Friday, 29 November 2013

Darn Leg

Well, my funny leg felt alright when I rolled out of bed this morning, and the weather said sunny today and not so much tomorrow, so I made Peter bed-tea and we set off for Gullane to try a 10 miler. I figured there was no way I should try for a long run tomorrow, so better to test it out today. There are a few opportunities for bailing out early if need be.

It started off with just the mildest feeling of stiffness. By 3 miles it was more pronounced but in no way bad. At 6 miles we were on Gullane beach and that would have been the time to call it a day probably, but I didn't want to. It was cold and there was a stiff wind blowing but it was bright too and everything looked great and all the cobwebs were long since blown off.

We ran through the Jimmy Saville woods, probably the first time since the Jimmy Saville scandals. There was no sign of Jimmy or his friends. Hopping over tree roots tipped my funny leg over into proper discomfort. About 8.5 miles in I finally stopped and walked, and then walked and jogged the rest of the way.

Well shouting at it hasn't worked. I have no idea what's up with it really. It seems funny it isn't sore right out of the box but only once I've run a few miles on it. Do I really have to start swimming or something again?

Back in Gullane we ran into Scott and Amanda who'd been out running too, and a lady stopped us and said she knew us because she read our blogs!!!
We were fiercely hungry so had the first cheese tongues we've had in ages.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

God Skies, a dead mouse, some passing geese and a sore leg.

Yesterday's dawn sky was bright with large angel wings. My funny leg felt better but I thought I'd go out a cautious run - just once round the seat and then if it was fine I could always add an extra loop in.
I took my camera as the sky looked so nice, although soon after dawn it greyed over.
As I stepped out the front door the first thing I saw was a tiny dead mouse. It looked like it had been caught in a trap and then tossed carelessly out of a window onto the pavement below.
I could have seen it as a sign;

As flies to wanton boys are we to th' gods,
They kill us for their sport.
King Lear Act 4, scene 1, 32–37 

At first my leg seemed to be working fine. It was a bit stiff, so  up at Arthur's seat I stopped to take a picture of a passing flock of geese and then had a quad stretch with a small tree for support. After this things went literally uphill but metaphorically downhill. All the way up the road round the seat the muscle just above my knee got tighter and tighter and all the way downhill and home it was stiff as a board and I had to just keep my pace as even as possible to minimise the discomfort. I am sick about it. I want to go a long run at the weekend. I have had a few bits of friendly advice to just take it easy, blah, blah, blah, blah, so I'll say it now. I WANT TO GO A LONG RUN AT THE WEEKEND. I DON'T WANT TO GO CHRISTMAS SHOPPING OR TO TESCOS OR TO THE STUDENT-STAFF LIAISON MEETING I STUPIDLY SAID I'D GO TO THIS AFTERNOON. THE ONLY REDEEMING FEATURE OF THIS HORRIBLE TIME OF YEAR IS THE ODD SUNNY DAY WHEN YOU CAN GET OUTSIDE FOR A FEW HOURS AND BREATHE A LITTLE. THE REST OF IT IS PISH.
That is all.

Monday, 25 November 2013

Quad Injury

It was an unexpectedly nice morning and since I cut my run short on Saturday and only did a wee slow one yesterday, I thought I'd go out a brisker run up the Water of Leith and back along the canal.

It was frosty and cold but the sun was out. I felt duty  bound to carry a camera, so stopped for some shots along the way.

Early on the muscle above and on the inside of my right knee was kind of tight but no problem, but by the time I got to the King's Theatre at 9+ miles that muscle felt like it was cramping and the muscles connected to it were starting to hurt. What the hell? I stopped and stretched my quads and my hip flexors and got going fact it kept getting worse. At the Arthur's Seat end of the Meadows it was too stiff and sore and strange so I walked for a while. Going downhill was much much worse so I had to walk from Arthur's Seat all the way home, which was cold and boring. Please let it go back where it came from...

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Surprising Beauties of Leith

I finally managed to sit down and make a start on my essay at about 5pm yesterday and at 9.30pm I forced myself to stop and go and get some tea. I didn't let myself go near it again for the rest of the night but I did find myself restlessly googling things that are to do with it. I couldn't switch my brain off properly so when I wasn't lying awake I was dreaming about it or things to do with it...

