Janathon Day 15 I am menaced by cows!


Look how I am being given the evil eye by this crazy bovine, backed up by his equally aggressive mates. As you can see, I’m only protected by a thin ring of steel with a gate in the middle. So it’s a stand off. It lasted almost three hours until a truce was agreed and they allowed me to pass through the gate and return home. Actually, that’s not strictly true. This picture was taken in October and the cows are expecting to be thrown apples from the apple tree out of shot. Of course if they are denied apples, theoretically a stand off could occur and the long wait to get home might become a reality. You can now appreciate the risks and tricky situations that can arise if you live in the countryside. This is just one (theoretical) example.

No apples lying around now. The cows are gone and there was a hard frost this morning. But the sun was shining in a cloudless sky and it was perfect for running. Tomorrow it’s parkrun at Cambridge and the weather should be similar. Last week BBC East came along and their report was broadcast early in the week. It’s likely that more people will be encouraged to come along and last week was a record at 504. Mud, ice and congestion.

Aliveandrunning August 20 2014



Victoria plums, grown on an actual Victoria plum tree, near the cottage. How fecund nature is! My tomatoes are doing reasonably well despite having their branches splayed all over the place and mainly on the ground. Apart from drinking enough water to fill an Olympic sized swimming pool, they also need industrial scaffolding to hold them up. Too fecund by half.

Out with the running club last night. I opted to do the fartlek ¬†around Granchester Meadows rather than the 8 x 1 minute with 3 minutes recovery time between each minute running. I’ve done this before off track. It doesn’t sound like much running but I found it demanding. However, out of choice , I usually prefer distance to pure speed work and fartleks combine both. This particular fartlek requires courage and faith. At this time of year we frequently meet a herd of cows blocking our path. Yesterday the coach asked if anyone was fearful of cows. No one admitted to a specific fear so we ran through them. These cows, living in the shadow of the University, are very intelligent and thankfully familiar with idiot humans rushing towards as if they were as insubstantial as vapour. They simply stepped out of the way (on this occasion) rather than scatter in all directions you don’t expect them to go in.

We do plenty of warm up exercises and plenty of stretching exercises post run. This contrasts with me typically forgetting to do warm up or downs after a long run. I do them occasionally but there is no correlation between lack of excercises and injury or cramp. At least on runs up to 10 miles. I had some calf problems at mile 12 during the Edinburgh half marathon a couple of years ago but apart from that, I’ve been injury free. Except when I’ve decided to lift something heavy in the full knowledge that I’m taking a risk. I dare myself to do it and I’m the loser. It’s so difficult being super sensible all of the time.

Adult parkrun on Saturday and junior parkrun on Sunday. I only need to do 9 more adult parkruns and I’ll have completed 200 since I had my heart attack 5 years ago.