Welcome to my blog and coaching website. The blog posts are mostly about my runs and my 'Life Lessons from Running'. You'll find too notes of things and people that give me inspiration. There's so much to be learned of life, a huge abundance of learning about oneself and the world; and life offers so much for the picking. I hope you find something here to inspire you; and I'm here to help you, as you'll find in the coaching pages. If you'd like to get in touch. Feel free!

'If you wish to drown, do not torture yourself with shallow water' (Bulgarian Proverb)
'The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation' (Thoreau)
'To live according to (my) rational nature and not like a stray dog' (Thomas Merton - The Seven Storey Mountain)
'Take a look at life as it is lived and see for yourself that the world only moves for you when you act'. (Werner Erhard)
'You'll never know how far you can go unless you are willing to go too far' (Steve Chandler - Fearless)

Sunday, 2 February 2014

No Fear

This is a photograph of a poster I bought about 30 years ago when I was a rock-climber myself. I've never climbed in Yosemite where the photograph is taken, but I've known a bit of exposure in my time, like the climber in the picture, both on a rock face and in life situations. 

The poster has been hidden between a filing cabinet and a cupboard for about 10 years. I retrieved it last Sunday after asking people in church to think about how their lives would have been different if they'd had - No Fear (the caption at the top left hand corner of the poster) We can all ask ourselves that question. 

Whether we are aware of it or not, fear colours almost every step we take in life especially a step into the unknown. Interestingly, fear is the opposite of faith. We usually think of doubt being the opposite of faith, but it's not, it's fear. The climber in the picture, has to have faith that he can climb the rock face. Doubt colludes with fear to stop us in our tracks. Faith helps us step out from beyond the fear zone, although fear might keep snapping at our heels like a mad dog. Faith keeps us one step ahead of all that would do us down.

Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone.

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Christmas Day Run

For the first time ever I did a run on Christmas Day. It's here. I really enjoyed it. It was a lovely morning as dawn broke. I wished dog walkers a 'Merry Christmas'. A couple of them had the 'bah humbug' look on their faces when I spoke to them. But I enjoyed it anyway.

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Post Christmas Training run

I kept the distance shorter purposely as I want to do some basic building up now. Did some fartlek between lamp posts.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Life Lessons from Running 4

A couple of weeks ago I ran 7 miles. Today I ran 8.3. It's here:

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Sometimes you get a 'second wind'. I'd intended just to do 10K but as I passed the 10k mark I felt I had more in me. Just how much I wasn't sure. My route home would take me up hill a little but as I was going up the hill I felt that every part of me was working in harmony. So I just went with it. I ended up doing 2 miles more. Life lesson? There's always more inside us than we realise. So keep on pushing!

Here's the Endomondo 'print out' for the run:

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Life Lessons from Running 3

'You never know how far you can go unless you are willing to go too far'. You'll see that quote in the header to this blog. Last Thursday I ran 7 miles. It's the longest continuous run I've ever done. I think I could have gone further too if I'd tried.

I ran along with the complaints my body was making which weren't too bad. I just thought more about my running form as and when the complaints arose and it generally took care of them. When I turned for home though that's when I began to feel it most.

I was very proud of myself and have been ever since. I expect I won't run as far as that again for a while. I want to concentrate on building myself up with shorter runs, tempo runs etc. and concentrating on practising better form.

But it's true that you 'don't know until you are willing to try'. All along I was thinking too, 'what could I do if I had no fear?' Now there's a question!

Here's where I ran:

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Life Lessons from Running 2

There's sometimes an awful randomness about life. Yesterday morning I was up really early and went for a run. Almost home, I tripped over something and fell. I didn't really hurt myself, just grazed a knee. When I looked, I found that I'd tripped on a circular piece of wire about 18" in diameter. I must have trodden on it with my right foot and tripped on it with my left as I strode forwards. What was it in the fates that ordained that I should trip on something so randomly placed on a paved footpath over 3 miles into my 4 mile route? Had my pace been different or had I been a foot either side of the path I was taking I'd have missed it. So first of all there does seem to be an odd randomness about some of the things that come along.

Second, it was dark and maybe that's why I didn't see the wire. Or maybe it was because I'd decided to carry my spectacles in my jacket pocket rather than wear them. As I wasn't using my heart rate monitor I didn't have anything to look at (except my phone if I'd wanted to) so I'd decided not to wear them. Maybe that's why I didn't see the wire. Lesson number two from yesterday is that sometimes we make life difficult for ourselves. Running in the daylight wearing my specs would help me avoid such incidents.

Oddly though, after I'd fallen I found myself running better. I think that's because I was focussing more on my running form. Maybe sometimes it needs us to fall (or fail) and get up (and start again) before things improve.

Here's where I ran:

Monday, 21 October 2013

Getting Lost - Achieving More

I got lost yesterday and ended up running further again than I've done for years. 6.08 miles to be precise. Almost 10k.

I decided to run out into a bit of more local countryside adjacent to home, figuring it would be easy to get back onto one of my usual routes around Crooke. It would have been, had my map reading skills not deteriorated in the 50 years since I last used them. And I really ought NOT to trust my own in built sense of direction, because I have none. When I got lost, having followed my own in built sense of direction, I suddenly remembered that my run was being tracked by GPS. So looked at where I was on the map on my phone and in less than a couple of minutes I was back on the right road. We didn't have GPS 50 years ago when I learned to read a map.

The upshot of getting lost, as I said, was a greatly increased mileage. I was rather at my limit when I got back but I had no ill effects. My hip was quite ok, probably due to the increased range of motion climbing styles and running over rough ground in the wood and on the trails.

I'll do it again soon and clock what I'd wanted to do the first time. I ran in my road shoes but the paths I ran on were mainly dirt trails except for the beginning and very end so next time I'll try my trail shoes on it.

I really surprised myself that I was able to run that far without injury or lasting effect. I must be fitter than I think! :)