So this morning I felt pretty crap and even my easy recovery run held little appeal.

I went anyway and I was glad I did. It was very cold and still outside and the sun came out. The air was clear. There was hardly anybody about. The people who were about were mostly friendly.

I was trying to keep my heart-rate under 130 bpm, which is pretty low. A girl very slowly and very noisily overtook me on Leith Links and I had to have a stern word with myself not to race her. What would that accomplish?

Buchanan will be back today so I guess I better not waste this time. Essay is a-calling.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Christmas Shopping

The hot summer has obviously been good for the glove tree.

selfie up a tree

in two halves (don't know how to work the self-timer)

Only kidding. Not Christmas Shopping at all. The other day, a woman at the tills in Tesco asked me if I'd started my Christmas Shopping yet. I was torn between my desire to get on, irritation with the question and my sense of humanity. Here was someone reaching out, trying to connect...with the wrong person. That question holds so many assumptions. I could have told her that I was done with Christmas shopping some years ago. (Although, mum, if you're reading this, that doesn't mean I don't want anything!) I could have told her to just concentrate on scanning the things through because I was starving and I wanted to get home...But my sense of common humanity demanded that I smile and simper some lie or other. "Yes, no, whatever, give me my fecking things..."

Princes Street would have been like a rugby scrum today. Did I ever mention that I was the best in my class at British Bulldogs in primary school, by some way? I was unstoppable and unliftable. I was quite short which I think helped. And I wasn't THAT heavy. I think it was my attitude really. If I'm ever out on a group outing because I have dementia and they take us to Princes Street for the day I bet my old British Bulldogs training will kick in and I'll fire into the midst of the crowd and pick people up one by one until they are all out and I am the last man standing.

Anyway, PB is off down to Wales for "The Masters". In fact it has already happened because he phoned and left a message to say he wasn't last. He sounded quite thrilled. I decided to get the forecast wild west wind on side and take a train to Preston Pans and then be blown down the coast to North Berwick. It was a good plan, pretty much. I was going fairly well while not making much effort which is about ideal. Running along and down from PP station to the front at Seton Sands I was captivated by the sheer quantity and quality of garden things people have. But it seemed too early to start faffing around with the camera. When I got to Seton Sands, though, I was hot, so I stopped to take my gloves and buff off and  tie my hair back so it would stop tickling my face. While stopped, using someone's garden wall as a table, I noticed more garden things. Since I was stopped anyway it seemed churlish not to take a photo or two. I was just reflecting that I lack some of the necessary aggression to be a truly great journalist - I'm too easily embarrassed - when a woman came out of the house in her dressing gown and sleepily lit up a fag. I felt I had to explain why I was leaning over her wall taking photos of her garden ornaments. "I was just taking a photo because I like your snails!" I offered. "Wha ?" she retorted. Then I remembered I was a runner and just ran off.

The kite surfers were out in force, also enjoying the warm west wind. I failed to do them much justice but you try taking photos on the zoom lense in a strong wind. It wasn't easy.

I missed off the Aberlady Bay bit because I was starving, and instead went straight to Gullane. I was just shy of 11 miles and richly deserved an iced cinnamon bun and a cup of coffee out of Falkos. Then I headed down to the beach. It was a relief to get right down to the beach. The tide was in and was playing games with me. It was making me dodge from side to side which was hurting my tiring legs. "Piss off sea" I told it. It seemed to retreat for a while and then came right for my shoes. "You piss off!" it spat at me. I had to do a big sideways leap which hurt my shoogly left knee. I think I'm going to ease up on the Ashtanga yoga, - it's hurting all the old problems in my left leg. My many times sprained ankle, my bashed left knee and my grouchy left hip. The whole system kind of works as long as I don't push my luck. As long as my left foot is allowed to point out a bit further than the other one....They're all hurting today after them HONESTLY trying to get me to hang my left leg over my shoulder on Thurday. thanks.

So anyway, I was soon at North Berwick and then on the train and then home and once home I had some chicken and peanut soup with some of last night's left-over rice in it. Delicious.

I have an essay to start which I am avoiding. Better go! Goodbye.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Sunday Recovery Run

Lovely frosty day of bright sunlight and shadow for a super-slow recovery run.
The only people out were families, runners and foreign people, so no-one was rude enough to say anything about my big yellow shoes.
Better get on!