Archive for the ‘running’ Category

I think I’m done

Posted: August 16, 2017 in Injury, not running, running

I know I’m possibly prone to a bit of melodrama… but I think my running days are done.

For a while now I’ve been using the tried and tested injury treatment method of ‘ignore it and hope it gets better on its own’. This has usually served me well. And until recently, though I had no illusions of being fitness guru, I would think that I always had another marathon in me (at some point in the future… when I lost a bit of weight…etc). The thing is, recent aches and pains feel…different. Not like an ‘injury’ at all.

You see, I’ve not injured myself as such, but for some time now my left knee in particular doesn’t feel strong, I can’t fully bend it and sounds and feels like an old wooden door if I replicate anything like a squat. So I don’t. But it also means I have to sit down to put on underwear or socks. Until recently, I did not see myself as a sit-down-to-put-on-underwear-and-socks person.

Also, if I do run now, it’s just not fun. It periodically actually hurts and even if it doesn’t, it can just feel a bit awkward….just lacking. And it has been known to swell afterwards…

The above photo was taken after a parkrun about a month ago. I didn’t even really go for it. I was a full 6 minutes slower than my PB.

I did, unfortunately, have a sprint finish with a young lad who’d been overtaking me and dropping back for the whole race run. It turned out, through conversation with the chap I’d ended up running next to for most of lap 2, that the boy was this guy’s son… and I say “unfortunately had a sprint finish” because my intention was really to just push him all the way to the line. As I hadn’t run a particularly hard 5K I actually had a lot left in me but I deliberately stayed just level with him…except he actually gave up about 2 metres short of the line, so I ended up crossing the line in front of him, and although I congratulated him on a good run, and we exchanged a high-five… he subsequently burst into tears and went off for a cuddle with his dad.

I am a bad, bad man.

I’ve still been playing tennis. Although again, feel like I’m a few steps slower than I was even six months ago. But with tennis, you can adapt a bit, play a different game. I think I could actually still enjoy tennis if I couldn’t run at all…. Mmm…no….that’s not true actually…. I’d be immensely frustrated. But but I could play.

Truth is, I just haven’t been enjoying running for a while now. It hurts. And it reminds me that I’m slow and getting old and falling apart. My left Achilles has been giving me jip on and off for about a year now, too. And my left ankle crunches and clicks for as long as I can remember.

And I’ve put on weight. That doesn’t help. It doesn’t help with my running. It doesn’t help with what I inevitably believe to be osteoarthritis setting in. It doesn’t help with my mental health because now I don’t identify with my previous self-image of being a fit person, a healthy, sporty person…. a runner.

I started rewriting the words to the Ed Sheeran song – ‘Thinking Out Loud’ when I first thought about writing this post… But I didn’t have the staying power to see that through either. This was how far I got…

Now my legs don’t work like they used to before

And I can’t see me back on my feet. Will my mind still remember the thrill of the race,

Will my glutes now forever be weak?

Oh running I may be loving you ’til I’m 70… ” etc.

It’s not all bad.

I’m just at the end of holiday now. It’s been lovely – Lots ‘outside’ time… volleyball on the sand, gentle bike rides – including teaching my daughter – she’s been a bit late to the cycling party but is eventually getting that she can do it, and enjoy it. It’s just the stopping we have to work on really! Currently involves my running to the best my ability alongside her and catching her/her bike when she decides to bail off! Well get there.

I’ve managed to play some badminton and even won the resort’s doubles competition that they were running (after first being paired up with someone I’d not met before turning up to the event). There’s another tournament before I leave and I’ve entered again, but this time with my son as he was desperate to join me. He’s a great little (he’s 11 so not that little) tennis player but has only played badminton a couple of times. He enjoys it though, so that should be fun.

Today, he and I are having a go at ‘Stand-up paddle-boarding’ ! I just hope that if(when) I fall off, I can actually get back up again!

On Saturday last, I even ventured out on the bike to travel the short distance the nearby forest for a very picturesque parkrun. Having absolutely no expectations of any time, I intended to run it (or walk if necessary) fully within my capabilities and pain levels. As I was on the path in, I recognised a fellow blogger who writes at ‘Run Young 50‘ – Katie – who normally runs at Colwick but was partaking in a bit of parkrun tourism, herself. We had a bit of a chat and she kindly said nice things about missing my posts here and I said I’d just started one about winding down my running days. To be honest, I probably wouldn’t be finishing this post now, if it wasn’t for the fact I said I’d be posting it soon. It was lovely to see you, Katie. Thank you for your encouragement.

