Taking a break, climbing the walls…

In Drink, Injury problems, Life, Running by All This Running AroundLeave a Comment

One of my two regular readers told me off a while ago for moaning on this blog. So I’ll try to keep this as upbeat as possible, which is not necessarily easy considering I am going to be bollocking on about top of foot pain again.

Following my ‘false start’ post about the running streak, I actually surprised myself by carrying on. It was interesting how it happened. I woke up one morning and told my wife that I wasn’t going for a run that day, that I was planning on having a day or two off and then starting again. But by 6pm, I was itching to get out there. So I did, and it felt great. After that run, I said to myself that I’d just take it a day at a time, no pressure, and see where it went. Running every day is as much a mental thing as it is physical, but the truth is that once you hit a groove, in some ways it’s harder to stop than it is to carry on.

Then in the early hours of Friday morning, I was woken up by an intense throbbing in my right foot. The top of my right foot. (Even as I lay there cursing my bad luck, the thought again occurred to me that someone really has to come up with a better name for this thing that ‘top of foot pain’.) By morning it was no better, but I had a busy day planned with helping to set up various gazebos and marquees for my village’s Jubilee celebrations during the weekend. So I didn’t dwell on it, carried on and decided to see how it was later that day.

I haven’t been for a run since! This is the longest I’ve not run this year, and it’s been a strange and frustrating experience. I can totally sympathise with people who have suffered serious running injuries that have kept them out of action for months at a time. When running becomes something that’s really ingrained in your daily routine, it’s incredibly hard to go cold turkey, even if you’ve no choice.

I’m convinced that I work better when I’m running. By that I mean that my head is clearer, and I get less bogged down by little problems (almost always work related). Of course you feel great physically, but it’s what it does for my state of mind that I really love. So not being able to run… Well, I’m lucky. This is just another little blip on the journey, that’s all. For now I’m resting up, drinking a bit too much and looking forward to getting back out there.

As for the Jubilee weekend, I can say that it surpassed my expectations. I’ve always been fairly reticent about the Royal Family, and that hasn’t really changed. But it was a brilliant couple of days. The village where I live is home to about a hundred people, and pretty much every single one of them (plus a few hangers on) was present at our party on Sunday. It was a great opportunity to get to know a few more people (we haven’t lived here that long), and it quickly became apparent that I am (or was) known as ‘that guy who runs around in the flip-flops’. That’s now changed to ‘Shaun, that guy who runs around in the flip-flops’. I did try to explain that they weren’t flip-flops a couple of times, but to be honest, the levels of alcohol being consumed made it difficult. And by ‘difficult’, I mean ‘entirely pointless’.

It was a lovely few days, marred only by having to watch that terrible concert on Monday night. With the exception of Madness and Grace Jones, it was unbelievably boring. But I suppose all the interesting bands from the last three or four decades are vaguely anti-establishment, so no real surprises. Personally I would have had The Jam, The Stone Roses, The Specials, The KLF, Prodigy, Radiohead, more Grace Jones, Erasure & Yazoo, Iron Maiden, Depeche (with Dave singing properly) and Public Enemy. I’d rather be buried alive with Graham Norton, Vernon Kaye, some wasps and a limitless supply of oxygen than watch Paul McCartney mug his way through Live And Let Die again. But perhaps that’s just me.