Wednesday, 23 December 2009


The weather is playing a large part in my recovery plan and return to running.

It had always been my intention to lay off the running and concentrate on other forms of exercise - until Christmas Day when I would try a 4 mile run.

However, those plans have been altered. On Sunday when I looked out we had a wee bit of snow and ice on the roads. Not too much, but enough to make me decide against going out on my bike.

The thought though of getting no exercise at all was killing me, so I decided to bring my running return forward a few days and just go out for a gentle jog. I thought that even if I only got a mile or so down the road before my leg started to niggle I could just walk home. Good news though. It didn't bother me at all.

So confident was I that I decided to go a couple of other runs during the week.

Now, today we have had a LOT of snow. In fact, see if you can spot the difference:

Me (on Sunday) "Oh look, snow".
Me (today) "Oh, for F sake.. look at that snow".

See? that's how much we got today. Anyway, the large amount of snow was beneficial in that it kept my speed down and my distance down when I went out for a wee run today (probably gave me a softer surface to run on as well).

Like most runners, while I enjoy being back out doing what I enjoy, the first few runs after injury are always tense times; as you run along waiting on something going "twang", "ping", "rip", "crunch" or simply seizing up mid-stride. So far, so good though and everything appears to be well.

The weather is also dictating my musical consumption and my mood.

The roads were really bad this morning. I was working from home but Anne was travelling into Edinburgh. So I said I'd go with her till just before Innerwick. Then if she got that far OK I'd get out and walk back. She did... so I did.

I decided to walk back through the woods though. Given that it was only about 6:15 I had my head torch with me, but didn't really need it as all the snow really reflected what little light there was.

It was fantastic. Really, peaceful and quiet. Not a soul around. I was quite happy to walk along in the quiet without music, but for some reason I decided I wanted to listen to John Taylor's trio playing "In The Bleak Mid Winter". Wonderful stuff.

One of my regrets of 2009 will always be that when I finally got the chance to see Kenny Wheeler and John Taylor playing live I didn't enjoy it as much as I should because I was ill at the time.

Anyway. Put the music off just before I went into the woods though, and glad I did. Or I might have missed the badger that was scuttling around in the road just ahead of me at one point.

We just stood there for a few seconds and stared at each other, but it felt like ages. Then he got bored first and tootled off (quite quickly it has to be said). It was a real sort of Jack Hargreaves moment.

Took me about 40 minutes to walk the two miles home - but it was worth every bit.

Pic: a gnarly old badger

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