It was to be my slowest ever (without children) parkrun but as I did so, I also collected discarded bottles and crisp packets from the route – NOT from other runners (they looked like they’d been lying around longer than that) but it gave my run further purpose and served to appropriately slow me down, stopping me from getting carried away with the pace of those around me.


On which note, if you feel so inclined, please consider visiting Runners Against Rubbish which is not something I head up myself but it does what I do… with the added element of badges and car stickers if you sign up for a one-off £2 fee. I have.

Of course, you can be against rubbish without joining an organisation – just don’t be an idiot yourself, and occasionally correct someone else’s idiocy by a) telling them not to be an idiot (if you happen to witness their idiotic rubbish discarding behaviour – especially if they’re another runner!) or b) simply binning someone else’s rubbish.

So anyway, there we go… parkrun 69 completed. Who knows if I’ll make it to 100.

Perhaps if I do, I’ll write another blog post.


Ok. So it’s a blatant Juneathon (exercise-and-blog-every-day) fail. Tooth infection and subsequent extraction put a halt on things for a while.

Weirdly, half my face still feels sore, painful, enlarged, etc. Not as painful as it was…. But I can’t quite smile properly and the tooth was removed on Wednesday morning :-/

I can live with it compared to how it was.

I’m at the doctor’s next week anyway, heaving recent received a text saying…

You’re getting old now. Please come in for an MOT

So if it’s still not right then, I’ll get it sorted.
I was down at the tennis courts again yesterday though and played a couple of sets while my son had coaching on the other court. Today, has been a heavy gardening day, though I’m currently taking a break, doing this, and watching Murray/Wawrinka on the telly-box.
I’ve just had a nice delivery, too.

Do you remember ‘BOUNTS’? I wrote a blog about it once. It’ll be out of date now, in the sense that it WAS amazing… But it was too amazing and collapsed under its own success. 

Let me explain…

You basically did tracked activity/sport/steps etc linked to your Garmin/fitbit/etc and you got points.

When you had enough, those points could be directly exchanged for actual monetary vouchers. I exchanged mine and got £15 sent to me a couple of years back. I guess (and this is purely a guess) they accessed these themselves through advertising revenue. 

I would have exchanged points again because I had loads of them but Bounts never had any stock to give anyone. People got upset. Personally, I didn’t. It was frustrating, yes, but it was all free. I’d not lost anything.

Except, some people had lost out. Bounts offered a premium service which did cost, but meant you earned points more quickly. Earning points quickly is kind of pointless though (pun intended) if those points can’t get you anything. 

In summary –

Bounts basically had too many people on their books, all with loads of points, all wanting to exchange them for vouchers that Bounts didn’t have.

So they changed their model. Some people, (though, I understand, not all) who paid premium, got a refund, and vouchers were no longer available. The company now offer an entry into various competitions to win prizes if you manage to complete the accompanying challenge – e.g. Run 20 miles over the month; do 10,000 steps every day for a fortnight; cycle 5 times in 30 days, etc.

To cut an already long story not a lot shorter, I won one of these competitions! 

I’d played tennis the required four times in May and along with a few other people* I won this funky tennis backpack!

…and his has this cool,  weird, dodgy-looking handle zippy thing attached to a zip pocket at the back so the racket fits in securely…. Err… Let me try and show you…

Well I think it’s quite a good, funky design feature anyway.

So… I’ve certainly not lost out by doing Bounts. I’m sorry if you have. Here’s a link anyway if you’re interested  >>BOUNTS<<

For balance. Also check out, Running Heroes (link included, but I think they might be entirely app-based now) – they also do challenge-based competition entries. I think I’ve won a pair of socks and a £20 voucher through them.

Incidentally, mentioning ‘balance’ reminded me, New Balance used to send me stuff for free to review on occasions but in my efforts to be honest in my reviews (I didn’t really think the last pair of shoes they sent me were great for running), I… Errr… Don’t really hear anything from them now**. Oooops.
*as in, other people also won a bag. I did not win other people as well as winning a bag.

