Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Oh dear, I was 48 yesterday, and that's nearly 50 (and almost certainly past half-dead)!

How did that happen? I'm sure I was only in my 30's a while back. And I was only 40 recently! It's so true what they say about time going faster as you get older.

It's a shame that only in the last few years have I really begun to understand myself; what makes me tick, how I work, how my mind works. And I'm still learning. I wish that I'd had the knowledge that I have now back in my 20's because I would change a lot. But then I wouldn't be who I am now, and although I know I have many faults, many 'issues', I generally pretty happy with who I am, where I am and the way I live my life. So perhaps I wouldn't change anything. I do still, however, need to work on 'balance'!

The older I get, the more I realise that life is a journey. The route, the company, the experience is more important than the end point. I like to refer back to one of my favourite songs 'Happiness is the Road' by Marillion, which I know I've mentioned on here previously. I've edited the lyrics a little:

"The greatest blessing that we have
Is the dawn of each new day
A chance to finish what we started
And made a mess of yesterday
As day comes out of night
A chance to get it right
A chance to start again
A chance to get it right

You're focussing on all of your bad yesterdays
The worry lines are getting deeper every day
And deep inside you
No surprise - there's a crisis!
You might have been to blame
But you can't go on this way
Must I watch and pray?

While you torture yourself with what's behind you
Torture yourself with what awaits you
Draggin' that guilt and regret inside you
Anxious of the goals that always evade you

Your mind will find a way to be unkind to you somehow
But all we really have is happening to us right now

Look around you
Feel your soul inside you
Look inside you
Feel the life course through you
The life that's giving In every thing that's living
The plants and the trees
The birds and the bees
And apes like you and me

Happiness ain't at the end of the road
Happiness IS the road


There's so much I still want to do - places to visit, hills to climb, rivers to cross, things to see and do. 

Better get dressed!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Good pain vs bad pain

“Even when you have gone as far as you can, and everything hurts, and you are staring at the spectre  of self-doubt, you can find a bit more strength deep inside you, if you look closely enough.” 

Hal Higdon

It’s 05:30 on a Bank Holiday Monday morning. I can’t sleep. My legs feel like lead. My knees hurt. My ankles are killing me. My feet are throbbing. My toes feel like they are ready to burst.

Pain is a warning sign; it can signify imminent or actual injury. Hamstring strains, shin splints, ITB problems, Achilles tendonitis. All bad pain.

On Friday and Saturday, I ran 113 miles along the Cleveland Way; through the night across the Yorkshire Moors and then down the beautiful Yorkshire coastline on a gorgeous English summer’s day.

The difference between good pain and bad pain?

Good pain gets you one of these!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Back to running: Up next Hardmoors 110

OK, enough serious stuff.

Let's get back to some of that running thing!

I was originally meant to be running in the GUCR this weekend but had to withdraw as I lost my support team. Jenny is away with work until Thursday evening and then again from Monday so it seemed somewhat unreasonable to expect her to spend the weekend looking after me. 

Instead, I am now running in the Hardmoors 110 - the Cleveland Way. Starting from Helmsley in Yorkshire, the first half goes through the Yorkshire Moors reaching the coast at Saltburn-by-the-Sea. The route then follows the coast through Whitby and Scarborough, before finishing in Filey. The race starts on Friday at 17:00, and Jenny is going to keep an eye on me through the evening, then sleep at a hotel before finding me again in the morning, hopefully somewhere down the coast. She is looking forward to fish & chips at Whitby!!

I've done 3 recce's over the past few weeks. Essentially, I have covered the section from Osmotherley to Saltburn, plus the last few miles into Filey. I've never really been in this part of England before and it really is lovely. Although the route doesn't get much higher than 400m above sea level, there are numerous short but sharp climbs and descents. In particular there is an interesting section after Osmotherley with 4 consecutive 'bumps'. It looks like a great route but equally challenging.

I'm really happy with my post-MdS recovery from a physical point of view, having done 5 or 6 good long runs, as well as some well-paced tempo runs. Several of my Spine and other ultra friends are also competing, so I am looking forward to catching up with them. Obviously, all the other things going on don't ensure the greatest mental preparation, but I am trying to put that out of my mind for a few days (not easy!), and just concentrate on the running aspect and enjoying the experience. The power of positive thought!

Looking forward to it - it's going to be tough, which makes it all the more worthwhile
Looking up from Carlton Bank
I found this sign at Carlton Bank - very moving
Across the moors
Wain Stones
Captain Cook's Monument
Roseberry Topping
The end of the Cleveland Way above Filey

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Tomorrow never comes

Lots of things I'd like to write about; my MdS experience, my recce's on the Cleveland Way for the upcoming Hardmoors 110, my first time as a marshall at the recent Dukeries Ultra. However, I just can't be bothered. 

My muse seems to have left me and I'm just not feeling very creative or poetic. Funnily enough this coincides with me not being a particularly good state of mind at present - and there's another thing I ought to write about.

I was recently told I should write a book on mental illness based on my experiences of being on both sides of the fence. Good idea but can't be bothered.........

There's always tomorrow!