Recovery Run? Do I look Recovered?

I first came across the term”Recovery Run” when I was training for my first marathon and I remember thinking when I saw it that I really needed an easy day.  Training was getting tough, the runs getting longer and I was starting to really not enjoy running.  The plan I was doing came with instructions for each day; how far, how fast, etc. but I only glanced at the entry after I saw “Recovery Run, 5k slow and easy”.  This is my type of run, slow and easy, I can do that.  Of course I later read the rest of the instructions when I was struggling to climb the stairs.

“Recovery Run, 5k slow and easy, after the long run yesterday you’ll be running on tired fatigued muscles.  This will hurt”

Back then I was young and naive, I thought I knew it all, I could run 5k slow and easy without breaking a sweat.  Oh how wrong I was.  After 20k the day before, the longest run up to that date, I set off with enthusiasm and, to be honest, completely unaware of what was to come.  1k in and I thought I was dying, muscles were already screaming, I could hardly catch a breath and I was sweating like a fat girl in a cake shop.  I gave up that day and had to walk home after less than 2km.

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Jump forward 2 years to today and not much has changed.  I did run 22km yesterday and today was a recovery run.  Only 6km but knowing that this time I could run the whole distance even with legs screaming to stop didn’t make it any easier.

It’s all about training on pre-fatigued muscles and training this way allows shorter runs but at a higher fitness benefit.  Or something like that.  All I know is I hurt and feel really tired.  Excuse me I must go lie down.


A memory of me and Technology

This is from 2 years ago and popped up in Facebook memories and still makes me smile.

New phone app on trial today, well new for me anyway.  Nike +.  Looks snazzy and loads of friends use it so I thought let’s give it a go. Has some features that Runkeeper, my usual app, doesn’t have so I’m all excited.  Signed up online and changed the settings to match me and I was ready.

August 22nd 2014, 5.00am

First run off we go, I had set the voice to female and she was a little sexier than the runkeeper lady so waiting for that first interval was tantalising.  “Your pace is 4 minutes 40 seconds” she read out. WHAT?  Am I suddenly an Olympic athlete?  I mean I felt good but that’s just crazy.  Next interval “Your pace is 4 minutes 32 seconds”  WHAT? WHAT? Oh by the way these are minutes per kilometre not minutes per mile:-).  I am on fire this morning, can I go faster?  “Your pace is 4 minutes 5 seconds”   Well everyone had to know about this.  “I AM A RUNNING GOD!!! I screamed out in the quiet street, “LOOK AT ME!  LOOK AT ME!”  A few lights went on in local houses as I moved past at my new incredible speed.  How fast could I run, I thought to myself.  “Your pace is 3 minutes 37 seconds”  SHUT UP!!  I looked back expecting a trail of fire behind me, but obviously the rain had put it out instantly.

As much as I wanted to believe this was actually happening there had to be another explanation, I couldn’t have turned from plodder to elite overnight.  I have been feeling ill for a few days, maybe I was dreaming.  No I wouldn’t dream of running in light drizzle on a cold morning.  Then it struck me.  I was running on my favourite route and I knew where I normally am when the pace splits come up and I was way off, a quick glance at my Garmin confirmed that the app thought I was 0.5 kilometre further ahead than I was. Damn! I knew it was too good to be true.  I was no longer a running god but recalibrated, my run was a 6:00 min/km pace overall, my fastest ever.  So not all bad news.

I’ll give the app another shot, she does have a sexy voice after all and it was my fault that it all went wrong.  Turns out that I had the nike+ app set to treadmill instead of outside, so it was with deep regret that I had to delete that run.  But one day I’ll hear that sexy voice say “Your pace is 4 minutes 30 seconds” and once again I shall become a running god!!

I still run hoping to match that time but now I have other priorities in running.

Back on the Horse Again.

“Get back on the horse” they say when you fall off.  What??  If I ever fell off a horse there would be no way I’d be climbing back on the vicious beast.

I ran past yesterday’s crime scene, look it’s my story so I’ll call it what I want and anyway, clumsy bugger can’t pick up his feet scene just doesn’t have a ring to it.  So back to the crime scene and you will never believe what’s there now.


No flowers, no teddy bears, no weeping fans, no paparazzi not even a small plaque saying “Chris Fell Here”.  It was like no one cared.  I thought about this as I ran along, slower than yesterday; I wasn’t going to make the same mistake and run fast ever again.  After about 3 kilometres it dawned on me why there was nothing there:  No one had seen it happen and obviously I hadn’t told hardly anyone apart from the Internet of course so how on earth would they know.  Feeling better about the whole incident I plodded on testing my knee until I got home.


So what have I learned from yesterday and this morning?

You have a better chance of getting to your destination if you go slow and steady rather than trying to go too fast.

