Tag Archive for Sense

Day 120 – Tuesday Run Challenge

So, having wandered about the office all day, desperately trying to look like walking was a natural motion, unaffected by the searing pain in my left ankle, David and I duly set off for Hyde Park.

When I say pain and walking in the same sentence, it’s usually not a good thing for the challenge. Today was the extreme version of this and to be frank, I wasn’t sure I’d be running at all.

This week saw a new member of the holidays team, Eleanor join us. It was good to meet you! We set off at a comfortable pace (or rather I set off at a pace that felt just about ok and hoped everyone would be happy with it!) and continued with this for a couple of miles. I actually found that, despite the tightness in my achilles, a gentle pace to start with actually seemed to ease the leg into the idea that running was on the cards, and we managed the three miles ok. Eleanor accompanied me for an extra half a mile and there we have it, another day done. Just about!

Post run, walking to the pub, Damian started to complain of the same tightness in the achilles.

It can only be… the cycling on Sunday. It’s clear now that hauling ourselves and bikes up some very steep inclines has probably done neither of us any good. We’re both complaining of the same ailment. Not a good sign at all.

A quick beer or two and a slow and cold walk home…

More tomorrow morning.

Have a good chilly Wednesday,


Miles today: 3.50
Target: 360
Miles to date: 414.50

Day 119 – I’ve had complaints! And I have some myself…

Apparently, one avid reader has decided that yesterday’s blog post was not up to scratch. Brevity is no longer an option and people need something to read if they make the effort to call by this little corner of cyberspace. I’m sorry. Really I am. I exhausted myself with the word count of Day 117!

Today I was feeling ok, aside from a clunky knee late this afternoon. Being the southern softy I am, I avoided a very wet run in the terrible rain this morning in favour of a *hopefully* altogether drier affair this evening. Good choice on the weather, bad choice on the body situation.

I set off, very conscious of the knee. I have no doubt whatsoever that this made me run awkwardly to compensate and has led to the horrendous pain in my left achilles/calf area. I pulled up several times in this evening’s run. Not good. A large amount of ibuprofen gel and a bath later and sadly it feels little better. I hope I’m not limping on the thing by morning. The Tuesday run may well be entertaining for those of you who make it. Anyone care to lend me a left roller skate, I can probably manage with that 😉 Remind me to take a photo this week please!!!

In other 1095miles news, here’s a snippet (apologies for the quality, at least that way you can’t mock the terrible photo of your’s truly) from the Wilmslow Express, 6th Jan 2011. As long as it get s a few more hits to the Sense website (and the Blog too, hopefully) I’m happy to provide embarrassing shots of myself!

Right, I’m off to apply copious quantities of Ibuprofen Gel to this bloomin’ ankle and to get a bit of kip. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for a miraculous recovery. Tuesday run tomorrow guys. See you there.

To my complainant, let me know if this is better 😉

Have a superb Tuesday everyone,


Miles today: 3.50
Target: 357
Miles to date: 411.00

Day 118

Quick run today. Went for a cycle ride after. Not a bad Sunday.

Monday soon… then the Tuesday run!


Miles today: 3.50
Target: 354
Miles to date: 407.50

Day 117 – A day of reflection

As James has commented before, my posts can often be quite long. Here we go again today…

This morning I began typing this blog post, I was in a thinking mood for some reason. The injury that’s been on it’s way for a few days now concerns me; a bit for my own health and well-being, but mostly because it could so easily be the end of the challenge for me. I moped about a bit. I felt really quite down on life this morning. I hit a low point I haven’t seen for a while. That, and today was always going to be a difficult day.

Then I chatted on the phone a bit, which helped. Sorted myself out and decided that, in the end, I’m happy with my lot. I have support around me, people who appreciate me, a good job etc. etc.. It’s not all bad is it!

It could be worse. There are floods in Australia, not what I associate with the place. I’ve been thinking about people over there (Michelle and David whom those avid readers amongst you will already know of, and my sister and brother in law are over there on honeymoon).

