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How many muffins make a marathon?

Well, 3 weeks after the back started to niggle and I’m still out of training. The sciatica decided to go for another twist yesterday and another trip to the osteopath was required. It’s getting beyond a joke now, not that there was much humour in the first place.

And with only 6 weeks to Edinburgh, the reality is that I’m going to have to miss the race unless something miraculous happens to my back in the next couple of days. I must say I’m gutted about this but getting fit again is far more important as if I can’t run at all, I’d have to find another way to fundraise. And whilst I can bake cakes, to match last year’s £2000+ raised, well that’s an awful lot of muffins to sell!

We said goodbye to a friend yesterday who is leaving the area to pastures new. Actually this is the second leaving do as a couple of people couldn’t make the first one. But where there’s a will, there’s the opportunity for a party. And there was. And we did.

It was a lively affair, but the food worked out well given it was somewhat unplanned. But it did end in cake, so what’s not to like!

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Is it wrong to have a toilet in the wardrobe? Or just plain odd?

I started the task of house-hunting last week with my favourite ‘property-porn‘ website Rightmove. I guess it’s a bit of a guilty pleasure being able to pore over the details of other people’s choice of wallpaper and soft furnishings from the comfort of my own living room.

I also suspect I’m not alone in doing this.

Anyway, I looked at two such finds in the real world this morning. It’s been a while and it’s left me probably more confused than I was before. In fact in the second house I spent more time nattering to the owners and stroking their ragdoll cat than I did inspecting whether or not the house itself would be suitable.

At least the other house was empty of owners and I was shown around by the estate agent.  It started OK but then descended into the  realms of bizarre. The second bedroom had it’s own toilet, but it was situated in the bedroom wardrobe. It also had  a shower unit in the corner of the bedroom.

Someone was taking the concept of en-suite a little too far in my opinion.

Having left the two houses I went into Stockport to pick up my new bike. I just need to get my leg fixed and my fitness back up again to tackle a few of these bike challenges I’ve set myself this year.

Having not had the opportunity of photographing the khazi in the cupboard, I’ve had to head-up this entry with a picture of the bike in an inappropriate place.

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Hearses, limping and gawping

It’s been a busy week so far.

Monday and Tuesday were characterised by the fact that whenever I went out driving for work I seemed to end up in a queue behind a funeral cortege. In two days I think I followed 4 hearses. Maybe last week was a particularly bad week but the coincidence seemed to be getting beyond the pale.

Thankfully I wasn’t immediately behind, instead a few cars back. Ever since Mark’s funeral I’ve found it very hard whenever I’ve seen a fully laden hearse, especially if I’m immediately following behind the cars. It does cause flashbacks and I usually have to make a diversion to avoid the situation.

The sciatica is still giving me grief. I’ve had two loads of physio and whilst that’s helped massively, the frustration of not having trained for 2 weeks now is immense, especially as there is no end in sight.

Unfortunately I’m going to have to drop out of the Snowdonia race this weekend; it’s a tough one anyway, but given I can’t walk without limping, running on the injury is never going to be a good idea.

It’s amazing how much attention it draws too. I have done a little bit of walking in order to keep things moving and to do some exercise before I go totally insane. Walking down the road it’s hard not to notice the gormless gawping of drivers as they go by. Now, if I’d spouted a second head, or a third arm, yes I’d have it there would be something to notice.

But a limp? Really?

It made me wonder how much of that behaviour must go on towards people with real disabilities and I could only conclude they must get this unwanted attention all the time if my little experiences were anything to go by.

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First race of the season

It seems like Wilmslow has it’s own micro-climate.

Last year there was concern that the half-marathon would be called off due to widespread snow, yet Wilmslow had not a flake of the white stuff.

This year the forecast was doom, with gloom and plenty of cold, wet, icy and thundery thrown in for good measure. Yet cometh the hour, the sun came out. Admittedly there was a hail storm about about mile 2, but it was short lived. Thankfully.

As I alluded in my last post, I seem to have picked up a niggling injury which I’ve been resting the last few days. I think it’s a trapped nerve but it’s been uncomfortable and I did question whether I could run on it or not.

Whether rightly or wrongly, I did. To be fair it niggled a bit at me for the first 9 miles and I considered whether to continue or not, but it didn’t seem to be getting any worse. Bizarrely, at 10 miles the niggling went altogether and the final 3.1 miles were a great pace for me, all being sub 7 min/miles. I’d saved loads in the tank beforehand having run out of juice/energy/power/life/everything in 2013 having gone off like a hare holding a very smelly soft cheese.

So despite injury I completed the course in a chip-timed 1h34m56s which is faster than all of the 2013 Challenge races of the same distance!

As is usual, the good people of Mobberley turned out in force to make some serious noise in support of the race.

And the T-Shirt was good too – no salmon-pink elements present at all this year!

And despite having run for 13.1 miles, I now am unable to walk as the niggle is back with  a vengeance – an appointment with the osteopath will be made in the morning as I don’t want to be out of training for too long with Edinburgh only being 2 months away………

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A creaky back and a sign of madness

Having got in yesterday afternoon after a walk with the family I realised I was a little tender around the base of the spine. I suspect it’s a pulled muscle or an aggravated nerve, but either way I let discretion rule over valor today and didn’t run. In fact I think I may leave things until the race on Sunday, just to make sure it clears up.

It’s not as if the weather is being particularly inviting with lots of rain travelling roughly in a horizontal plane.

I was chatting online to one of my contacts who is doing a little bit of running and suggested he considered a 5k organised run as something to aim at. He’s new to running but has achieved this distance on the treadmill at the gym.

Whilst I was online I received an email from RunWales.com about the Snowdonia Half-Marathon which is next month. Now I took part in this last year and it was jolly hard with a sadistic 1:7 hill covering most of the distance between the 3rd and 4th mile markers!

See the post SNOWDONIA HALF-MARATHON: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST for a recap.

On looking at their site I read the following: “A slight change to the course this year following feedback from runners, its seems it should be a little more challenging given the name “Snowdonia Half Marathon” so we have listened and oh yes it is now more challenging, we have taken out the Betws y Coed section and re-routed you after Lake Geirionydd back down to near Gwydyr Castle and then back up to the top and down the hill you get a medal for, good luck guys, you’ll need it!!!

Common sense states that one should think – “madness, thank goodness I did that last year!

So what possessed me to immediately click the ‘enter race‘ button I’ll never know. Perhaps I really am going mad in my middle age!

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