120.365


“Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up.”

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You know what sucks… thinking its Friday when its actually only Thursday.

You know what rocks… thinking its Tuesday when its actually already Wednesday! Sweet!

The week is flying by and its a short term anyway, the next half term break will be here in no time at all! I am actually not that excited about the next few weeks disappearing, I mean I love my week off as much as the next guy, but the wife’s maternity leave is almost over and this makes me quite sad. I really wish we could afford for her to stay off work and look after Olivia full time, but sadly the realistic side is, the bills just won’t allow that! I’m sure we could streamline and cut back, but not enough to give up one full time wage, especially when Clare earns more than me! I’d even consider giving up my job and being a stay at home dad, but we’d still lose out on a lot of money, and we’re lucky enough to have Olivia’s grandparents willing to help, especially as its only about 6 or 7 weeks before I am off for the summer anyway and can look after Olivia for the next 6 weeks. If only we could win a bit of money, we don’t ask for a lot, just enough to pay off a few bills and give us a chance to take some time off work without the worry.

Anyway, time is slipping by, and there is nothing we can do about it. Our little lady is 8 months old this weekend already and growing at a rapid rate. She was weighed today and is putting on plenty of weight, although still on track for what she should be, she’s perfectly on target which is great news! We have been keen to find out her weight as she doesn’t always finish her food or her bottles, but as her weight is on track then she clearly just knows when she’s had enough! So this is it now, the 4 month countdown to her first birthday, and I am really hoping we have a warm, dry weekend for it so we can have everyone round for a birthday bbq/garden party. I need to spend some more time in the garden this weekend getting a few more weeds up and getting some flower seeds down! Four months to get the garden in order, it is totally doable! Anyone fancy lending a hand?? I am also aware that I need to spend some time on the allotment with Dave, we have some stuff to plant, although I am investing time in the greenhouse getting a lot of stuff ready to plant in a few weeks time! The greenhouse itself is looking pretty full at the moment, there isn’t a lot of free space for new stuff to go right now, we need to be moving some items outside, providing that the worst of the cold weather is over!

So what did the middle of the week have in store for me? Well the weather has been unusually kind, considering the less than optimistic forecasts, and has made cycling a pleasure. Its good to be back on the bike, and the treadmill again. It has been a fairly energetic start to the week, but then Tuesdays are generally pretty full on anyway, with cycling, running AND jujitsu. This weekend its back to the reservoir for another run, with my old running buddy Rob, it has been a few months since we last ran together, and I am quite looking forward to it. He has beaten my time repeatedly in each half marathon we have done together, so his last text message warning me that he is now “fat and slow” I find somewhat hard to believe. All the same, we’ll be doing the run with someone I work with that has a dodgy knee anyway, so keeping a sensible pace will be key to being able to make the distance. I have found through painful trial and error that a bad knee is quite unforgiving of any sprints, and will generally hold out longer when you keep a sustainable pace. I used to suffer with really bad knees myself when running, and would often tap out after 4-5 miles, sometimes less, which really frustrated me when I knew I had it in me to run further. I did some online research into it, and while nothing was conclusive, I did keep returning to the same point. My style of running and the impact of a heel strike on the knee. Landing on your heel turns your whole leg into a strut, and the only thing cushioning the impact id the cartilage in your knee. Cartilage doesn’t like this very much, its not designed to withstand repeated impact. I found a few articles online that mentioned professional runners landing on the ball of their foot and the muscles in their leg taking the impact of the stride, essentially turning the leg into one big spring. Imagine yourself hopping on one leg, then hopping in the other. The muscles do all the work and the knee takes very little impact. Its murder on the calves at first, but that’s only because they’re not used to doing so much work, as they take a lot of the strain slowing your bounce down and pushing you back off! Once I got used to running like this I found myself pushing way past the 5 miles barrier and going on to complete multiple half marathons! Is it a winning formula? Well, I wouldn’t like to say, but the difference in the distance I am running now speaks for itself! Sure my knees still ache a bit after the fairly unforgiving 13.1 miles of a half marathon, but at least I can make it across the line now, something I never imagined I’d be able to do several years ago when I started to resign myself to the fact that maybe running just wasn’t for me! The monotony of running can also put people off, and yes there is even a book and film entitled “The loneliness of the long distance runner”, but I find a set of headphones and some good music is enough to power me on for a solid hours running, no problem! Also, running with a friend helps, if we’re too out of breath to talk then we’re running too fast. Conversation helps us to pace ourselves! Quit the excuses, bring on the weekend, lets get running!

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4 thoughts on “120.365

  1. Very inspiring! My sister has just been unknowingly entered into a 10k charity run with some people at her work, which may not seem like a lot in comparison to your hardcore running ways but she sure is nervous about it! I may have to share this post with her for some tips as she has issues with her knees from an old skiing injury. Best of luck with your running!

    One question.. why coffee beans?

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    • Hi Sophie, thanks for the comment! I’m not sure I’d describe my running as hardcore, but I do enjoy it! When is your sisters run? Which one is she doing? If I can offer any help, I’d be more than happy to!

      As for the coffee beans, well some of my photos are symbolic of my day, some are symbolic of occasions, others I take just because they look nice. I thought the beans might make a nice macro shot, on top of which, I took it at my friends house as we always meet up on a Wednesday which has become known as coffee night. Wednesday used to be a night when we were younger that we’d all head into town and get ridiculously drunk, obviously we couldn’t carry that on forever, but we still meet up each week, only it’s now a lot more civilised!

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      • I see! Coffee beans have never looked so enticing. Sounds like a good way to keep a tradition going even if your lifestyle has changed.

        Katie’s doing the Race for Life on June 18th, I believe it’s held all over the country but this one is in Basingstoke (near Reading). She plays football as a way to shift the uni weight (and it’s working!) but I think she’s a bit nervous. So any beginner running tips would be much appreciated if you have the time!

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  2. Sure, I have plenty of tips and I am more than happy to share them! Firstly, the training has to start now to be ready in time. 10k or 6 miles is not a marathon, but some decent training can make the world of difference, and will help to keep her free from injury! She doesn’t need to make 6 miles in the training as long as she’s not too far off by the end of it, if she can get to between 4 and 5 miles then she’ll be fine on the day! Start with shorter runs (say 2 miles, maybe 20-25 mins running) and build up over time and have a plan and stick to it. She must make sure she runs at a pace she is comfortable with, it may be slightly slower than she’d like, but the goal is distance, not speed. With only 6 weeks training, she wants to aim to finish, not win! When I run with my friend around edgbaston reservoir, we have a conversation the whole way round, if you’re too out of breath to do that then you’re running too fast! It will take the body between 1-2 miles to warm up properly, and let her breathing settle into a decent pace to give her body enough oxygen and on the day she’ll want to give up in these 1-2 miles, but once she pushes through, she’ll soon feel like she’s on a roll! One book I read said to measure your runs in time not distance, so training for my first half marathon I did 30 mins on the treadmill, then 40 mins the next week, then 50 mins the week after etc and built up that way. The training must increase in small, but regular increments. Too much too soon and she’ll end up with an injury! I found this out the hard way!

    If she wants any more advice, let me know, I’ll send her an email! I love to help people with running, if they can do it right, they’ll enjoy it and keep doing it!

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