Aliveandrunning February 26 2014

Out with Cambridge and Coleridge running club last night. Usually, I feel like the fleet footed Greek god Hermes , moving freely between mortal mankind and the divine, delivering messages and protecting travellers.This time I felt wounded, as if Zeus had unleashed a thunderbolt at me in a fit of godly pique. A spot on my right rib cage  felt painful and sore on movement and when I breathed more heavily. The reason for this was rather less exotic than being struck by Zeus’s bolt or tapped by Thor’s hammer.I think I asked too much of my muscles by lifting and throwing heavy items onto a skip we’ve hired.

I ran up and down the garden path for a few seconds earlier in the day and pronounced myself fit to run and lo, when we did an 800 metre warm up on the track it felt reasonably OK. However when I did the dynamic warm up exercises and stretching I don’t think I did myself any favours. It felt OK when we jogged over to where we start our road training and then we did 5 x 600m, with a 600 metre recovery jog back to our start position each time. We split up into 4 groups of 5-6 runners according to speed. I was in the slowest group and the slowest in the slowest group. Oh how sudden was my fall from grace! The ignominy, the trashing of my reputation, the shame! Actually, I just ran less fast because the soreness increased and it interfered with efficient breathing. Still, I won’t go running again to the weekend. Parkrun on Saturday and a 5 mile race on Sunday. I’m sure I’ll be back to full fitness by then.

Today, I did a dreadful thing. I hereby make my confession on this blog. I bought a copy of the Daily Mail! I somehow resisted the temptation to blather an excuse about “conducting research” and “not usually making this kind of immoral purchase.” Why did I do it? To compare content with other papers I am more familiar with. I want to confirm my prejudices and pet theories. A preliminary scan of the news (or lack of it) suggests confirmation won’t be difficult. Working hypothesis : the Mail is harmful to your mental health. You risk a substantial increase in levels of anxiety, depression, anger and antagonism. Forensic analysis to follow.

Another interesting snippet caught my eye as I read yesterday’s paper today. Thanos, a Christian thinktank, has found a widespread belief among those surveyed that the poor are to blame for the perceived woes of the welfare system, putting ordinary Christians at odds with bishops who have been protesting about the effects of government cuts. One of the problems with organised religion is that when you have God on your side, you often feel the freedom to express all manner of harsh opinion, unkindness, bigotry and hostility. Faith and righteousness can provide excellent camouflage for aggressive, selfish and class attitudes. All too frequently there is nothing less Christian than a self confessed practising Christian.

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