**Maybe they found out only 3 people read this. That could be it, too.

Having recently read an article about how running while holding your phone to your ear affects your running performance, I thought it was important to share an often overlooked piece of running advice.

Do you wash your hair while running? If you do you could be damaging your chances of getting that 5k PB you’ve been chasing! 

This brief article examines the potential pitfalls…and what you can do about them!
1. Throws you off your form

Have you tried running with your arms on your head? Trying to work up a good lather. It’s tough. You need your arms to help propel you forward and to maintain good posture while running. Washing your hair can seriously alter this.

SOLUTION : don’t wash your hair while running.

2. Increasing your risk of injury

Ever got shampoo in your eyes? “Ahhhhh…I’m temporarily blinded…where’s the towel…somebody pass me the towel!” 

Now imagine that happening while trying to cross  busy road! Washing your hair while running could have severe consequences.

SOLUTION: don’t wash your hair while running.

3. Decreasing your exercise intensity

When did you last read about Mo Farah getting  a tough set of interval sessions done whilst washing his hair? Mmmm?

Nuff said.

SOLUTION: don’t wash your hair while running.

4. Making your rest breaks way too long

You can’t wash your hair inbetween hill reps, can you? By the time you’ve got home and in the shower and got the conditioner worked in are you really going to return to the peak district to finish that second rep. I doubt it.

SOLUTION: Buy a house near a hill. With an outdoor tap.

5. Breaking your flow

Can’t remember what I was going to say about this.

6. Making you skip your workout

Seriously… the number of girls I have asked if they were up for an intense interval session and they tell me that they are washing their hair instead!

Washing hair reduces fitness.Fact.

SOLUTION: just don’t ever wash your hair.

Runners’ Lingo (revised)

Posted: December 7, 2016 in running
Tags: , ,

Many thanks to Darren Smith – aka ‘Runnersknees’ (@runnersknees on Twitter) for the original (and far more useful) version of the following  definitions.

If you have stumbled across my blog looking for some genuine clarification of running terms then you may want to click  >>HERE<< to find them.


This is a bit like a FALL …one of those embarrassing moments at the start of a race when you get caught up on your own feet and take a tumble) but… You pretend it didn’t happen…nobody saw you, right? It shall never be spoken of. i.e. There was no ‘F’in’FALL’.


A load of total nonsense.


The noise created with every step when you leave your car key and a random coin in your pocket when you do a parkrun.


The name of the robot (like on Star Wars) that you become after doing a longer run than you have done for a while.


Not a brilliant post-run dance… but not a rubbish one either.


Trying to squeeze extra people into your 3-door hatchback to transport your mates and their smelly kit to/from a race venue.

Chafe (pronounced ‘Chief’)

The boss. In my case – my wife.  All races must be cleared prior to the date in consultation with this person….And the master diary…The one kept next to the fridge. (The diary that is… Not my wife. I have more than one diary, but I only have one wife….And I don’t keep her next to the fridge. I don’t keep her at all in fact. But thankfully she still chooses to stay… Just not next to the fridge…unless she’s getting a drink…But then she doesn’t stay there…she just hangs around briefly.)


Chip Time 

Post-race food period.


Squeezing too many races into your calendar. (The one next to the fridge)

Cushioned/Neutral Shoes 

Pretty self-explanatory really… Nice comfy shoes that are not in any of those ridiculously lurid colours that seem so fashionable today amongst those youngsters.

We’re talking a nice off-white… Or beige perhaps?

DNF (Did not finnish)

Not doing that marathon in Helsinki.


The new sofa store from  which you are considering buying your new piece of furniture (and permanent place of future residence) following a marathon.


This occurs a day or two after a marathon When you have sworn ‘never again’… But it stands for ‘Day Of Marathon Searching‘ when  you find yourself scouring the internet for your next race.


Another one of those potentially embarrassing moments when you find yourself on the floor part-way through a race. But you don’t care. You just want your teddy…And for the hurting to stop!


Now not so heavy since the advancement of microchips, processors and lithium-ion batteries, ‘electrolytes’ refers to the small items of light electronic gadgetry that can be seen on  runners’ wrists. You don’t see an electroheavy very often these days (apart from those mad people that have an iPad strapped to their upper arm during the local half-marathon!).


