Penultimate Juneathon Day! I’ve managed to run every day this month and I calculate that, with tomorrow’s last lope, I will have run around 84 miles. Many of the runs have been short. I’m used to longer distances with rest days. I think I’ve felt more tired this month. Monday will definitely be a rest day!
I ran in the inaugural Bury St. Edmund 5k parkrun this morning. Very enjoyable course through parkland grass and woodland trail. We took two friends along and later had coffee with an ultra runner who does distances like 100 miles in 20 or 24 hours. This is more to do with endurance and time management rather than speed. You need to eat and rest as well as run. That set me thinking about walking/running combinations again
I watched Don’t Call Me Crazy, a documentary about adolescents in the McGuiness Unit who had varying mental health problems which either required inpatient care or came under the jurisdiction of the Mental Health Act, that is they were detained compulsorily.
Predictably, the programme was akin to the curate’s egg, good in parts but fundamentally flawed. It brought to BBC 3 audience’s attention the treatment of seriously troubled teenagers and followed the progress of three particular girls who had an eating disorder, obsessional compulsive disorder and self harm behaviour. The staff also spoke directly to camera and you saw brief slivers of multi disciplinary ward rounds.
Unfortunately the greater emphasis was on the dramatic or problematic behaviour of the girls rather than on the treatment programme or an intelligent overview of the therapeutic work of the unit. This criticism could also be levelled at a recent series of documentaries on a young offenders prison. I didn’t feel that the staff came across as particularly caring or informed. There was hardly any emphasis on therapy or therapeutic groups. The focus was on symptoms and behaviour rather than treatment strategies. The ward round segments were hardly inspiring and all too brief. I would not like a family member of mine to be treated there! Again, where was the family involvement? It was mentioned that there were two trained workers [trained in what?] to five support staff each shift. The overall impression was that this was basic containment and management on the cheap. For comparison, look at the NHS facility, the Cassel Hospital in Richmond, Surrey at £11,625 per month.
Out with Cambridge and Coleridge running club tonight. Ran around 7.7 miles in all , including hill repetitions with recovery time. Beautiful evening, particularly pleasurable running along field footpaths.
Another 2 miles completed albeit late in the day. I’m just about to sit down and watch Don’t Call Me Crazy, BBC3 at 9pm. It’s the first of three documentaries on the work of Manchester’s McGuinness Unit which treats young people with mental health problems. I hope to review it tomorrow.
Parkrun went well today. I managed not to get the exact time for the 5k, 24 minutes 14 seconds, that I achieved for the previous 3 races! Running each day is certainly tiring. I usually go for longer runs but have several rest days each week. I think my body is only now beginning to adjust to this regime. I won’t continue running every day after the Juneathon finishes, though.
I try not to be too competitive and I’ve got finite patience talking or thinking about running. But I’m having BAD thoughts about my friends who are also my running rivals. Why are they faster than me? How are they able to let me pace them before they surge ahead and beat me by minutes? When they are snapped in a photo, why do they look so fresh and relaxed when I am caught with my mouth hanging open as if I am gasping for breath? Time to embark on a secret training sessions perhaps.
On the serious side, I enjoyed a Radio 2 programme on Nick Drake this week. Had he lived he would have been 65 on 19.6.2013. I got to see him live at least twice. I’m sure one of the venues was the Queen Elizabeth Hall on the South Bank, London but I can’t be certain.
One of the repercussions of thinking about the late 60’s and early seventies is that it revives old interests and feelings. I’m seriously considering buying a stove pipe top hat and patchouli oil. It goes without saying that my partner is not impressed.
Day 20 and I’m still managing to run each day. Day 18 was Cambridge and Coleridge Running Club and we did 4 x 6 minutes intervals with 3 minutes rest in between. With warm up and getting to the location where we do the intervals, we ran about 6.5 miles. Tuesday was hot and we sweated buckets. This was OK for me. It’s the cold weather that I have difficulty with.
Today I watched 20 minutes of Royal Ascot with my mum whose main interest is the female fashion on display. She was annoyed that there was far less fashion emphasis because of the adverts and also because Channel 4 don’t seem to value this aspect of Ascot compared with the BBC. Of course without the ads I wouldn’t have known about the Channel 4 documentary about the man with the Ten Stone Testicles (complete with video clip) or that Paddy Power is paying out for the first 7 places for some races.
Stephen Jones, milliner, was interviewed at Ascot and showed a new hat that seems to have been inspired by Helen Oxenbury’s wonderful illustrations to Edward Lear’s The Quangle Wangle’s Hat (Picture Puffin).This hat was home to a multitude of magical creatures and was worn by the Quangle Wangle who lived in the Crumpetty Tree. See image of Ascot hat below alongside of Oxenbury’s illustrations. Comment if you want a list of the resident creatures who include the Dong with the Luminous Nose.
Stephen Jones was good natured interviewee but looked sinister in his formal top hat and tails. A bit like Donald Pleasance playing the role of a funeral director.
I got around to reading Wednesday’s Guardian today and learnt that the Government had placed a D notice on Edward Snowden’s release of information about British Intelligence spying on delegates to two G20 summits chaired by Gordon Brown in 2009. A big story around the world but closed down for discussion here.
I have been running everyday since my last blog on Day 11. Promise! Two miles each day. Today, I did Cambridge parkrun (5K). Spookily, I have completed the last three parkruns in exactly the same time – 24 minutes 14 seconds. I don’t look at my stopwatch or run to achieve a particular speed per K. Perhaps my races are being remotely supervised by an all powerful Running Deity. Anyway, it’s definitely odd. My partner got a PB despite being treated for an ankle inflammation by a physio the previous day.
Today, I had random thoughts about power walking a marathon. I don’t know where this will take me. It’s the sport that dare not speak its name.
Today was Strimming Day! I strimmed and strimmed and strimmed. Each year I wait until the sea of nettles is chest high and full of seed. Then I attack! It takes a lot of effort to cut it down and this process ensures that millions of seeds are distributed around, guaranteeing new generations of nettles in the future. I got stung a numerous times. I was still itching and scratching when I went to the running club. We did interval training and ran about 5.5 miles.
Overcast day in Cambridge and chilly. Sun came out briefly at 8.45 pm before going down in a now cloudless sky! The day started at 7 am when I found an enormous queen hornet (yes, HORNET) flying around the kitchen sounding very grumpy.
Ran two miles after supper on a rather full stomach.
My birthday today. I went for a very enjoyable 8.5 mile run with my partner Lorna along the River Cam and through Milton Country Park. I’ve been running for over 30 years and it’s been a solitary activity in the main. It was just over a year ago that I joined Cambridge and Coleridge Athletics Club and was in the company of other runners for the first time apart from races. Despite my previous misgivings about joining a club, it’s been a positive experience.
I hope to go running in various locations with Lorna – hill and trails in Derbyshire, the London parks, along the Thames in London and anywhere on the coast.
Running along a narrow foot/bicycle path by the river, you pass people in close proximity and it’s natural to acknowledge or greet them. Most are friendly and responsive but it still comes as a surprise the number of people who do not want to have any contact or avert their eyes or stare ahead. This often includes other runners, particularly the faster ones.
Ran Milton Parkrun, Cambridge 5K this morning. It was hard work! I’m not used to running every day. Although I usually do 8-10K training distances, I have a recovery day or days. I think the absence of a rest day is making me tired despite my prediction that 2-3 miles daily would be easy. Hopefully my body will adjust.