Monthly Archives: January, 2013



Thigh hamstring support

Yet again…just a 4k walk and 30k on the exercise bike to a film.  I really am finding it hard not running, at least because of Janathon I am keeping exercising which I probably wouldn’t have been without it.

Although I have exercised every day for the last week, (and everyday of Janathon, if the definition of exercise is any activity you do raises the heart rate above that you would have if you had just followed your normal everyday routine) I haven’t run during the last 7 days.  Read Day 18 for the reason why. Well now my Neo-G thigh and hamstring support has arrived I have a decision to make.  When to I start running again?


Rectus Femoris

The convention wisdom, i.e. the information gleaned from Google, is 3-6 weeks after the initial injury for a Grade 2 strain.  An interesting post on Runners World was: “Hi, three weeks ago I strained both my quads. I went to a sports doctor this week and she said it is strained. Just walking is pretty painful.”  Well it is 2 weeks since my injury, which is a grade 2 strain of the Rectus Femoris, and I now get no pain during normal activity, walking on the flat and up/down stairs or on the exercise bike.  I am doing some of the physio exercises suggested, also without the sharp pain I experience at the initial injury and during general movement over the 3/4 days afterwards, in fact with no pain at all.

So I want to know if any of you have been in a similar situation, so I can compare my recovery rate with what you might have had. I am due to be running a half marathon in 30 days time, and I will run it.  But I would like to get back on the road before the day. Of course I don’t want to go out too soon and aggravate the problem.  So can anyone pass on their experiences, please.

After the star spotting for by myself and Cat last night, my son decided to get in on the act tonight. He sent me a text just after 9.00pm saying he had just seen a shooting star of something “in the north” (he was in London). A twitter check of #meteor has confirm quite a few sighting, mainly in the north of the county  just after 9.00pm.





I apologise if you are reading this, it’s just more of the same.  Another film (Broken “The story of a young girl in North London whose life changes after witnessing a violent attack.” Not released until the beginning of March, not to be missed) with another bike ride and another number, 29k, to fit the date.  Maybe this is what Junathon will be, but running the distance that is the date.

While I was ‘living it up’ at Bollywood (local Indian restaurant) there was a Rolls Royce Phantom outside, number plate D GOLD, the other Janathon running member of my family, her of The Diaries of a Marathon Widow blog was bumping into someone much more memorable whilst dining at the All England Club.  No names needed, just a photo.

Cat and Andy

Cat and Andy

Day 28: 28 DAYS LATER

Can you look back to 1st January, the start of Janathon, and now 28 Days Later remember all of those zombies you have run away from? I suspect many Janathoners have been battling there own personal demons over the past 28 days, and everyone has, in their own way and with different degrees of success, overcome them.

2012_09_17_thepoke-exams-597x1024It came round to 10.45pm and I hadn’t been out of the house today.  I can’t remember when I last didn’t leave the house at any time during a whole day.  Not because I was being lazy but I was actually working.  I might have retired from teaching, and been very glad to get away from the daily marking, but now I can do it and get paid for it; yesterday another session of A Level Physics marking began and it does help to pay for trips to places like Zanzibar. This will go towards the next holiday, as yet undecided where to go, looking for inspiration at the Destinations Show this weekend.  Any suggestions?

OK, while it was hammering down I had done my 28k on the exercise bike (watching Robot and Frank, a harmless enough film, amusing in parts but I’m glad I didn’t pay to see it at the cinema.) And of course there were the (almost) daily sit-ups, push-ups, ab-crunches and plank, the latter surprisingly causing some discomfort in the thigh, so nowhere as long as yesterday’s 3 times 3 minutes. Anyway, as it had stopped raining at 10.45pm it was old trainers and coat on for the almost compulsory 4k walk around the block. When walking the music has to be very different to running, and Pulp are excellent, no pace in the tracks, and words that can easily be heard. Help The Aged seemed particularly suitable, “Can’t run away from yourself, yourself, your se se se se se se se se self.



On days when there hasn’t been a definite activity that has to be done, or a reasonable challenge to be overcome I have tried to make the activity relevant to the ‘day’. Today is an example of this.

27 is 3 cubed, or 3 x 3 x 3, which is the same as (3 + 3 + 3) x 3. So I decided on of doing 3 activities, each that had ‘3’ associated with it, and doing the whole lot 3 times.

So I started with a 3k walk, then as soon as I got back did a 3 minute plank followed by a 3k exercise bike ride, giving 3 + 3 + 3. Then after a suitable break (which I suppose should have been 3 hours) I repeated the whole lot…then again.

Well, just with numbers that’s OK, but with ‘physics’ doesn’t work. The quantities that physicists deal with all have ‘size’ i.e. a number AND a unit. And you cannot add quantities that have different units. So (3k + 3min + 3k) is meaningless, it cannot actually be done. It like adding 3 apples and three cats, you just have 3 apples and 3 cats, not 6 anything.  Goodnight.




PR 26.1

Blinded by the light.