Further than a short tlek.


Past tense. Describing how quickly you ran.

Fell Running

Describing how you got those bruises (see ‘ALL’ and ‘Drop’).


Really? It’s a big bit of open space isn’t it. Grass or corn and stuff. Mostly found in country-type places.

After a cross-county or trail race, you can legitimately say,

I ran faster than the entire field.

Because fields clearly cannot run at all.

Foot Striking 

An attractive foot. The opposite to most runners’ feet (the latter which would be described as ‘Foot Repulsive’).


Gait analysis is what happens on a trail run when you have to quickly calculate whether it’s one where you have to lift a loop of rope over a post, just push/pull, or flick a lever up to gain access to the other side. Comes in various forms including ‘kissing’ and ‘five-bar’.


A violent and bloody computer game similar to GTA but for people with mild speech difficulties about stealing cars and then running away from the police. Tenuous running link contained within that previous sentence.


(Glyco-gen) The knowledge that you are eating too much sugar.

Gun Time 

The period of rest, relaxation and leisure following any race in America.

Disclaimer: I am aware that not everyone in the USA enjoys shooting stuff for fun ALL the time.


Human Resources.

  1. Physical and mental capacity to complete a race.
  2. Someone to make you dinner when you get back from a race.


This is the less well known song by the Jackson Five about running related injuries.


Eating overpriced miniature ice creams and chocolate in between running sets.

(Also see )

Junk Miles 

The distance to your nearest Maccy D’s.


Not brilliant tape. But not rubbish tape either.


This is every run I ever do (that isn’t a short slow run).


Big, proper injury problems.


An Americanism. A person called Mary. (Could also be a half-Mary. Such as Mary-Ann, Mary-Jane, Mary-Ellen, Mary-Lou, etc.) Nothing to do with running.


When a well known runner (second fastest time for a British woman in a marathon after Paula Radcliffe) by the name of Mara Yamauchi is sceptical that a lot of elite runners are/were drug cheats. Mostly correctly it would seem…

“Maybe it’s not Maranoia if you’re right and loads of people are cheating.” – quote by me.


One of two of my friends called Malcolm. This is the smaller one.

Naked Running 

When you are used to running with a child – e.g. in a pushchair, or at a parkrun (because they are under eleven and can’t yet do so independently) but then you get a chance to run on your own with no child (Nae Kid) and can really go for a PB!

Negative Splits 

Attempting to do an extreme stretch before an event and then having to withdraw due to causing yourself a mischief. Not positive.


We’ve been through this: White, off-white, or beige.


Small blood-sucking mites that live in your trainers.


Packing for a marathon you need to travel to… but forgetting something… Like the ‘k’.


parkbench.  All one word.  Lowercase ‘p’.


Like pencils but more permanent (unless they’re dry-wipe markers).


20131228-073618.jpg (Answer at the end)

Polarised training 

Running with posh sunglasses on.


American version of PB. parkrest. All one word. Lowercase ‘p’.


Getting really angry/violent  with other runners during a race… but getting paid for it.



Some people are prone to over-pronation. These people can be quite annoying.


Eating baked beans before a run.


Going on holiday somewhere with the family because it’s where you want to run/race but stuff what everyone else wants to do. (This is the actual and true definition)


Self-righteously getting your running gear on at lunchtime… but after jogging around the corner, going to the cafe for 30 minutes before splashing your face with water and returning to work.


Legend about the Viking king of England who stayed lying in bed one morning, silently commanding the clock not to tick over to ‘Get up! It’s time to run to work!’ o’clock.

He was late for work and got fired.


A myth. They can’t run. They are very intelligent and all that. Very good at swimming – obviously… Saving lost sailors at sea… blah…blah…blahh… yes, yes.  But you don’t see them completing the London Marathon, do you?

Which is weird because apparently ‘Dolphin Shorts’ are a thing.


The normally extortionate amount of money it costs to run a race these days.


See ‘Progression’. This describes the amateur version… or mild form of irritation – pronounced ‘RunGrrrrrrr‘.

Sky Running

Running whilst watching satellite TV. e.g. on a treadmill at a gym with a million screens.