And then there’s Sense and all the people they support as the reason behind this whole challenge. I’ll keep doing this and hopefully keep raising money to support their work.

I resolved to quit whining about a knee issue that is, in the grand scheme of things, insignificant. I shall soldier on and just finish another 3 miler again today. And so I did. Don’t ask how it went. I’ll report back on the knee in a couple of days.

And to prove I’m going to be positive about it all…
The London 10,000 returns on 30th May this year. The interesting bit about the event being the suggestion you’re running the Olympic course. The bad bit? I don’t know why I’m doing it again. I felt it was quite poorly organised last year, especially compared to the Manchester Greatrun (also 10k) which I did a fortnight earlier. It’d be nice if they got the water bottle thing right (not on a slope so all the bottles are rolling down and you’re frantically dodging them, it’s downright dangerous!) and decided not to call AN HOUR before the gun to say if you’re in a front start group you’re about to miss the gate. It was a fib, they were still letting people into the front pens about 10 minutes before the off. Poor show guys, the last thing you want on race day is a rush and a panic to ruin your PB. Anyway, I’ve just entered again. What the hell, this year is about spreading the word and raising some money isn’t it? It’s £25 for anyone interested and the website is http://www.london10000.co.uk/

This reminded me to look up my marathon training schedule, which has, it’s safe to say, been completely overlooked. Shameful behaviour, if I do say so myself. We’ll get onto that subject in a moment, however whilst I was looking for the excel file, I came across my old justgiving page from last year’s Manchester Greatrun. It’s here http://www.justgiving.com/andyratbag and is worth a look if only for my good friend Rob’s multiple sponsorship offerings so he could add comedy comments. See if you can spot which ones are his! Also, I promised to run it in under an hour, weeks before the event and ended up running 52:20. I remember being very pleased with that! Which reminds me, I’m doing this to raise a few quid, I should have mentioned that a bit more often, so here’s the magic button… I’m knocking on a third of the days now and think it’s time I decided I might actually have a chance of achieving this crazy challenge!

Right, back on track. The marathon schedule. Last year I ran my first marathon. I chose a marathon schedule for a first timer. I followed it. Religiously. To the letter. I trained ‘properly’. I ran a marathon. That’s how it should be. This year I’m fast ruining my resolve to do such a schedule again. Things haven’t been good on the running front lately. Life’s getting busier and it’s getting more difficult to find time to fit in the faff which surrounds the run every day. So here’s the schedule in a google doc. I’ve already ruined it and the half marathon at the end of this month really doesn’t fit properly. Anyway, I’m going to loosely follow it, pending results of knee challenges. And other things I can find to use as excuses or whine about. The rain is coming 😉

Morning run tomorrow hopefully, then a cycle ride with Damian. Cycling, as I’ve mentioned before always sorts my head out. Let’s hope it works tomorrow.

Have a great Sunday peeps, Monday is fast approaching!


Miles today: 3.65
Target: 351
Miles to date: 404.00

Day 116 – Left knee clearly thinks it’s over… if it carries on like this, it will be!

The weather’s warmer. The days are at least partially dry, long enough for me to get out and run the requisite mileage comfortably. I have two new favourite caps, a couple of bits of winter gear, and a new pair of running shoes. What could be wrong?

I left the run until later today, knowing I was in for a dodgy one. The expected problem? A pain in the left knee. Guess what? As expected, it felt like someone pushing a needle into my left knee, a little above the knee cap, very, very slowly. This is an event which literally stops you in your tracks, as it did me, after three quarters of a mile. In fact, it stopped me another five times in the next 200 yards. Not good. I feel bad. I feel a bit beaten to be honest. It could be the injury I’ve been dreading. It’s very clear I don’t have the body of a runner and it’s trying to let me know. Maybe this whole thing was overly optimistic. What the hell, it was optimistic and now I’m paying the price.

