleased about it.

In other news, the long run, which was supposed to be my longest run ahead of the Glasgow to Edinburgh, is now planned for next weekend instead.

Fingers crossed.

To eagle-eyed readers, a quick  clarification to avoid consternation…

Last night, I mentioned that lefty toe-nail looks like he’s on the way out.

This is not true.

You may be thinking, given that I also announced the loss of lefty-toe nail only a couple of months ago, that he’s some kind of toe-ejecting recidivist who just can’t hold on to a job.

Clearly, that would be silly.

It’s righty-toe nail who’s on the way out this time, making for a lost-toe nail symmetry that I think will be subtly pleasing when he finally gives up and clears off.

I hope that clears things up.

A long time ago, in a herbal remedy shop far, far away, a young chap knew about essential oils, herbs and unguents. Over the next ten years, after leaving the confines of the shop, he forgot pretty much everything he knew. Yes, that was me. Doh.

It’s true. I used to manage a shop selling herbs, oils and flower remedies. I was a bit of a hippy as it goes. Still am, I suppose, other than the iron-hard-commercial-savvy*, obviously.

It didn’t all go – I remember the odd bit of stuff here and there. That thing about drinking capsicum tincture for example – man, that’s hot. Don’t be doing it, though it clears the tubes something untrue. There was a recipe in Bartrams herbal book, for something called “life drops” – a mixture including capsicum, cola, and a pile of other things. It was like oral smelling salts, and if it didn’t kill you, it would either cure you or make you feel like someone had set fire to your innards.

Anyway, you might be thinking “what’s all this got to do with tendonitis”. Well, only a little – bear with me, it’s a tenuous link, don’t break it or the world might fall apart.

I’ve had a bit of a twinge in the old left Achilles bit**, and it’s not been getting better. If I run it doesn’t really get much worse, and if I rest it then it doesn’t get much better either, so a nil score draw there. So what to do?

So far, I’ve followed my own sage advice*** and plodded on, in the hope it would give up and go away. It hasn’t.

Clearly it’s time to bring out the big guns and dredge out half-remembered urban myths from the mists of time. That’ll sort it, nae bother.

A quick check of that old trusty internet learned me three things about tendonitis:

  1. If you damage the ol’ tendons, then the ‘tubes’ (often referred to as sheaths, but there you go) around them can get scar tissue as they’re whapped off the bone and the heal. Whapped being a technical term, I hope.
  2. As the tendons move, they can grate on the ol’ tubes and this can cause irritation an inflammation. If something says -itis, then it means inflamed. That is the one bit of cast iron truth in this post that I’m sure of. That’s the bit that hurts, I think.
  3. A good bit of massage is a helpful thing for tendonitis.

Now, I remember that Rosehip Oil is good for scars from operations and the rest – smudge a bit on every now and the scarring may magically fade away, like a rude message written on a steamed up window now you’ve put the fire on.

You can use it to massage, and guess what, I just said that massage is good, and rosehip oil is good for scars, so that’s two things ticked off the tick list. This is looking good. If I stretch the mind, then I can figure that the rosehip oil might seep into my old pins and get to the tubes that are causing all the ruckus.

What to do about the inflammation? Well, ginger’s good for that, eh? Apparently it is – I didn’t remember that, the lady in the shop told me.

Sooooo, rosehip oil, a few drops of ginger essential oil and massage the whole onto the Achilies bit and maybe we’re onto a winner?

I started with it this evening, so only time will tell. Either that or I’ll get eater by a ginger-obsessed forest creature. Either way, it’ll make for a heck of a tale.

Rock on.

*I own a suit. I think that’s what counts as iron-hard-commercial-savvy, or at least I hope it does. I don’t own a tie any more, after a momentary wardrobe-purge moment several years ago. If anyone asks, blame it on the bad influence of Mr Ritchie – he bushwhacked the path of neck-based-casualness and I merely pruned the nettles in his wake…

**I think, I’m not too good on anatomy, but when I think about the Achilies bit, that’s the bit I think of.

***As in clever, it’s not about making the best stuffing, though I could point you in the right direction if you’re stuck.

(to quote Blackadder)

A short run tonight, part of the Jantastic challenge. I’m down for the minimum 3 runs per week and trying to rest my wonky left achilles tendon as much as possible. Reading up on the internet, it seems avoiding hills is a good thing, which is about impossible where I live, being, to coin a phrase, hill country. However, there are a couple of flattish trails in the woods, and I can run along one, turn around at the end and then run a loop back that ends up back at the turn-around point. One mile to the start, a two mile loop that I repeat twice and then a mile back out for a total of just over six miles. Slowly.

The tendon is still sore, but there’s not much to do about it. I tried a week off in the last week and that didn’t make much difference, so I figure some light running would be OK. I might be wrong, only time will tell. In general these things seem to get better if I take it a bit easier.

Anyway, as I was plodding around through the mud, I was thinking that I’d not seen a hair of anyone or anything while I was in there, when I was on the last bit of the trail to the road out. Three pairs of eyes in front of me right on the path. They didn’t move as I got closer, and I was able to see them clearly, I had to slow down or I would have mowed through the middle of them. As I came to a halt, they seemed to take that as I sign that I might be trouble and wandered off to the side. On the other hand, they may have been thinking that they didn’t want to risk me tripping over them. Who knows. I’ve noticed that my other friends in the woods, the crows, are also less bothered about me now – they’ll sit at the side of the road and watch me plod past. I think it’s become a bit of a spectator sport now, “watch the plodder”, and I don’t think I can blame them. Or maybe I’m becoming some kind of hairy-arsed stumbling shaman, and the animals will mob me at some point like their new special friend? Only time will tell.

Yay! It’s taken a little while, but I’ve finally passed the 10k views mark! Not bad a blog that I started mainly so I could remember what I’d gotten up to.

Also, a guest title for the blog, in honour of my post-ultramarathon knee trouble. Let’s hope I can change it back soon… 🙂

Thanks to anyone who’s taken the trouble to wade through my inappropriate use of punctuation and hopefully you’ve had a giggle or two along the way, I know I have.