Cambridge half looms and Spring’s nearly here (almost)


Here’s proof winter’s nearly over. Now it gets complicated. What is the plural of crocus? Actually it’s crocuses or croci. I’ll opt for the correct Latin plural. Anyway, the aconites, snowdrops and hellebores are out and so are some daffodils. Other stuff is poking through and I’ve already cut the grass. Another week and we’ll be planting potatoes.


It took a lot of effort to fence around the Green Minds gardening project but here’s proof the defences are working. Those wiley little rabbits have been making a concerted effort to break in by tunneling under the wire. Unfortunately for them they meet wire I have laid horizontally under the grass and can’t progress. Having limited brain power they simply move along the line rather than start digging again a little further out (or using ropes and grappling hooks).


We found these chickens in our garden. I had a little chat with them  and they explained they were admiring the late winter flowers. However they simply admitted defeat when I asked them which came first, the chicken or the egg.

We bought some of their produce (not directly from the chickens but from their middleman/woman, the farmer). Here’s an action picture of  alien royalty choosing an egg for breakfast.


Anyway, time to be sensible (always a struggle). The running is going okay. I gave up running every day five weeks ago because I felt too tired. In terms of mileage it wasn’t huge, often a couple of miles at a gentle pace. However, I think I needed rest days to recover. So, for me, I can do individual long runs of 6-10 miles but a rest is vital. I recently did a couple of hour runs and then followed this up with a two hour training run of 13 miles. This did make me tired although I would regard it as a good tiredness rather than one caused by stress or demands. I certainly felt much better for it.

Cambridge half marathon is a fortnight away. Today, I ran around 12 miles. The actual mileage wasn’t a problem but I struggled to get out. The light level was poor, it was cold and I possessed a minimum of motivation. I ran steadily, not swiftly and took just over two hours. I was glad to get back home.

Today is Wednesday. I’ll do parkrun on Saturday and go to the gym in the afternoon. I may do an hour’s run on Sunday and perhaps 45 minutes on Wednesday. Then parkrun and the following day is the half marathon. Or something like that. If the sun’s shining this programme won’t be problematic, if it’s a Stygian gloom I may jump into the river Cam.


Sculptures possibly taking over.

Aliveandrunning May 31 2014


I asked Rupert to guard my trays of plants while I went to parkrun this morning. I explained that it was of the utmost importance not to take his eyes off them and, since he’s a dog  and not given to argument or debate, he complied absolutely.

Parkrun went reasonably well, although I just missed coming in under 24 minutes. A bloke in front of me crashed to the ground, injuring his knee. It’s risky falling over at the start of the race because 400+ runners are crammed into a relatively narrow path and your line of sight is blocked. Just after this incident my swift friend Kerry dropped his phone and had to walk back into the path of the oncoming runners to retrieve it, another very risky manoeuvre. He survived, as did the phone, and cruised past, leaving me wobbling about in his slipstream, a minute later. Lorna ran with a Couch to 5k running group, giving them support, and coming in at just over 40 minutes These were people in their 40’s and 50’s who had just taken up running and had just completed a short running course to get up to 5k. They were very motivated and felt a real sense of achievement. Fantastic! Very inspiring to everyone.

Tomorrow is the start of Juneathon and I’m kicking off with a half marathon. I’m lucky to be doing it, having done my best to injure myself a week ago. Those industrial paving stones are too heavy to lift, they said. You’ll injure your back, they warned. Don’t worry, I replied, I know my limits. I won’t take any unnecessary risks, believe me. I  lifted them into the car and noted I was on the cusp of getting away with it or injuring myself. A few hours later, my hip ached , two days later my back ached and three days later my foot hurt. I decided to go running with the club during this period and didn’t feel worse but did rest until today’s parkrun when I judged all symptoms had virtually disappeared. To celebrate, in the afternoon, I filled some heavy garden pots and lifted them into position. Will I ever learn? Why do I do such stupid things? Why jeopardise  my ability to run? I vow (tabloid speak) to listen to the wise counsel of my family in future (possibly). At least the dog does what he’s told!