running blog


Voluntourism (parkrun)

I may have run my first parkrun in 2011 but I have come late to the delights of parkrun tourism, and parkrun generally.  Only recently have I preferred the anticipation of a new parkrun event (or even my locals) to a lie in.  Must be getting old, or hooked. Maybe both. 

My recent parkruns have been local, repeats and a volunteer stint because of Christmas, socialising and injury plus my desire to get them in towards my 50 shirt. So I was determined to get my 25th different parkrun venue run today and when tentative parkrun plans changed I resorted to finding my event with longest lie in not yet done (EWLLNYD). 

So I rocked up to Finsbury Park. An easy tube journey. I was saved the ‘trying to find the park’ problem by following a family in running kit out of the tube and asking them at the barrier if they were parkrunning. They were. A repeat visit from out of London, so I tagged along. 

At the run briefing, just before they explained the course, they mentioned they were missing a tail runner and was anyone willing.  I found myself volunteering. (I have been supposed to run-walk the past two parkruns after injury so I could maybe behave for one week!?). In a flash I had a hi-viz jacket, a check I knew what to do and an offer to take my bag to the finish . I worked out that as tail runner it maybe didn’t matter about knowing where we were running but I did ask about bringing in any direction signs on what number lap?

When the field spread out and I’d chatted to and seen a few late starters past me I was left with  a regular trying to stay warm by running  zig zags and encouraging his girlfriend on her first 5k run and a veteran speed marching. I soon discovered that I could not walk  as fast as the the speed walker so had to adopt (my physio would approve) a jog walk pattern to keep up with him. 

Chatting at the end and sharing times I discovered that speed walking had been his sport and he’d once ‘walked’ a 5K far faster than I will ever run one. I stood no chance!

My 47th parkrun, 25th venue done. It was my slowest ever, it was social and I volunteered. A great morning. 

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I’m bored now

The novelty of  my enforced change in exercise routine, because I can’t run, has worn off. 

I’ve been good for a whole week. I’ve been to Physio, I’ve  done all my physio exercises and a few more, I’ve cycled lots (and met people for coffees so the kcal consumed exceeded the kcal burned in some rides – oops!) and I’ve not run. 

But I really want to go to BMF, train for my half marathon, run some more parkruns towards my 50th and run my 25th different parkrun venue.


I have at least one more week to be patient. I’m not very good at being patient and I’ve still got a wait until my new bike (to tempt me to ride further afield)  is built. 


Time to really get stuck into the online gym I’m trying this month and volunteer at parkrun. 


Every cloud. Janathon day 13. 

Being signed off running yesterday was not so bad. 

I’m still allowed to cycle. 

Plus, I knew what was planned for today. 

This year I have a big birthday coming up. A BIG one.  I have also planned a few long cycle rides this spring/summer.  Add to this a little good news work-wise for my OH and he suggests we go and order my promised BIG pressie. My forever* bike. 


Just 6 weeks to wait!  The overexcited jumping up and down will be good exercise. Actually, that may not be good for my Achilles. 

Janathon day 13. 

Cycled to the bike shop and back, 13 miles total. Plus, plenty of pedalling on the bike fit rig as we found the right frame size, saddle, bar width, height… So many decisions!

(Not my new bike,  Image borrowed from Total Women’s Cycling)


Signed off. Janathon day 11 and 12. 

So I finally made it to the Physio. 

Probably just need a good massage and a bit of advice, I thought.  


To cut a long story short I have some damage to my Achilles tendon (tedonosis) which will require some help to heal and some strengthening. The cause, as well as a bit of over use, goes back to my hip alignment (cause of a previous injury) so I also need to revisit my hip and glute exercises. 

Back to rehab for me. 

And NO running for the foreseeable.

At least I can cycle. 
Janathon days 11 and 12. 

One appointment at the physio, two walks to the shops and back,   3.8 miles cycled. 


