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Why walking a lurcher is bad for your shoulders

My shoulders to be more accurate. You see I have been stepping the old training programme for the Southend 10K which is in but a few short weeks. When I say stepping up, it is really stepping it up from a baseline of zero which is in part due to holidays, but also because of a set of impediments to overcome which included two knackered knees. So this week, most mornings before work, I have been trotting about in my New Balance trainers (none of my own obviously) with the dog (two birds one stone, multi-tasking, time is money, lunch is for wimps etc. etc.).

Looks like there’s a sudden outbreak of parentheses there doesn’t there? Well that’s because I slipped into running mode and when you are engaged in that activity thinking tends to take on a parenthetical aspect. (Sorry if I just made that word up.)

It goes thus: I am thinking at the front of my brain “Ah yes only fifteen days to go to the 10K. With a positive attitude and a few more sessions like this I’ll be well on target for breaking the makemeadiva PB set last year.” And then that other voice chimes in (Yeah right, you’ll be lucky if you manage to break out of a walk. Remember last year when the blind runner ran right past you? Muppet.) So on I go. Positive mental attitude being dragged down by bracketed rudeness and general undermining.

Back on track. The dog accompanies me. And most of this week I have been wondering (not in brackets) why at least one shoulder is so damn stiff and my legs are fine. Is my upper body running action excessive? It took me about four days to work it out. Now you see the etymology of the word lurcher is purported to be from the Roma word lur which means thief. But having owned a few dogs I would say thief is probably a fairly general term for most dogs (except perhaps for those toy breeds that don’t have secret rope ladders to compensate for their lack of stature). Rudi read the page in the manual on thieving, but he has elected to take his breed name quite literally.

I am a lurcher therefore I lurch.

On all walks I will lurch suddenly across the path of my handler at cats and squirrels wrenching her shoulders nearly out of their sockets. It’s in the job description. There’s probably a song that he sings too.

I lurch all night and I lurch all day, the people round here they all do say….

That’s to the tune of “There’s a worm at the bottom of the garden”.

My musical response is this. Bear in mind I am now going to work, my shoulder hurts and that flipping happy as larry lurcher is lazing on my bed as I type. Probably on my pillow, even though I hid it. Happy Friday.

“Muscles are like dogs”

Last year on the morning of Sea the Stars famous Arc victory I ran the Southend 10K as a sort of wind down to the physical challenge of cycling to Paris.  This year I had lots of challenges in mind, none of which came off partly due to being really busy, but mainly because I couldn’t breathe properly in February and March and lost a lot of fitness over those months.  I am still struggling to regain it frankly, but I have decided this Arc Day I will run the 10K again and I am going to try to go a bit quicker.  I might have bitten off more than I can chew.  Never the world’s fastest runner (contain your surprise), I have only 8 weeks to train myself to run a little bit quicker than 6 and quarter 10 minute miles.  I don’t know if I can do it, but I am going to give it a wee go.  I seemed to have a bit left in reserve at the end of last year’s event and my preparation the night before involved a curry, cake and a good bit of wine, so perhaps if I cut that out I will knock off a second or two with ease…

You can’t lie on these things either as you have an electronic device attached to your shoe, I reckon I added a good minute to my time last year fiddling around trying to detach the damn thing and chuck it in the great yellow bucket of time.  Time will tell you know.

Cycling-v-Running

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 @ www.blog.oregonlive.com

Image can be seen @ http://www.blog.oregonlive.com

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

Taking myself for a run

I’ve hopped off my bike to train for the Southend 10K Classic two weeks tomorrow.  I’ve left the training a bit late and I haven’t run that far for over 6 years so I am not overflowing with enthusiasm.  Added to that I had a niggle in a calf for a week, some kind of virus and this morning I had a terrible pain in my shoulder blade, so the scant training is even scanter!

I love my bike, apart from when it’s really windy or hilly, and now I am comparing the running experience unfavourably with the joy of cycling, as I thud along the sea front.  I ran with the OH yesterday and he found my fartlek laughable.  He adopted a poker face when I out-kicked him at the finish, declaring that I was clearly a lazy cow who had been idling on the run and saving my effort to show off at the end!  In my defence, I can’t yet judge my pace so am probably running quite conservatively, plus I was “testing” the calf after the week off. 

Anyway, with 1500 runners on the sea-front in a fortnight it will be a 10K shuffle for me, and I can’t say I’m too sorry.  Roll on the triathlon in 2010!

No need for speed when you can have an ice-cream instead

No need for speed when you can have an ice-cream instead