Sunday, October 12, 2008

World Wide Half 2008

Our plans to run the Mendip Muddle fell apart today when Nick brought the car home sounding like a tractor. It apparently needs a new muffler/silencer, so we decided to RUN LOCAL! We printed out our WWH race bibs and set off with Nelly (the dog).

This is the second year we've pulled out of the Mendip Muddle at the last minute. NEXT YEAR we're REALLY going to do it!

We chose a route along the Grand Union Canal from Chorleywood. Using my Garmin we ran north for 6.6 mi and then retraced our steps along the tow path. It was a foggy morning and very quiet as we padded past the longboats moored along the canal.

It is impossible to resist peaking into the longboats - some are elegant and others are pretty rough. Many in this stretch are on long-term moorings and it feels a bit voyeuristic running a few feet away from someone's private home!

As the miles and heat increased, Nick began suffering the effects of little running training and a late night partying the night before. Ah, the recklessness of youth! He thought that running a little half with Mom would be easy! I resisted smug rightousness (early to bed last night, and being better trained for running despite being 52!) when he dropped out with a pulled groin muscle about mile 10. To his credit, he is incredibly supportive to agree to run with me as he's far more interested in rock climbing and bike riding!

They say that pride comes before a fall... well I was humbled by a tumble on a tree root which resulted in a skinned knee and a tweeked ankle. But I limped on, ignoring the funny looks at the blood dripping down my leg. If I take out the time I spent rolling around in the ditch and brushing myself off, I figure I finished in 2:14. Not a PR, but at least I finished the WWH this year!

Then I shuffled back up the canal path very slowly to meet Nick and buy us ice cream. (Which tasted the best ever!)

Thursday, October 02, 2008

There's a sucker born every minute... (and I'm a sucker for any fitness kit)
My friend Liz suggested I check out these shoes, and I think they will really help me (and are just, so ooh cool new shoes!!) They are designed to simulate barefoot walking on uneven ground, like the Masai tribesmen of East Africa, the idea being that this will activate muscles that atrophy when we walk on hard, even surfaces wearing conventional shoes. Hence the name BMT (Barefoot Massai Techology).

Struggling as I do with tight calf muscles which result in plantar fasciitis, anything that lengthens those muscles and tendons has got to help - and the second benefit is better posture. I've found that if I slouch, I tip over forward!

I went shopping with my sister, fully intending to buy a pair of street shoes and, well, the trainers were on sale... and she encouraged me... so I bought two pairs!! (in photos) I did manage to resist the private lessons to learn to run in the trainers...

Well, the street shoes are not obviously strange looking, and once I got over falling forward all the time, I like them. They sort of feel like the Earth shoes I wore back in the 70's, with the heel lower than the foot. However, running in the trainers is pretty odd, but for my cross-London 3 mi commute run, really OK. I don't think I'd recommend them for fast or long runs, because they are heavy and you really can't lean forward in them to push off. But, hey I'm having fun.