I may not seem like much.

I am to some people…
…but not to others.

Some people respect me…
…others do not.

I may be small, but I can be tough too, and if you underestimate me, I might just take you down.

If you think you can take me on after you have spent the previous day running round at your daughter’s fourth birthday party eating crisps, excessive amounts of barbequed meat, breadsticks covered in various unidentifiable dips (because you threw away the lid that told you what they were), and those small ring-shaped pink biscuits with that sugary icing, then you underestimate me.

If you were to stay up ’til gone midnight, because that was he only time your house was quiet, then drink the remaining wine in the house to wash down the two ice creams you have just consumed, then again I say you underestimate me.

If you don’t bother preparing to face me until the morning in question and then scrabble around trying to find a pair of shorts that still fit around your increasingly padded midriff, and try to remember where you put the safety pins, then you disrespect me.

If you think you can leave it to the last minute to then cycle to meet me before we do battle, and wear trail shoes to try and run me down on road, then to be quite honest, you are really entering the realms of arrogance!

How dare you tell people you will break me in two hours! I’ll have you for that! I’ll let you get annoyingly close, but let’s say 2:05:00 shall we?

I may only be a half marathon, but I can still cause you some pain!

* * * * * * * *

Last Sunday I ran the Robin Hood Half Marathon. I ran the full last year but due to tendonitis in my foot at that time I hadn’t been able to train properly for 8 weeks prior. I referred to it as an extreme taper, but it really wasn’t good.

Extreme Tapir

Extreme Tapir

Another extreme tapir

Another extreme tapir

I completed it then but it was painful and I promised myself I would never again run a marathon unless I felt completely prepared.

Unfortunately, I did not extend the same wisdom to last weekend’s half. I can honestly say that I found the last two miles as bad as the last two of the previous year’s full marathon. And I wasn’t expecting that. At all.

Being an internationally famous running ambassador* has got to have its perks, and recently, after making a nuisance of myself and selling my soul to the marketing world a polite email request to the lovely people at gunghoco.com I was sent a fantastic pair of New Balance ‘Leadville 1210‘ trail shoes to review.

*when I was 12 I ran in a fun run during a French exchange trip to… well France… Obviously.

Now as much as I do not wish to shoot myself in the now beautifully adorned foot, I am intrigued by the practice of giving shoes away to lowly bloggers such as myself for review, especially since the last time it happened to me, my review could be summed up by “oooo look – they’re really, really blue!” …well…. They were!
(By the way, this new pair are really, really green!)

I am especially puzzled since a quick Internet search produces some really decent results with proper in-depth reviews from people who actually sound like they know what they are on about. So where is the sense in sending me a pair?

Maybe I appeal to a special, elite, discerning kind of runner…yes…that’s probably it :-/

I can only assume that these marketing people are very, very clever and know what they are doing (or perhaps had a load of size 11s from old stock that needed shifting, I don’t know) so rather than try to pretend that I’m a technological running boffin who has the authority to advise his vast readership on the merits and pitfalls of this shoe, I shall just tell you what I think in my usual ‘random thoughts and running shorts‘ kind of way.

Here goes…

The Leadville 1210 trail shoes are very green (at least, the green-colour ones I was sent are) and they are designed for running on trails.

(I think it’s all going well so far)

They are apparently quite lightweight at under 0.3kg but I’m not sure how accurate that is because when I weighed them, they showed up as being…ahem…over 93kg…


Considering they were apparently designed based on the Leadville 100 ultra-distance event, I have confidence that these lighter-than-I’m-used-to trainers will be able to support my ample frame over the rather more moderate distances I aim at these days.

I am all too aware that if I wear a pair of Ray Ban sunglasses I do not suddenly become a qualified pilot.
If I buy a wetsuit I do not instantly become a great open-water swimmer.
If I go on X-factor, I do not instantly become an attention seeking media whore who has sold their soul to Simon Cowell

Well you get the idea. Basically – I know that a pair of new shoes won’t turn me into an amazing runner.

But for the 10 miles I did in them on their first outing (the day after they arrived), I was certainly a very happy runner :-)





Here’s my favourite ‘you-have-to-earn-it-to-sit-on-it’ bench which has featured before on this blog…


There’s a heron in this one…just for some added interest…

So, as you can see, not the most challenging of trail runs. Pretty flat. Not at all muddy.
But you know what? – these shoes still felt great. Sometimes trail shoes are so rugged that running on the harder, flatter surfaces actually becomes uncomfortable. Not so here.

Also, they have this little connecting bit of material between the tongue and the lace-hole area (what New Balance call ‘Debris Free’ construction) preventing bits of crud from entering the shoe at the front. Good idea. Doesn’t stop little stones getting in through the heel area unfortunately, but aside from wearing a dog’s flea collar around your ankles as you run I’m not sure what to do about that.

Warning: technical review bit coming up…

I really like the grips.
They jut out in one direction on the forefoot to get good push-off, and in the opposite direction on the heel, preventing (I anticipate) some downhill bum-sliding. Cool.