I tried to take it easy on the knee, this failed miserably. I just had to keep pulling up, repeatedly, no matter how slowly I ran. After six pauses to try and stretch or jostle it a bit, I decided to try and change my weight balance as I continued and see if I could take the pressure off it. The only way I could do this was to try and keep the knees more bent during each stride, effectively lowering my pelvis a bit. It seemed to work and the pain subsided. I knew it would cause a problem elsewhere and it did. I soon developed a pain in the achilles (presumably stretching it unnecessarily) but I decided that was better than the needle in the knee.

Maybe it’s time to hand myself over to medical science and see if there’s anything they can do with such a poor specimen of a man.

We’ll see how it is tomorrow and make a decision…

Oh, and in case you hadn’t noticed, we’ve just passed 400 miles! (Barely)


Miles today: 3.50
Target: 348
Miles to date: 400.35

Day 115 – Extreme lethargy

I feel terrible today, physically (And consequently the head’s not on it either). I really, really, really didn’t want to get out of bed this morning to run, but I have to, being out in town this evening. I set off, limbs not really doing as I have come to expect of them. I’m just really tired I think. I’m usually quite good at estimating my pace and knowing if it’s a good or bad day’s running. Today I was way off. After half a mile I checked the Garmin, guessing at 8:30/mile to find I was dawdling at 9:30/mile. For me, nowadays, this is quite slow. Especially as I was short on time. No matter what I tried, the pace didn’t get up to a good level, just a bad day’s running I guess. Here’s hoping for a better one tomorrow…

Last night I updated the mileage spreadsheet I created to double check I’d been totalling up the miles correctly. I hadn’t updated it for about 50 days. Guess what… I’m offering my sincere apologies to you, dear reader. I’d made two errors, one about 40 days ago and another 25 ish days ago! So, for those of you who noticed yesterday that I was less than 3 miles shy of 400 and would be noting that fact in today’s post, have a look now. I’d gained about 4 miles somewhere. Ah well, I’ll be crossing 400 miles tomorrow it seems! Time to recruit my blog secretary to keep checking I’m on target.

Plan for the weekend is to get a cycle ride in, finally, after many, many weeks off the bike. And a couple of runs too 😉

Enjoy Thursday,


Miles today: 3.50
Target: 345
Miles to date: 396.85

Day 114 – Early morning, post rain, get to work challenge

So I need to run *to* work. Although that’s a bit deceiving. I need to run to a train, then run from a train to the office. Total run is about 2.8 miles so I’ll also need to tootle around the streets and take the most circuitous route I can manage to get there. It’s obviously been raining, the streets are wet and ‘orrible!

On train. A busy train. Sitting on floor. By a door, eating a banana and sipping coffee (I’m good at choosing just the right fuel for a runner, a banana, and then combining it with the wrong stuff, heavy caffeine). London here we come.

Train now full to bursting. Some guy’s bag resting on my shoulder. I dislike commuting. Maybe I should run up to Charing X, Trafalgar Square and then down Whitehall. I’ll pretend I’m a tourist today.

Are we there yet?

Yes, finally, we are.

Done. 3.6 miles. Sore right knee. Time to sit down…


Miles today: 3.63
Target: 342
Miles to date: 393.35

Day 113 – The Triumphant Return of the Tuesday Run

We were five strong for the first Tuesday run of 2011. Thanks guys, it was nice to see you all in such fine spirits! Can someone please remind me to get photographs each week, I keep forgetting to take them. I’m working on recruiting a couple more people too, so we’ll be up in numbers again soon. It was good to get back to Hyde Park and have a few people to chat to. I’ve missed the social side of running, I’ve become a bit of a running recluse! That and the rain managed to stay away too. The leisurely pace suited the knees much better, though they still feel like something is very wrong. I was back into the old running shoes though. The new ones were still soaking from last night’s run when I left this morning, I had no other choice. I wonder if it’s the old shoes that have made the knees hurt again?

A couple of quick beers and it was off home. At Waterloo I was accosted by a rather inebriated lady who asked if I was a runner(!), to which I answered yes. She then told me I looked like one. [ I was still in running gear, just so you know 😉 ] I said have a good evening and she replied have a good year. This brought a little smile to my face and I though to myself “you just don’t know the half of it”. Oh well, another 252 days left of this ‘good’ year. More tomorrow, I guess then!