Snot rocket

It looks a bit like rocket but it’s not.


Also see Negative Splits. Can alternatively refer to a ‘wardrobe malfunction’ which depending on garment location and embarrassment level of the wearer, may or may not result in race-withdrawal.

Stability Shoes

Tiny shoes worn by people when they clean out their horses. Nothing to do with running. Ignore this bit.


How long you can go for without running.


  1. Attractive
  2. See ‘Runger’ and ‘Progression’

Support Shoe

Give me an ‘N’……… ‘N’

Give me an ‘E’……… ‘E’

Give me a  ‘W’……… ‘W’

Give me a  ‘B’……… ‘B’

Give me an ‘A’……… ‘A’

Give me an ‘L’……… ‘L’

Give me an ‘A’……… ‘A’

Give me an ‘N’……… ‘N’

Give me a  ‘C’……… ‘C’

Give me an ‘E’……… ‘E’

‘New Balance’ Yaaaaaaaaaaaay!!!!!!!!!! Woooooooo!! Yeah!!

Disclaimer: Other shoes are available. Obviously.


Expletive – reserved for occasions when you only have liquidised food to eat.


What you want to do when yours is painful but someone else is moving like a gazelle.


Herbivorous animal of the jungle and forest regions of Southern/Central America and Southeastern Asia. A similar size to a pig.

Taper madness


Describes how quickly you get cold.


An original UKRUNCHAT team along with team red.  These people get cold quickly.


The other original UKRUNCHAT team along with team blue.  These people chafe easily.

Trail running

Rather embarrassing event occurring if you are unfortunate enough to experience runners’ squits during a race.

Trail Shoes

Describes your shoes after the above event.  Might be worth binning them to be honest.


The process of getting out of your warm, comfortable bed.  Not everyone achieves this.  Keep at it though. It will come.


A planet in a far far away galaxy (possibly where ‘C25K’ originated… but many years of robotic evolution has since occured) hosting a species of humanoid creatures that want to run further than a marathon.  They appear mostly human.  They are not.


Generally located between the floor and the ceiling. To reach your ceiling from your floor, you will probably find the wall at some point.





*The answer to he running injury question was clearly ‘Planter Fascist Eye-Test’. 

Apologies to regular readers who may have spotted a certain amount of blog-recycling containing within this piece.

It was that 10k on Sunday last week. You know… the one I’ve been tapering for six months for… laying down the adipose tissue for added insulation from the cold.

I wasn’t feeling all that great beforehand as you might know if you read my last post.  Basically I’d managed to do something to my back in the process of getting out of a car last week.  I really wasn’t sure if it would be possible so on Saturday night, I managed a little 3k run/walk to ‘test it out’ and I figured – ‘if I can get out of bed in the morning then I’ll do the run’.

Well, I could get out of bed in the morning and so I did indeed head off for the run.

It was busy. Well over 600 runners and the usual mad scramble at the start with people trying to beat their 400m record in the first minute of a 10k race. Silly.

At least one person took a dive in those initial stages. I didn’t see it but I heard a ‘…*slip*…*splat*…’ and then a collective… ‘OooOoooooo’ from somewhere behind me and to my left.

It soon thinned out and I got into a nice rhythm. The back wasn’t giving me any pain but I was aware that I am heavier now than I have been in a long while.

This was one of those races that I entered about six months ago as an incentive to lose some weight… and then did absolutely nothing about it.

Not wanting to be too negative here, I shall say that it’s a new training method…

THE THEORY: My access to altitude training is somewhat limited, so if I run whilst overweight, the additional stresses placed on my heart and lungs will simulate the increased oxygen requirement achieved by the much more expensive option of running in the Andes… or Nepal… or wherever it is that altitude training is done (can you tell I’ve really researched the science?!).
To be honest I don’t know why more athletes don’t use this method. Oh wait…maybe they do… Cue Steve Redgrave and a packet of Crunchy Nut…

Sorry Steve. But I do notice you have 5 gold medals there. 

(Not sure if he used this training method at the time of winning those. Perhaps not.)

THE OUTCOME: A slightly chubby bloke, making it look like very hard work sprinting for the line to get sub 50 minutes for this 10k… but missing out by 9 seconds.