Spaced far enough apart to easily get rid of any mud post-run, I also don’t anticipate having to stand outside my front door banging the soles of my shoes together, announcing loudly that no guns have actually been fired in the area. Admit it – we’ve all done it (embarrassingly banged shoes together loudly….not fired guns).

That last photo was taken three runs into their lifetime – still looking good :-)

Technical review bit finished.

I jokingly suggested to Lizzie @ gunghoco.com that if the shoes made me half as speedy as her very efficient email responses, then I’d be laughing…

…well…I’m laughing.
I ran the nearby parkrun on Saturday wearing these shoes and got a five second PB!

Strictly speaking actually, my eight year old son had that time recorded as his own (even though he didn’t run at all) due to the fact that I have laminated a double-sided parkrun barcode so that I always have both of ours to hand. This works well until you are so shattered that you hand it in the wrong way up on a Saturday morning!

Poor little fella would have had to wait 7 years or so to break ‘his’ PB if it wasn’t for the lovely parkrun people adjusting this for us.

So… There we have it, a very non-boffin like shoe review from NotMuchOfaRunner…

Well designed.
Has just the right amount of cushioning.

Just like the Leadville 1210 in fact.


Holidays can be so good.

I’ve had a holiday from running for a while. My left ankle has been telling me I’m getting old, my plantar fasciitis has returned with a vengeance, I’ve been feeling more mentally and physically exhausted generally just a bit ‘bleuggh’.

This last week, though I have spent in Devon with my lovely family. Staying in the family home I lived in when I was little, eating lovely food with my Mum and Dad looking after me like when I was little (e.g. home cooked apple crumble and a HUGE pavlova) , going to the beaches I used to go to when I was little, and drinking beer like I used to when I was… well… a bit bigger.

We spent the day swimming in sea on Wednesday, which was wonderful.

We had even optimistically brought the bikes (mine and the boy’s) on the recently purchased bike roof carrier thing, and we had a little ride out on Thursday.

Friday was my lovely wife’s birthday (I don’t have two… I didn’t use the word ‘lovely’ as a differential term… Just the one wife AND she is lovely – just to be clear) so we went for a BIG family geocaching walk which basically involved me dropping them off near Powderham, me driving to Kenton and leaving the car there then running to catch up with them along the coastal path to Starcross. An extra loop to get a few more caches, then continuing ask along the estuary ‘coast’ to Dawlish before starting back up northwards but realising if we wanted to have a Birthday BBQ I had to get a wriggle on run ahead to get the car. That was a mission! Lots of fields and big, BIG hills.
Take glance at the map for a general overview …


and this one for a bit of a close up including my cross-country route back to the car…


…and this one for the geocaches we passed along the way (smiley face = found… we haven’t logged them all yet)

Despite this huge walk/run (the children aged 8 & 3 did brilliantly, by the way) I got up early enough to parkrun on Saturday.

It was Parke parkrun in Bovey Tracey. Here is my course report:

In case you didn’t know…It has a hill. A big one. Early on. Which has the unexpected bonus that once you’ve managed, eventually, to breathe normally again, you’re pretty much at the end of the run. Cool. The end.

Hello, you have reached the blog site of NotMuchOfaRunner…

I’m sorry I can’t blog right now, I’m out doing stuff…

(…I might even be running).


If you would like to leave a message then please do so after the beep and I will get back to you when I’m supposed to be tidying the house.














‘The Beep’

My operation

Posted: June 22, 2014 in Juneathon, not running

Right team,

Let us begin…

Anaesthetic provided. Muscle relaxant has taken effect. Heart rate remains stable. He’s out cold…

Scalpel!… Thanks.
Making first incision now…

Just cutting my way through the first layer of fat…

… Still cutting my way through the first layer of fat…

…still going… You guys go and make a cup of tea if you like…

…oh… Here we go…

…we’re through to the layer of excuses now, we need to cut these away… Forceps! Clamps! Dish thing!

Ok. They’re gone. But they can grow back. We’ll have to keep an eye on that.

Getting to the deep level now. Begin diagnostics…

…scanning complete.
Let’s see the results.

Previous sense of humour bypass, I see…

What else…

…general malaise…

Aha! That’s it!

I don’t know when it started happening but he has a necrotic mojo.

I’ve never seen this before in the month of June. Highly rare!

I’m sorry. I’m afraid there’s nothing we can do.

…Well, there probably is…but I can’t be bothered to think through the options…it’s contagious, you see.

Close him up. Bring him round.
Our work is done here.


Posted: June 19, 2014 in Juneathon, running
Tags: , ,

I’ve actually done some running…
Yesterday, I left it as late as I dared to collect my daughter from nursery. In the end I managed the 1.3 miles in exactly ten minutes. Considering it’s a good chunk of uphill, I’m happy with that.

Today. After school drop off, I left the car, ran home, jumped on bike, cycled for a coupe of hours (getting a few new geocaches on the way, including a FTF – ‘first to find’). A lovely canal path route…


The rest of the day has been beautifully busy, spent in one of my favourite ways – playing games and running around with small people…

…and watching England lose the football (not so favourite).

