Great Bentley Half Marathon

I think it was Adidas that ran an advert a few years ago with the strap line “runners – yeah we’re different”.

Driving down to a little village in Essex early on a Sunday to register. Waiting around for an hour and half before the start. People wearing bin liners. Queuing to pee in a trough. Jelly Babies, so many Jelly Babies. A few familiar faces, quick hellos and straight into PB talk. Someone trying to shout over a couple hundred people with directions and rules. 10 minutes – get to the start! Queue, pee, cold so cold, wave to wife. Go. Stop. Go. Shuffle. Stop. Shuffle. Go.

Then peace. As I settle into my pace, my mind wanders. Is that a water stop? Already? its only been two miles. Back to my daydream. Another water stop? Six mile marker, pretty much half way – my math is optimistic when I run. Around mile ten I start to get bored. At mile eleven, miles seem to be much longer than they were earlier. Twelve miles is almost finished. Can see the finish line now and as always someone is trying to pip a sprint finish on me. That’s not happening.

See my wife waiving behind an iPhone, see the line, see the clock (1:46:12). Grab a medal, a Mars Bar and a bottle of water. Maybe remember to stop my GPS. Congratulate a friend on his PB. Drive home. Pizza.

I think Adidas were on to something.

Small steps

Back in October I started to develop some serious shin pain and began the Army’s rehabilitation process. A better process than people give credit for – put in effort, take it seriously and it has results. It just takes time. Today I got upgraded to a run/walk program – as long as I remain pain free I could be running in three weeks. I’ve missed doing a few miles after work.

Speaking of small steps, that’s how MS221 TMA 2 feels. I enjoyed Chapter B3 (eigenvalues) but there’s only one question on it. Iteration is half the paper! I’ve still to catch up with block C!

MT264 TMA 3 is due at the start of March – so I think I’ve another week where I’ve time only to train, study and sleep.

Thankfully I’m a couple of weeks ahead on TT284. I’ve kept off the PlayStation but MW3’s first map pack is out at the end of the month.

Injuries, contracts and holidays

Physiotherapist thinks that it’s going to be a while before I’m back running, although I haven’t had a specific diagnosis (the Army seems to feel physiotherapy is a panacea). He thinks there’s a 75% chance of recovery without further referral. So no impact PT and watch what I eat.

It’s all quiet on the education front – my next course (or module as the new terminology  dictates) isn’t until the end of September. The Open University also sent me out my contract for TU100’s Café forum – never read so much legalise.

On leave just now, which is nice. Kids are busy with youth club activities this week so I’m pretty much just relaxing at home. Re-read World War Z (someone I know is an extra in the upcoming movie) and re-played Final Fantasy VII.

I’m also drudging through Assassin’s Creed II. Don’t get me wrong it’s a great title but I’ve already done it. I rented it and finished it. Then I saw it on offer and bought a copy to play the add-on levels. FYI, the Platinum versionwon’t read the original’s save game.

Talk about first world problems, lol.

Running injuries

My Dailymile report is looking a little sorry for itself this week as I’ve picked up an injury. Tendinitis – doctor recommends two weeks off running, anti-inflammatories, ice and rest. He suggested investigating my running shoes too, so I went in to my local running shop.

Starting with a set of neutral trainers, you run on a treadmill, which has a little video camera behind it. You can analyse your gait and adjust accordingly. Five pairs of trainers later and it appears that I need a moderate stability shoe as I over-pronate. Its also clear I need to focus on my running style because I seem to turn out my right foot a lot.

I thought I was going to get caught on the price but a pair of Asics GT2160 were quite reasonable and if it makes the difference its worth it. They offered a 30 day guarantee too, so I can go back if they make no difference.


Since I got back at the end of May I’ve been running further, increasing to around 22 miles a week.

Annoyingly, I’ve picked up what I suspect is Tendinitis although I’m not sure which of the tendons it is in my left foot. I’ll make a doctors appointment tomorrow – assuming I see someone this week, they’ll no doubt prescribe Ibuprofen and shunt me to physiotherapy.

I’ve kept running but reduced the distance, started doing specific stretches and using cold packs to reduce any pain. I’m going to re-lace my shoes and see if it makes a difference.