If only I’d ran that first 400m a bit quicker! 😉

10k  taper ?

Posted: November 19, 2016 in Injury, running
Tags: , , , ,

Tapering? For a 10k? Is that really necessary?

Well, no. No, it isn’t. But that hasn’t stopped me from inadvertently experimenting with it as a tactic. Because, as previous blog posts have shown, I’m a proper science type person an’ that.

Either that, or I just generally haven’t been running much recently and now that 10k I signed up for ages ago has come around.

It’s known as a ‘pudding run’. Intended to have connotations of Christmas and because you get a Christmas pudding instead of a medal at the end.

It is  NOT called that because it is run by puddings. Except for me, that is.

I feel like a right pudding, currently. Caught in a bit of a cycle of being a bit overweight, making running harder, not enjoying running as much, not running as much (/eating all the food), being a bit overweight, etc. I decided to hit the gym a bit for some variety.

Don’t worry, I shall not bore you with tales of my reps and weights and sessions and motivational quotes and the like (yawn). Suffice to say I do a variety of things and do a few circuits of said variety. I was feeling stronger and generally quite good… until I attempted something a little beyond me…

…That ‘something’ was getting out of the car on Thursday last week.

Yes…I don’t know why I thought I was capable of exiting a vehicle on my own without anyone to spot me.  Doing so without a warm-up was clearly just sheer recklessness. The result was an initially mild ‘mmm…That twinges a bit’ that gradually intensified into a ‘I don’t think I’ll ever be able to paint my toenails put my own socks on again!’. 

I don’t really know what I’ve done exactly but it’s somewhere between having my spine ripped out (like on the retro computer game Mortal Combat) and maybe pulling a bit of a muscle.

So here I am three days post-injury, and able to walk at least, but really not sure about tomorrow’s 10k. I still have hope… Especially since immediately following that, I have a tennis match to play.  That is ‘immediately after’ as in I have warned my tennis partner to expect to see mud-splattered legs when she’s serving.

If I’m honest, and I had to choose between the run and playing tennis, I’d choose tennis. But:

 1) I’m greedy and I want to do both.

2) I’m tight and I’ve paid for the run already.

3) If I do do the run and then find I cannot play tennis/walk/breathe properly, my son (aged 10) would likely do a good job of standing in for me in the tennis and I’d enjoy watching him.

I shall no doubt write a blog post next week about how it’s ALWAYS the right thing to rest an injury.
I’ll keep you posted.

When I were a lad…

…I lived in Devon. So no one (other than Monty Python)  used such Yorkshire-like phrases. And if I did then I probably would have been corrected to say ‘was’ instead. That’s not really important to this story – the point is, when I was younger, I can remember, one snowy winter, standing on the actually quite excellent climbing frame (built by my dad after he found he was unable to remove one of the supporting posts of an old wooden garage that used to be in the garden and he built a climbing frame around it instead, until when I was like, 20 or something, that original support eventually rotted away enough to be removed along with the rest of this makeshift but brilliant climbing apparatus – that’s not important to this story though) ….so I was standing on this climbing frame in my full winter gear – padded coat, gloves, balaclava, the works, when my brother throws a snowball at me…

I don’t want to give my brother the credit for what happened next because he missed…or, as I like to remember it, I expertly and deftly evaded the missile…

…unfortunately I then lost my footing, fell off the climbing frame and can then remember a very sick and claustrophobic feeling that I was in pain but couldn’t remove the million layers of knitted garments of industrial (grandma-strength) yarn.

My loving mother (no sarcasm intended…She was and still is…) performed the obligatory parental skills of rubbing my arm, moving it up and down, making sure I could make a fist, etc , and advising that perhaps the snowball fight should take a rain check. I can remember my arm being moved backwards and forwards, accompanied by the words, “I’m sure it does hurt, but you wouldn’t be able to do this if it were broken”.

Of course, it turned out that it was indeed broken. I wasn’t able to sleep that night, mum realised that maybe something was in fact the matter, and we ended up going to hospital where it was confirmed.


*                          *                            *                           *


Fast forward approximately 30 years… it’s a Wednesday, and I arrive at my son’s after-school football club to take him home. They are just finishing up. It’s penalties. They always have a penalty each at the end of the session.

