A Forrest Gump moment?

Mindful that my regular readers might be concerned (or maybe overjoyed!) that I have had a Forrest Gump moment and suddenly forsaken running for some other activity (leaving this blog high and dry), I hasten to report that I’ve merely been continuing to suffer from a bad back.

With luck (and some help from Hanne at Chiropractor House), normal service will be resumed shortly!

Keep on running!

Five at seven

When I was staggering down the stairs at six o’clock this morning with stiff legs from Sunday and a painful back, the idea of going for a run seemed a little silly.

However, I had arranged to meet the Bok for a slow run (HA, there’s two words that rarely appear in such close proximity!) so I hobbled off down the road to meet him just after seven.

His latest road route took us around the town and whilst conversation helped the pace flow, it was clear that he could have sprinted off ahead at any point… such that we were two minutes down on his normal time after just two miles!

We still managed 5.34 miles in 45 minutes… which at 7.12mph is pretty good for me!

Abilene amble

After a fun-packed day of sculpting and Scouting yesterday, the alarm this morning was an unwelcome intrusion… especially as it was still dark.  I even fell asleep again on a chair in the space between putting the coffee-pot on and it boiling! But it was all for a good cause as I was meeting Mark at 8am for a run.

Kim and I had returned to Skelton Workshops yesterday for a very pleasant morning to push our sculptures on a little more… it really is such a relaxing environment to work!

Then it was off to Denton for the unveiling of a Blue Plaque, in memory of Ralph Reader of Scouting Gang Show fame, on Cliff & Nessie’s house, which was followed by a mini Gang Show in the local Scout hall.

Last night we had been due to go to a gig in Ardingly, but alas it was cancelled, so instead we used the firewood that Kim had reclaimed last weekend (back when it was hot!) to start the first fire of the season.

This morning was a grey day that threatened heavy rain, but since it was milder than the cold snap in the week, both Mark & I arrived in shorts.  I told Mark that he wouldn’t need his jacket (as I put mine on over a t-shirt) but he wouldn’t listen and stripped to the waist (fortunately from the top down) in the now-filling car-park in order to copy me.

We basically ran to the A27 at Newmarket, with a slight variation on the normal route and then back again.  Neither of us was particularly on form, Mark having picked up a cold from his daughter (for the second time) and me with lingering backache.

Our detour en route took us through the Bronze Age settlements above Plumpton and whilst there were none of our forbears around, it was still lovely to see the landscape where they lived.

Nearing the turn-point, the view of the fields was also worth pausing to capture.

We reached the halfway mark at 1.10, six minutes behind our run with Mach 2 two weeks ago, though some of this difference might have been in the diversion which included a stout hill to climb.  However, the return leg was a slowness of a whole different level… it took us 1.26.  We just got slower and slower.

To be fair, we were, as ever, in deep conversation, but something wasn’t right when a guy walking his dogs caught up with us!  Admittedly he was an ex-runner and was using walking sticks (one of the secrets to our speed in the TMB walk), but it was still disheartening to be caught up with by him not once, but three times in about half a mile!

As we neared the end, Mark admitted that he would have been happy to run a shorter circuit, a feeling that I echoed in spades… a perfect example of the Abilene paradox if ever there was one!  And we didn’t need our jackets either!

So, 14 miles in a laughable 2.36 (I’m not even going to work out how fast that is) before a return to the horizontal on the sofa!

Back to Skelton Workshops

Having sported a painful back for about a week, I couldn’t face a repeat run with Mark and Mach 2 yesterday, so I opted instead for a relaxing day in the garden… wasn’t it a beaut?!

Relaxing day in the garden is an oxymoron for me, of course.  I cleared out the tea-house ahead of the autumn, cut wood for the wood burner, pulled some weeds up and generally trimmed back a bit… although this was less energetic compared to emptying and refilling the compost heap, which I did on Saturday!

Also on Saturday, Kim and I took ourselves off to Skelton Workshops for some sculpture tuition. Kim has had a piece of raw stone (a present from Karen) sitting looking at her in the dining room for 18 months and she finally found inspiration and started working on it.

We stood working in the sunny courtyard for an extremely stimulating morning… if you are ever stuck for a present for a loved one, this is a really special idea!  Especially if you go along too… which was what Kim did, as this was my birthday present!

They do courses in sculpture and also in letter cutting and they also have classes for children… what a totally brilliant skill to give a child!  Even a 47 year old one!

My piece has progressed only slightly from its initial rock-like state… can you guess what it is yet?

There’s a way to go with the piece yet but it really is great fun, whilst the camaraderie with the other sculptors makes for a really warm and friendly morning.

Not so warm is the ice-pack that Andy Swan (also at www.andyswan.co.uk) has told me to apply to my back circa 50 times ahead of my forthcoming session with him.  Having suffered for ten days, that one call, allied to ten three-minute applications with five-minutes between (alas, no quite so regular as I’ working in between!), has already made me feel a whole lot better!  Should have known to do that initially!

Meanwhile, back on the the subject of the run I opted to miss yesterday, the Marks apparently decided to go it slow, returning in a lazy 2.32… presumably saving their energy for another chance to make me feel like a slowcoach!  Gits!