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Not ten grand (I wish). I am talking about 6.25 miles. I tackled the distance for the first time in over a year yesterday. Quietly, on my own, without a timing device tied to my shoelace. I was making a comeback you see and I didn’t want any hoo-haa. Let’s just say I’ll come on for the run. The achievement was that the distance was covered in a fashion, without walking.

If I pull out sound tomorrow, I’ll be in business for an official timed run next weekend in London, but at this point I’ll just be grateful when my joints stop aching. Running on tarmac is not my favourite thing.

The benefit of running along the sea-front is that I know my distances and there is plenty to distract a beetroot-faced plodalong like me. Normally I have the dog, but he is turning into a stop-starting device off-lead and on the lead he and I just look like an odd couple.

A much better matched pair are these superheroes who I passed on my sprint finish to the parking meter so I could check my time.

After all, The Only Way is Essex.


Definitely the former for the first two miles yesterday. It was hot and I was tired. The dog didn’t say how he was but reading his body language I suspect it was not his best day out ever.

Those people whizzing by in a cooling breeze on beautifully slender bikes were getting some serious green eye from this sweaty red-faced shuffler. I wear a red top sometimes – don’t think that really helps with the overall beetroot effect…

Anyway, somewhere in the unknown territory of 3 miles something happened. A sinewy cyclist whipped by in his head-to-clipped-in-toe “Trek” oufit and I thought

“What a wanker!”

I had re-connected (albeit in my own way) with the simplicity of running. No need for fancy (and expensive) equipment, no need for puncture kits, inner tubes and tools. No need to worry about the wind or the traffic or the holes in the road. The life of a runner is good to go at the drop of a cycle helmet, and for that I am thankful.

Image can be seen @

Image can be seen @

P.S. I only tripped over the dog the once, we managed to stay on our feet and completed the full 4 miles.

Taking a dog for a run

My dog is multi-skilled but his great talent lies in running, bear fast (as the kids say), usually in an anti-clockwise oval shape at about 20 m.p.h. until he’s knackered – which doesn’t take very long.

The last time I ran a 10K I trained with my old dog (“the one true pet” as I like to call him now he is no longer alive to remind me constantly of all his troublesome ways) Senna.  Training with him kept me honest, it gives you the distraction I so badly need and he could lickety-split along with me until I collapsed, and then go again in his youth.  None of this comatose business on the sofa we get from mark 3.  (Mark 2 is marvellous veteran of a collie cross persuasion and he was a great running companion too but he didn’t like the kids – he now lives the life of a stockbroking dog with my one true friend).

Anyway, I can clearly track my stopping running to when Senna’s heart started to give out and we couldn’t run too far any more.  I didn’t like going out without him frankly, it was boring, somewhat disloyal and reminded me that we didn’t have him forever.  We had him for 12 and a half years (which was good for a dog of his size) and he has been gone for two now.  Rudi has not stepped into his paws in many ways – and rightly so – he is his own dog.  Just lately though the blonde one has appeared a little more sensible, a little more mindful of the bond between dog and mistress, a little more like the one true pet.

So, after a few disastrous attempts some while ago, I am planning today to give him another whirl in the runningwhilstonaleadattachedtoyourowner department.  Previous attempts have resembled me being attached to a dog in a giant catapult, hazardous and impossible to establish any cadence.  The reason for the renewed effort is that today I have to step up in trip – 4 miles in fact – and that will be both hard and boring and bringing along a flighty sort will be a livener.  Either that or I will trip over him and we will both look a pair of plonkers.

Senna in our old flat

Senna in our old flat