Son is in goal.

He saves a penalty and appears to land awkwardly.

But he walks up to now take his own penalty. He misses.

He returns to be goalkeeper …and lets the next penalty in. Game over.

Only at this point does he appear now to express any hand pain.

Now call me cynical  *pause… to allow time for you to call me cynical* but I wasn’t convinced, and told him to stop making a fuss. He shouts at me for never believing him (all previously  ‘life-threatening’ injuries sustained by son to this point have turned out to be no more than scratches and bruises) and when we get home, I am internally eye-rolling but in the real world I’m going through a VERY thorough hand examination, checking for scaphoid fracture – negative, checking for peripheral nerve damage – negative, putting hand and wrist through full range of movement. He reports some pain but isn’t jumping through the roof. I basically performed a slightly more elaborate equivalent of rubbing his arm, moved it backwards and forwards and telling him, “You wouldn’t be able to do that if it were broken!”. To show him I was a loving and caring father, however, I did apply an ice pack (frozen peas) and a wrist wrap bandage thing for the evening.

The next day, he goes to school and plays in a football match afterwards (they lost 4- 1 incidentally… though that’s not important to this story).

The day after that, due to ridiculous roadwork near us, I decide he will cycle to school while I cycle our younger child (using a tag-along bike) to her school. Son returns home 5 minutes after leaving, saying his wrist hurts and could I drive him? No I could not. He needs to stop being a whinge-bucket and if he’d just kept going he’d have been over half way there by now… and anyway, his sister was all kitted up and excited about cycling to school… and we didn’t have time now… and traffic would be dreadful and if he wasn’t going to cycle then he’d better start walking now or he would be really late!

He cycled to school.

And he cycled home.

But when he didn’t want to play tennis on Saturday morning, I thought something was up. I looked at his arm again.

Now his arm did look a little bit bent…mmm…not sure… swelling? … worse?

To cut this story slightly shorter, we basically spent the day in various hospitals where, after x-rays and a 3.5 hour wait, the upshot was basically “We don’t know for sure if it’s broken either. We think it still might be a greenstick fracture so here’s a brace (removable velcro-strapped splint) to wear for 3 weeks. During that time no swimming… no P.E at school… no football… come back and see us in 3 weeks“.

To cover my own parenting inadequacies, I have been recounting the story of ‘The Boy Who Cried, “WOLF!”‘ to my son.

He thinks it’s a rubbish story.

I shall be collecting my ‘Father of The Year’ award next month.











P.S. they didn’t actually say “no running” so I have used his non-participation in school sports to persuade him out with me on three separate occasions for just a ten minute run.*


*and thus this blog fulfils its very loosely running-based brief.



I nearly ran a 5k last weekend with my son in a park near our old home.

It was part of the Decathlon running series. A free event put on by the sports store. If you have  a Decathlon near you, it is worth checking out. It’s not chip-timed or anything, but it was friendly and well organised and a very pleasant morning. It wasn’t quite 5k, hence the ‘nearly’ but more of that in a bit.

I might be NotMuchOfaRunner, but my son is even less of one, so when he agreed to do this one with me a few months back (swayed by the free t-shirt and goodie bag ‘worth £10’), I signed us both up straight away (there was persuading my wife or daughter though). He has been out on his bike a few times accompanying me on a run, but hasn’t run himself since May when he managed just under 30 mins for his school’s 5k.

Here’s a couple of photos of him doing his stuff during the race. None of me… but just imagine a slightly taller version with less hair and generally more tired-looking if you want an idea.


He’s a funny one, my boy. I made sure he knew that it was fine to walk… that we weren’t going for a time… that it was a hilly course…etc. Basically  no pressure. But he wanted to get sub 30 and really beat himself up when he struggled to run up the hills or had to slow to walking pace. Thankfully, the end came in sight before I’d expected it and all of a sudden, his energy had returned as he pulled off a strong final straight into the finish.

Knowing the park quite well, I took him to an outdoor tap at the edge of the field and he soaked his head for five minutes afterwards to cool down. He was fine after that and didn’t again mention what a ‘terrible run’ it was (his unhelpful mantra for the last 2 kms).

It wasn’t just me who was surprised by the early finish. Here are a few of the titles from other people’s Strava runs that I saw later on.

