Hard work

Rather than down an energy drink ahead of my run this morning, I opted for half a banana and a handful of almonds.  Whilst probably more healthy, this combo did not have the same effect as the orange drink last week… every step of my run was hard work.

Is that really the effect of just one glass of wine last night?

Either way, with power reserves allocated to running, there weren’t a lot of interesting thoughts going on upstairs, or at least nothing that my famously fickle memory is allowing me to recall!

With dark clouds threatening rain as I got ready, I did think about wearing an additional layer, or even a hat, but in the event it was warm enough that I would have happily taken my t-shirt off and I was relieved that I had nothing else to worry about!


I took the same route as last week and then threw in the additional loop out to Hundred Acre Lane as per this April run.


Looking at the top of my left shoe, it’s clear that it’s about time for a visit to Kurt at RUN.  I’ve noticed the same wear indicator with a number of earlier pairs… once the splodge has been extinguished and the shoe is past its replacement date, my toe starts to make a bid for freedom!

To be fair though, this pair started out on the TMB two years ago and by all accounts they are well & truly knackered.

As am I right now!  The sofa calls, despite having run only 6.2 miles in one hour.  I hope that my new shoes come with fresh supplies of energy… or I’ll be forced to drink the Beet juice drink that I’ve been avoiding!

Hocus Focus

In addition to the desire to rid myself of lethargy, there were a couple of small influences behind my fast-breaking run outside this morning.  In particular, my mother pointing out how many days it had been since I last blogged when I saw her last week and the guys I met from Armadillo Merino on Friday who piqued my interest in technical fabrics.

Alas I needed something more than desire to push me out the door.

In September 2011, when Daren and I had just started the Tour du Mont Blanc, we reached an early low-energy point.  Due to late flights we had set out at 8pm and intended to find somewhere to eat and sleep, but at 2am had still found neither and were on our last legs.  At this point we each downed a Quick Orange energy drink and found a remarkable surge of energy which kept us going for another two hours until we found some rudimentary accommodation.  [look at the site if you want to see the definition of rudimentary!]


Disgusted by the taste but amazed by the effect, I had bought more (this time Focus Energy Shot) for the London to Brighton run last year and had one left over… which I consumed this morning before setting out.

The effect was excellent and I went from tired to fired in a few minutes… the effect lasting at least for the duration of my short run!

My route today was the simple loop out to Wivelsfield, through West Wood and back via the Magical Path.

The Magical Path

A little mud persisted from the rain last week, but otherwise the going was firm… apart from the point where I slipped sideways and instinctively stretched like a scalded cat to stop myself hitting the deck!  It was a close thing… my face was low enough for a moment that I could smell the ground!

It was also the day of the London to Brighton bike ride… it seems strange to think that 23 years has elapsed since I participated!  Where did that youth go?

London to Brighton cyclistsDitchling Common

I completed the 5.2 miles circuit in a Focus-powered 50 minutes (average speed 6.24mph) which whilst not great, is not bad considering how little running I’ve done recently.

I’m now thoroughly stretched, showered and breakfasted and just about ready for lunch now!  Have a great week and keep that lethargy at bay!

Playing catchup

Lethargic Foster

As many students will have heard me say over the last few years, the one thing that you can guarantee about habits is that they lapse.  The key thing to remember is that when you realise that a habit has lapsed, you just pick up where you left off… with no emotion.

So although I’ve not blogged for six weeks, here I am back at the keyboard picking up where I left off.

Although I’ve not blogged, I have at least completed a few short miles: On the 12th May 5.02 miles in 40 minutes; on the 3rd June 2 miles in 18.31; and on the 4th June 2 miles in 18 minutes.  All on the machine.

The lack of running and blogging was initially due to a busy few weeks, with conferences, a ten year reunion at LBS and the marking of 100 strategy papers for a friend at UCL.  Then I just didn’t feel like it and found other things to do, like gardening, barbecues, researching or relaxing.  Then, when I did do a couple of shorter, faster runs, I didn’t run because I could hardly walk for a week with a pair of wooden calves.  [Memo to self, stretch after running!]

Eventually it was due to lethargy, which reminded me why I created this running/writing habit in the first place, way back in 2007.

It wasn’t just about keeping fit and slowly improving my ability to write: it was as an antidote to the tiresome physical and mental lethargy I feel when I don’t exercise.

So three runs in six weeks, totalling 9 miles in 78.5 minutes, average speed 6.88mph and a lapsed habit finally restarted.