Aliveandrunning2013 September 14

Tail runner volunteer at Cambridge parkrun today ! I’ve not run for nearly four days following a sudden painful right calf out running with the club two days after a half marathon. I completed the 5K course with Vicky who had not done a parkrun before. She has been running since the beginning of the year following recovery from a car accident and did a time of around 46 minutes. She didn’t stop jogging despite me making it quite clear that run/walking is a good and accepted strategy and that she would still be a runner even if she walked occasionally. Everybody who either walked or ran in a Saturday morning 9am parkrun won hands down on non exercisers who were still in bed or slumped on a sofa, no matter what time they did it in. But it was important for her not to stop and she was able to maintain an even pace. The fast runners who lapped us were well behaved today and I made super sure that Vicky stayed hard left as they whizzed past us, very foccussed and oblivious to anything else except their own times. There was a lot of general support and encouragement from many of the less fast, less self regarding runners and particularly the marshals. Overall it was a very positive experience for Vicky despite the chilly, drizzly weather. I enjoyed being a tail runner, jogging and chatting  but unfortunately my painful right calf returned which suggested my injury will need a much longer period of recovery. In fact, as soon as I broke into the gentlest of jogs to the toilet before the race started, my calf began twinging immediately. The prospect of an extended non running period looms large.

A deserved well done to my 24 year old daughter Isobelle who achieved a personal best at Cambridge parkrun today, leaving Mary, in the 75-79 age category’ eating her dust and causing her to cough slightly when she finally passed the finish line a massive 13 seconds behind her. To be fair, Mary was a national athlete in her younger days and still does a lot of running. Age needn’t be a bar to running and running well. I’m regularly outrun by people approaching 70 and over 70. Peter, also at Cambridge parkrun, is in the 80-84 age category and competes every week.

Just registered for the Ely New Years Eve 10K. This is a popular race so early registration is needed. For most big, over subscribed runs you can arrange to be notified when registration is going to be opened so you can get in early and avoid missing out. The London marathon is full in a few hours and my local  Cambridge half marathon in a few days. It’s easy to lose a place.

And now a very serious issue ! I was coerced, nay forced, into culling my book collection by my wife Lorna a few days ago. The tremour of anxiety in my hand has only just subsided and now the full story can be told to the world via this blog. Well, in a few sentences. I like books and they like me. When I go into a bookshop they call out “Steve, over here…….choose me” and it’s the same online and in the book review mags I read. They are very persuasive and offer compelling arguments why they should be permitted to join my library. Since I am weak, kind hearted and a soft touch, I frequently capitulate. As a result, I admit, we have a great many books. On shelves, in bookcases, in piles on the floor, down the side of the bed, at the end of the bed, in the loft, in drawers, on top of wardrobes, on tables. Additionally, there are newspapers and magazines in bulk (in the same locations). I do test Lorna’s patience and goodwill but it’s like an addiction. The content is just so excessively interesting, exciting and enjoyable that the loss of such nuggets of gold is like a bereavement, a significant emotional loss. So, how do I manage to let anything go? Well, throw out Lorna’s books for a start. If I was really a bad person, I would secretly buy cheap discarded dross at car boot sales and then take them to a charity shop in a sacrificial fanfair of hurt feelings and defeat to protect my cherished tomes. I do identify some books that I no longer want (or didn’t need in the first place) but I find it uphill work. I fully recognise that Lorna is extremely tolerant and I will continue to work on strategies to enhance my dust removal skills and manage my book collection. Like building a temperature and light controlled library extention/annexe complete with robots armed with vacuums and feather dusters (more like the replicants in Bladerunner rather than I,Robot, out of preference). Of course this is just a crazy dream. Or is it……..?

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