“Shipley Park 5k (only 4.65k so I ran to end of field and back)”

“Decathlon 5k (that wasn’t quite 5k!!) Run with Jane”

“Decathlon nearly 5k”

“Decathlon short 5k series”

And my own, “Decathlon running series (?)5k(?)”


Ha ha. So don’t target this race if you are going for a legitimate PB… but for  our purposes of a ‘fun run’ it was very welcome! Don’t tell my son it was short, though!

We thanked the officials and headed off to the Decathlon store to collect our goodie bags…


…Mmmmm…. NEARLY £10 maybe….Stretching it perhaps? Here it is…

Energy drink – £1.50
Bottle of water – £1

Energy bar – £1

(These are educated guesses, by the way)

Decathlon lanyard thing – £0.50 (not that I think I’d buy one for 50p but it makes the maths simple)

Fabric P.E bag advertising decathlon – £3 (pushing it)

Which means that sticker that says ‘run power’ is worth £3 ! Apparently. Who knew?!

Haha! I don’t mind really because…

1)It was a well organised event (though I did get an email a short while back telling me I’d been signed up for the Bolton event! …someone must have clicked ‘send to all’ by mistake).

2)It was free.

3)It was a lovely morning.

4)I was with my son.

5)It felt very inclusive.

6)We got a decent T-shirt each upon sign up (yes that bright yellow one!) but I won’t be able to wear it on a trip to my local Decathlon store for fear of being stopped to ask where the goggles/archery equipment/football shirts/bike locks/etc are…

Maybe that makes up the value of the goodie bag 😉

No matter. The run was worth it (for me) even without a goodie bag because I was with my boy.


I hope he forgets that he doesn’t like running very much quite soon, because I’d like to go out again.

Well just at the point I was considering giving up running, I get sent these from the lovely people at new balance… New Balance Vazee Coast

As you can see, they include a certain amount of ‘knitting’. The sort of main fabric they are made from… which looks great… but maybe that’s the point. They look and feel more like fashion trainers to me.  I have been for a short run in them (and I hope I don’t regret saying this) but I don’t particularly like them for running. I would run for the bus in them, sure, and if I was late getting my kids to school like this morning.

I still like them, I do. But more to go with my jeans than with my shorts, I think. On a night out maybe… if that ever happens again… but not to one of those places that says “No jeans. No trainers.” … obviously because they’d say, “Oi! No!  You’re  wearing jeans AND trainers” …and who could argue with that logic?!

As you may have noticed, the word ‘running’ has crept back into my blogging vocabulary.


It has… eventually… but not after getting worse first. I shall fill you in.

You see, in addition to the pulled hamstring in the dads’ race at sports day… I then, after eventual (well… partial) recovery, played a game of tennis and ( to give you the shortened version) I managed to pop my quad! Have I told you this before? * checks previous blog post* Nope, I haven’t. Well there was an audible ‘pop!’ and I couldn’t walk. It was shortly followed by a repeat of the hamstring pull and subsequent melancholy for a few weeks with me complaining of getting old and falling apart.

I resolved to ‘control what I could control’ and took to doing some weights and core work, together with taking some protein supplement (after many days of extensive internet research) to aid muscle recovery. It felt like it was working, albeit slowly.

A holiday to Wales came at the right time, and I was able to go out for a short morning run on most days, which I slowly lengthened….

…and…cue the photos…

And who could blame me for going out each day when this was the view in the morning… (filter included to help provide a sense of the feeling I got while looking out at it)…

I even managed Wepre parkrun on the journey there… Laps around a field it is not…

…and even the wetter weather closer to home hasn’t stopped me heading out…


Some of the recent weight gain has started to shift, and things are generally a bit more positive again. Though my ankle keeps reminding me I’m still not exactly the picture of prime physical perfection. Obviously… if it wasn’t for the ankle though… I’d be on the cover of a men’s fitness magazine 😉

This Sunday will see me and my boy head out on a 5k run organised by the company ‘Decathlon’ as part of their free race series. I really don’t know what to expect. The free T-shirt and goodie bag got my son to say he wanted to do it… about 3 months ago. When I reminded him yesterday though, he didn’t seem so keen :-/

I’ll let you know how it goes.