Saturday started off as any good Saturday should, at a Parkrun (Riddlesdown). But unfortunately I wasn’t running this week, still not risking my thigh, so I did a volunteering stint. I actually felt very frustrated watching everyone ‘enjoying’ the run in the snow; all I have ever known at Parkruns is MUD.  But it is rightly part of the Parkrun ‘code’ that everyone should ‘volunteer’ as well as run, so at least I could do a session when I couldn’t run rather than missing a run when I could actually do one, if that makes sense!

Being an Aussie, I took out Australian citizenship when I lived in Sydney for 11 years, an Australian marathon should have been the order of the day.  Of course the main exercise would have involved lifting the forearm repeatedly a short distance while the hand clasped a cold liquid filled container. But I am afraid I let my adopted country down.  Instead I did 42.2k on the exercise bike, this time watching something British, the last 2 nights episodes of Silent Witness.  That was preceded by a 4k walk, and they are allowable under Janathon regulations.

Not very exciting, I do hope to yet another real run in before the end of the month.


After some reasonably creative stuff over the first 3 weeks of Janathon (well I think so) I am now struggling.  Mainly because I am not willing to risk my thigh by running in the icy conditions with the Jerusalem half marathon just 4 weeks away.

So today it has just been two 4k walks and a 16k ride on the exercise bike while watching the latest episode of Glee; now if I could could dance like Mike Chang did in the previous series that would count as Janathon exercise…

Mike and Brittany

I’m really grateful grateful to Janathon for getting me into the bike.  A great way to exercise while watching my favorite US TV programs on the PC.






The one film I had taken with me but didn’t get to watch on the plane was ‘ Seven Psychopaths’ so I decided to watch it tonight during my Janathon activity on the exercise bike. I wondered how many km I could do while watching the film.  About half way through I did a quick mental calculation and realised that I was going to be very close to a relevant distance.  In fact I reached the exact target, 40.23k just as the the real credits had been playing for less than a minute (and one of  my favorite songs from my youth, P.P.Arnold, The First Cut Is The Deepest, was playing again, it also started the film). Then I sat down to write this blog and realised I had got it wrong. 40.23k is 25 miles, and I had thought today was the 25th hence it was a clever distance to do.

But of course it is only the 24th.

But it is just over 24 hours since we arrived home, already heat of the Tropics is a fading memory. But I do have something to remind me, a peeling arm and shoulder.




A very early start for me, but I suspect many other Janathoners see 5.45am regularly. The initial part of today’s plan was to test out my thigh by running backwards and forwards from a smal bay, Turtle Beach along the path that stretches in front of the hotel along the main beach; it seemed more sensible to use the path than running on the beach itself.


Shangri La runI started just as it began to get light, about 6.10am, hoping to do 5k at a steady pace. It all went to plan, I did get ocassional pain in the thigh, enough to let me know to be careful but not so much as to stop me. It gave me a good appetite for the outstanding breakfast the Shangri La produces, which included gluten free pancakes with maple syrup and cream.
Then off to the airport for the flight home, annoyingly it was showing a two and a half hour delay as was walked into the departure terminal, and that might stuff  up the rest of today’s Janathon plan…
When our plane touched down at Heathrow at 8.45pm I didn’t give myself any chance of completing a second run in the day. But when our luggage was waiting as we arrived at the carousel so we could catch the 9.30pm bus the chances improved. I walked in through the front door at 11.35pm, and out again at 11.45pm to mutterings of “totally mad” or something similar. I only had time for a very slow trip to the roundabout and back, 2k, and I had to run all of the way on the road as the pavements here are not clear. A shame I wasn’t able to fit the 5k I had hoped for, just for the sake of symmetry.
As I was actually up at 1.45am UK time for the first run of the day, I am shattered. No sleep at all on the plane. Janathon continues.



now you know your time has come.
And it has, our last time day away from the cold and ice.



The first activity probably is a negative Janathon count, a lazy river ride. But I cannot work out the Physics of it, a continuous loop of flowing water carrying the rubber rings and passangers around, it defies me after happy hour of free rather than 2 for 1 drinks.


Next, in all of the time I have been running I have never used a gym. But as the facilities here are completely free, and I wanted to test my injured thigh. So before happy hour I managed a gentle 2k run at 11k/h. Very strange on a running machine, didn’t liked it I didn’t feel in control of my running. It couldn’t determine which aspect of my running was causing the pain in my thigh. But when I had finished there were no residual effects, but I am not sure I want to risk a proper road run as soon as I get home…with ice to cause added problems. Will I be able to do a Parkrun this weekend?


Day 21: 6*

A really good greeting when we arrived at the hotel after midnight to find out we had been upgraded to a suite in the exclusive region of the complex, recognised as being a 6* hotel. Today’s Janathon was an activity I haven’t undertaken for at least 40 years, kayaking. It wasn’t too difficult to get back into it, the only drawback was too much sun on the shoulders. I went 5 times across the inlet and back, which would have been a total of about 1.5k.


I was going to give the fitness centre a try out tonight, but the complimentary minibar won instead. We made a very difficult decision today. We had contacted our travel organiser to see if it would be possible to extend our stay in Muscat so as to keep away from the freezing UK weather for longer. Of course it was, but at almost the cost of another complete holiday. So reluctantly we have decided to have just one more day out here, before returning to the challange of completing Janathon on snow and ice, and a house where our son has blown up the microwave!