Janathon catch up

Last week I promised to not run again until I sorted out my Achilles and sought  some help for it. So over the week I have (amongst other things)

  • Foam rolled and stretched lots
  • Taken 3 days off running
  • Felt my Achilles was much improved 
  • Not got round to getting a sports massage or seen a physio
  • Cycled to 2 BMF classes and found it was all ok as long as I stuck to a steady pace and didn’t go mad and sprint or try and race anyone 
  • Manage not to be an idiot and didn’t run flat out at those 2 BMF classes (most of the time)
  • Been for a 6 mile easy run and managed to run easy pace
  • Spent an excellent Saturday morning at Fulham Palace parkrun in the company of friends 
  • Blast out a parkrun PB on a busy course (record turn-out) and go sub 24 for the first time according to my Garmin. (still got 3 seconds to lose officially)
  • Have a sore Achilles again
  • Spend another Sunday evening foam rolling my calves….

Hey ho… Here we go again. 

Janathon days 4-10

14.2 miles run.  16.7 miles cycled.


Being Sensible. Janathon day 3. 

It would have been nice to run every day in January. 
However.  If I don’t take the next couple of days off running I will definitely be on the injury list.

After yesterday’s parkrun I was limping and this morning even after a liberal application of ibuprofen gel I still couldn’t walk naturally. It’s all self- inflicted. I’ve been nursing a few niggles for a while,  which I’ve ignored. Then a few hard sprints plus trying to race people faster than me at BMF before Christmas made things worse.  I then carried on parkrunning and not stretching enough. 

Although I’ve had rest days and cut my mileage since my marathon, at the end of November,  the benefit of marathon training left me enjoying much improved pace which I was unable to resist!  So I’ve not allowed myself to recover fully and could do with adding  some ‘easy’ back into my running plans. Especially if I want to be fit to run a good 10K at the end of the month and half marathon in February. 

Time to be sensible.   Plus I’m probably not great to know when I’m injured and can’t run (not to mention the boring winging blog posts). 

So my Janathon activity for the next few days will be stretching, squats, lunges and all my other physio exercises and foam rolling. I will sort out a sports massage and not run again until I get my calf muscles into more flexible shape (and be able to walk properly). Promise. 

Well that’s the plan…

Janathon day 3. Boring squats, single leg squats and calf raises plus lots of lovely (if that’s the correct word) foam rolling and massaging my legs with a sadistic spiky ball.   

My Achilles is feeling much better already…



parkrun. Janathon day 2. 

No sulking today.  parkrun day. 

It had been blowing a gale all night so I did check Medina IOW parkrun’s news and Facebook pages first thing to check it wasn’t cancelled before I committed to being fully awake at 7.30.  There were no notifications and a peek out of the window showed it was still very windy but dry. However in the time it took to have a cuppa, eat a banana and get dressed it had started raining. Nice. 

Over the past few weeks I have been back to some of my close to home parkruns in London which I’ve not run for a while because I had been enjoying a bit of parkrun tourism for variety.  Today I went back to IOW parkrun for my 5th run there.  

In the two years (I thought it was only one! ) since I last ran there* the course has changed so it was like a bonus new parkrun venue.   What was two laps of playing fields has changed into one lap (out and back) to avoid as much wet muddy grass as possible and use the newish cycle track along the river Medina which  has a netted gravel surface. 

* (I have tried twice since but one time missed the venue change and another time it was cancelled)

It was very wet and muddy over the unavoidable grass sections and I decided to practice trying to run faster on mud (or anything that isn’t smooth Tarmac really) but my Achilles didn’t want to play that game so I eased off and switched to guess how deep that puddle is which kept my feet and ankles nicely chilled. 

A miserable wet and windy day, a friendly bunch of parkruners, an OK (bloody Achilles) run on a good course. I must come back in 2016, I think it could be fairly fast on a dry (underfoot) day.  Thanks Medina IOW parkrun. 

Janathon day 2. parkrun. 3.1 miles run.