I’ve surprised myself though… I have a tenancy towards cynicism…but I’m looking forward to the mathematical probabilities playing out and setting up a corker of a match against Costa Rica next week.

Failing that….Wimbledon starts in a few days!  :-)

…-sound treatment on my foot.


One of the advantages of working with physios. Free advice on tap and a demonstration of the ultrasound machine so I can self-administer some anti-plantarfasciitis treatment in my lunch break.
I may have mentioned the fact that I have had phantasmagoria WHAT?! …that is apparently the predictive text equivalent of plantarfasciitis…anyway…that!.. I’ve had that for over a year now. It’s not got any worse and doesn’t prevent me doing anything….but it is annoying and sometimes painful. I figured some ultrasound is at least worth a go.

Actual exercise today was just press ups to the point of collapse…


Oh… and in case you were wondering…

phan·tas·ma·go·ri·a   (fn-tzm-gôr-, -gr-)also phan·tas·ma·go·ry (fn-tzm-gôr, -gr)n. pl. phan·tas·ma·go·ri·as also phan·tas·ma·go·ries

1.a. A fantastic sequence of haphazardly associative imagery, as seen in dreams or fever.
b. A constantly changing scene composed of numerous elements.

2. Fantastic imagery as represented in art.

Blogging Seems To Be The Hardest Part

What have I got to do to write a good blog?
What have I got to do to get it right?
What do I do after a good jog?
And I just stare at a screen with nought to write

What do I do to be inspiring
What have I got to do show my heart
What do I say when I’m just tiring
And blogging seems to be the hardest part

It’s sad, so sad
It’s so sad when juneathonning
And it seems it’s tearing me apart
It’s sad, so sad
Why can’t it just be over
Oh it seems to me
That blogging seems to be the hardest part.

What do I do to make the words flow
What have I got to do / where do I start?
What do I do – my brain’s on go slow?
What have I got to do?
What have I got to do?
When blogging seems to be the hardest part.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

It’s day 16 of Juneathon.
It gets hard now.
If you’re going to get through all 30 days of exercising and blogging, there will be some days, where the blogging seems ‘for the sake of it’, and nobody likes that, so I nearly bowed out today altogether.
I had done my exercise – I played tennis (again) today. I have nothing more to add to that, so I hope the above re-worded Elton John song makes up for it.

Too much food, not enough moving around. A lovely lazy father’s day for me here…apart from the small matter of the daily exercise thing… Cue THE MEGA PLANK.


Apologies for the image. Aside from the fact it is of me, it is also poor quality as it’s only on the front facing camera if my phone. But you get the idea… heels on one chair (Mr Happy socks are optional), neck on the other, hold that position long enough for the self-time to do it’s job and then keep your fingers crossed that you can still move in the morning.



Well this is live at the time of writing, but all will be history by the time I hit ‘publish’. But then again…. aren’t all posts?

No apologies if you don’t like the football, it’s just tough I’m afraid. Go away and come back tomorrow. I don’t mind ;-)


I have spent most of today either sat in a car, cuddling my newly arrived baby nephew, or eating pizza so I thought about going for a run when I eventually got home but I cleaned the oven instead and now I’m getting ready to watch England’s first World Cup football match Vs Italy.

I shall therefore be incorporating my exercise into this activity in the following way:

  • Throw in = 1 press up
  • Corner = 1 sit up
  • Goal kick = 1 squat thrust
  • Free kick / offside = 1 burpee
  • Penalty = Plank (to begin at the point the penalty is given and to last until the penalty is taken)

I can’t think of anything for Red and Yellow cards yet… I’ll have a think and maybe add them on the end ‘cos it’s just about to start…

Oh, but I must say…I am going to be in so much trouble with my boy tomorrow too. Originally, I had told him, ages ago, that he could watch England’s 9pm matches but an 11pm one was really too late for him.  However, as we had returned quite late from baby-cuddling expeditions anyway, I softened and said that if he did his teeth and got ready for bed then he could read his book in bed for 45 minutes and then come and watch the first half only.

He only went and fell asleep didn’t he! I tried to wake him. Genuinely – I did. But he was well off in the land of nod. It will still be my fault tomorrow though. You just wait!

Here we go!…


I forgot about anything for a goal as well… so… Punch a cushion 10 times / jump up and down 10 times (dependant on team)

First Half Summary

  • Press ups  = 11
  • Sit Ups = 4
  • Squat Thrusts = 7
  • Burpees = 9
  • …+ 10 cushion punches + 10 jumping ups and downs



Second Half Summary

  • Press ups  = 1O
  • Sit Ups = 8
  • Squat Thrusts = 11
  • Burpees = 14
  • …+ 10 cushion punches

(oh… and I’ll add 5 star jumps for the yellow card)


Gah! Shame… but promising.  I actually really enjoyed watching that, believe it or not. I’ll let you know how my boy feels about missing it, tomorrow :-/

P.S I genuinely thought there would be a lot more throw ins, etc than there actually were. I might have missed a couple but not many, I don’t think. You know how to contact me if you require me to work as a sports statistician.