When you fall down, brush yourself off and get on with it.  If you fall again you’re just clumsy and learned nothing from the first time.

No one cares about your life unless you tell everyone over and over again on social media.

I hate horses.


If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to see it, does it make a sound?

I have no idea, but if a fat man falls while running, even though no one was around he makes enough noise for 2 or 3 people.

Yes, I fell and at the end of one of my better training runs too.  7km run at 30 seconds a km faster than normal and a last sub 6 minute kilometre to finish with.  Yeah I was really moving when, out of nowhere, something grabbed my foot and wrestled me to the ground.  I actually have no memory of whether I tripped on the pavement or what but suddenly my top half of my body was moving much much faster than my bottom half.  It all happened in slow motion, for me anyway, and it seemed like 5 or 6 seconds of arm flailing like windmills while my body decided which part would hit the ground first and whether a ninja style roll would work in this situation.

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230 lbs moving fast (ish) has great momentum and is not going to stop fast and yes I know I have padding but like a giant redwood tree it is not in control when falling.

My last step before finally succumbing to gravity did put the brakes on enough that my fall was actually quite slow but my left knee was the first point of contact followed by both hands and then and only then did the ninja training kick in and I ended up on my back.

Winded, I first checked my watch for damage and stopped my run.  That done I lay there and performed a quick body check.  I wear gloves all the time I run whether in winter or summer and that saved my hands and after a wipe off my knee is only scrapped.

I look back at this morning and I think it could have been worse, I mean someone could have seen me.  🙂

Great North Run – 9 weeks away.

The Great North Run is one of those iconic runs that I have watched on TV for years without having one moment when I thought that I would like to run it.


It always seemed to be cold and rainy or, very occasionally, blisteringly hot when I watched.  Add to the fact that it is 300 miles away and therefore not an away day race and it just wasn’t a race I had considered entering.

Then I got swept away and succumbed to group peer pressure and entered the ballot.  Of course I couldn’t get into the race I wanted which is 16 miles away, that would have been far too easy, but I did get a GNR place.  On advice from friends I immediately started to look for a place to stay as places go fast.  Newcastle isn’t a big city and the amount of accommodation available no way matches the demand.  Luckily I managed to secure a place in a hostel very close to the start line, which will help in the morning but will be of no help later on.

I’ll be traveling up  from London with a friend from Facebook, so it’ll be nice to know someone and have someone to have an evening meal with.  We run at a very similar pace so all being well we can run it together as well before traveling back home.  The plan right now is just to run at a steady pace, no PB’s or anything crazy.  🙂  It’ll be a nice distraction from Ultra training anyway.

Training has been a little sporadic recently.  I am always aware that my tendon injury just isn’t healing fast enough and I’m not really helping it by running but I’m impatient and I am fully aware how easy it is to get into a habit of not running.  I’m not running far usually 6 – 10 kilometers, 3 or 4 times a week at no great pace.  Mostly I’m experimenting with running with different levels of food inside me; anything from being completely empty to being absolutely stuffed.  Almost no difference for me, of course after 2 pizzas I did run a little slower.  🙂

It’s still a little surreal to me that I now look at a half marathon as a comfortable distance if run at a sensible pace.  It’s still a distance to be respected but, for me, not to be feared.

Sharknado – A must see Movie.

Let me just say that I watched this movie to be entertained—not enthralled or hanging on the edge of my seat but just distracted and carefree for a couple of hours. I got what I wanted. Only, I didn’t expect to laugh so much. I’m thankful for the laughter, though, because it kept at bay any sort of aesthetic sense that might have interfered with my viewing pleasure.

Regardless of genre, most movies are a construction of thoughtfully planned scenes, each of which presenting plot points and character motivations that, together, form a plausible narrative, allowing for the proverbial “suspension of disbelief.” Such careful craftsmanship is never more important than at a film’s beginning. The creators of Sharknado didn’t bother with any of that.


There is an opening sequence involving a fishing boat on a stormy sea. On board a greedy captain in a raincoat and an Asian man in a three- piece suit squabble about money (presumably for some nefarious service performed by the captain). Handguns are soon brandished, bullets are fired, and chomping sharks are washed on deck by the waves (à la The Perfect Storm). People are shot or eaten, and a massive water spout filled with digitally-rendered sharks stretches into the sky. Then the opening credits begin rolling, and it’s as if that scene never happened. Other than the brief preview of the “Sharknado” to come at the end of the second act (yes, I’m taking some liberties by using standard film vernacular to describe this story line), it was as if this scene was jumbled together from leftover footage of some other SyFy shark movie. Did this bother me? Nope. In fact, it wasn’t until after the movie’s end that I even remembered the ship’s captain and the shootout on the water. By then, I was still grinning too much to care.

