Aliveandrunning Janathon January 18

Day 18. Good parkrun today. These Karrimoor Tempo trail shoes are excellent. The Cambridge run is held in Milton Country Park, north of the City, and the trail paths guarantee mud and puddles if there has been persistent rain. It’s very twisty and turny which is OK if the ground is dry and hard but slippery and risky in swamp conditions. I felt so much more confident in shoes with grip and I didn’t have that sense of imminently losing my balance and crashing to the ground. It’s the best kind of mud because you can feel the firmness underneath it but you still need to be cautious around the sharp bends.

Day 18. I was pleased with the way I ran at Cambridge parkrun today. I was only 38 seconds behind my arch rival Mike and about a minute behind arch arch rival Kerry. Lorna volunteered as a marshal ( a father hurriedly left his 10 year old boy with her and ran off to complete another circuit, explaining that the  child wasn’t feeling well). Afterwards we had delicious coffee in the cafe with our good running chums . It was a very enjoyable morning. When we returned home, news came through the wires of offspring’s parkruns. Dan and Shanti ran Valentines parkrun (East London/Essex border) and Isobelle ran Ashton Court parkrun (Bristol). Good work, kids!

In the afternoon I took up the opportunity to do a “social run”  with the Strongman Fitness group We ran 8.2 miles around the Cambridgeshire village of Over, starting and ending at the Exhibition pub. This group, in the main, are members of a new club Fen Edge Runners but anyone is welcome to join them on Saturday afternoons. They are very friendly, don’t talk exclusively  about running and are now preparing people for a half marathon distance. It’s mixed ability and it’s easy and acceptable to run lesser distances in the session. I felt comfortable with the slower pace and we stopped briefly several times. Very enjoyable!

I have now run a total of 11.5 miles today and can now declare that I have begun my longer distance training for the Cambridge Half Marathon in March. With these long runs comes a greater risk of suffering cramp at night. This is very painful and I want to avoid it. Solution, suggested by my doctor, is to drink tonic water, traditionally containing quinine, which has the ability to alleviate cramp. It does work and so tonic water is what I am now guzzling.