Early morning run on the morrow…


Miles today: 3.59
Target: 339
Miles to date: 389.72

Day 112 – A long run… in new running shoes?

So having avoided the long run for longer than is reasonable, I’m back on it today. I have two sore knees and notwithstanding the potential flower pot abuse, I *have to* get some miles in today. I have a half marathon fast approaching and I wanted to be able to try running over distance in the training prior to it, for once, if I can. I’ve managed to do no long runs since the ten mile midnight affair of days 92 & 93. That’s a long time ago! There was no point in a midnight run this evening as we’re out for the Tuesday run tomorrow night anyway and two runs in a day just wasn’t the deal!

The last new pair of running shoes I bought got literally a handful of miles on them about 3 days before the Great North last September and I was hoping these would be just as accommodating. With a target of running out to Cove and my old office ‘of more years ago than I care to remember’, I duly set off, with a bottle of fluid in each hand, for the journey and new sparkly white running shoes adorning my flippers.

I opened the door. It was raining. Heavily! Now, I know I mentioned this before and I don’t want to become all self indulgent on the incessant moaning and whining front, but I HATE RUNNING IN THE RAIN!

My resolve died, early on. The target of Cove soon got binned as I could vaguely remember a lack of footpaths down that way and it was dark and very wet. I wasn’t up for trudging through the mud. I headed down to North Camp, over to Farnborough and out the far end to Frimley, back past what I believe was Sooty’s old house (before he went to Japan) and through Ash Vale.

11.5 miles in 1:36:35. Well off the target pace for a 1:40 half, but it’ll do me fine. Weather was terrible and the knees weren’t in the mood. Excuses, excuses!

I have now finished off enough food to genuinely feed a small family and feel I should attempt some sleeping too.

Both of the knees are giving me grief. I’m going to listen to them and take it easy for a week now. No more long runs for at least 7 days, I promise 😉

The half is only 19 days off now. I’ve been trying to find some reviews by people who have done it before and apparently it appears to be a very flat and fast course. Good for a PB. Now, assuming I manage to finish it, I can only really achieve a PB. That is a given *if* I cross the finish line. Current PB to beat is 1:59:40 (GNR 2010) and that’s allegedly quite hilly (so some say!).

Anyone who’s staying until the end… if I get there, and it’s a big if, let’s be fair… remind me of this… I found it today on someone’s forum sig and liked it…

“The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.”

And the last thing for today… Look here for the Xmas press release sent out by Sense that gave rise to the radio interviews and newspaper articles.

The Tuesday run is officially back on tomorrow, see you there!

That’s all for now. Enjoy the rain, if you can!


Miles today: 11.50
Target: 336
Miles to date: 386.13

Day 111 – Running is difficult with ‘flowerpotted’ knees

Yesterday’s run was hard work. They all have been lately. The last couple of days have been really testing though, and I’ve had really sore knees. I though it was the running. In fact I worried it was the running battering finally taking it’s toll on my knees and we were looking at finally requiring some medical intervention. That or those new running shoes that are in the post are long overdue.

It’s none of these things…. I think(!). I finally worked it out about 2 hours into a 4 hour drive today. This afternoon I moved a large garden pot of the sort you plant flowers or shrubs in. It weighed a ton, was big and difficult to carry and I hauled it across a very uneven lawn. The only way I could carry it was to rest it on one knee and use that knee to steady it on every stride. I now have a sore right knee, thankfully with an excuse other than running to account for it. Fingers crossed it’s the ‘flowerpot injury’ I hope it is and with a few days of steering clear of garden removals it’ll be fine again. Here’s hoping…

Oh, and yes, I was being *myself* at the time and insisting I carry it on my own 😉

Long run tomorrow with a bit of luck, and the new runners are here, along with a couple of new running tops. I thought this sport was supposed to be cheap!!! Anyway, more reviews on their way soon…

Enjoy Monday morning!


Miles today: 3.75
Target: 333
Miles to date: 374.63