One grin-evoking moment occurs when Nova, the leading female character played by Cassie Scerbo, stabs a shark to death with a cue stick in a bar. While this isn’t the first shark encounter for the protagonists or even the first shark-on-land encounter, it does seem to set the tone for the rest of the movie. Anthony Ferrante, the director, wants everyone to realize that this is not—and does not aspire to be—Jaws.

Though he need not worry about anyone mistaking this shark movie for Steven Spielberg’s classic, Ferrante repeatedly makes references to it. I won’t use terms such as “allusion” or even “homage” to describe these references. Perhaps “farcical” might be more appropriate, or maybe “comic relief,” but even those terms lend themselves to a more contemplative critique than I am attempting.

I think Ferrante’s purpose was to preemptively counter all would-be critics who might say things like “This is no Jaws.” He could have just titled the movie Another Killer Shark Film That Is Not Jaws. But that would have been too self-effacing and certainly not as much fun.

In carrying out this strategy, Ferrante doesn’t waste much time. Moments after the sharks begin plopping onto the streets and docks, Fin—a bar-owner, father and former pro-surfer played by Ian Ziering of Beverly Hills, 90210 fame—makes quick work of one by shooting a diver’s air tank that is jutting out of its gullet, causing it and the shark to explode. Remind you of anything? Yep, there’s even a corny one-liner: “That’s what you get for trying to eat me.”

Later we have a quasi-touching expository scene that reveals Nova’s pre-established hatred of sharks. The character of Fin’s son, Matt, played by Chuck Hittinger, notices an unusual scar on Nova’s thigh. To get her to talk about it, he lifts up his shirt and reveals a scar on his abdomen and explains its not-so-dramatic origin. When he asks Nova how she got her scar, she says she had a tattoo removed. Not buying it, Matt prods further and Nova tells a story about going fishing with her grandfather and his friends when she was a little girl. She says that their boat sank and sharks began to circle and attack them. The men managed to lift her out of the water and onto something floating nearby, but a shark still managed to take a hunk out of her leg. In summation, Nova says: “Six people went into the water and one little girl came out. The sharks took the rest.”

The scene in Jaws in which Robert Shaw’s character Quint tells the tale of the sinking of the USS Indianapolis is arguably one of the most memorable scenes in film history. Ferrante knows this. Nova’s scar story, in a tongue-in-cheek sort of way, serves to again make the director’s statement: “I am aware of Jaws, as is everyone in the civilized world, and this is not that movie!”

Later, this same point is made again, this time even more comically and pointedly. After fabricating some propane bombs, Nova and Matt take to the skies in a helicopter to hunt the tornadoes. Matt flies perilously close to one of the funnel clouds so that Nova can toss one of the bombs into it. She sees an enormous shark coming straight at them and declares: “We’re gonna need a bigger chopper.”

If you want to be moderately entertained, then I don’t think you will be disappointed with Sharknado. Don’t expect too much going into it—and bring with you a willingness to suspend your own sense of disbelief. Most important, keep in mind that this is not Jaws. I don’t think that fact will slip you mind, however. The director made sure of it.


Review was written by bobmaloogaloogalooga-712-778813.  I found his and thought “I could never do the film as much justice as he has”

Anatomy of a Run

What really happens when we run (maybe): NASA Style
Brain: This is mission control we are at T minus 5 minutes, let’s have a Status check.
Head: Covering on.
Ears: Plugs inserted.
Chest: 2 Layers on.
Left Arm: Music device in place.
Left Wrist: Timer in place.
Hands: Gloves on
Legs: Covered.
Knees: A bit sore but within parameters.
Feet: Ready to go. Shoes on.
Brain: Listen up people, this one’s for Addey so no mistakes, make it a good one. Here we go!!
Left Wrist: HOLD ON!! Still waiting for a signal mission control.
Brain: Legs move us around a bit to help Left Wrist.

(2 minutes later)
Left Wrist: Okay, ready to go.
Brain: Activate music, activate timer, Legs take us away.
Legs: Okay we’re off, feet keep up please.
Brain: Ears keep us informed of the information the lady tells us.
Ears: Roger mission control, just passing through ½ km now and she says we’re going a little fast.
Brain: Concentrate now don’t let this get away from us, we can’t have a repeat of last time
Eyes: Feet! Puddle ahead, please avoid it.
Feet: Thank you eyes, legs ready to jump?
Legs: Ready……….and GO!
Brain: Good job everyone, looks like we’re about halfway.
Ears: Confirmed mission control, halfway point and on schedule.
Left Knee: Excessive soreness occurring. Checking
Brain: Can you continue, without you it’s all over?
Left Knee: Permission to use mouth to vent, it might help.
Brain: Permission granted, area is clear of civilians, proceed with venting.
Mouth: $***@£&$ %$££$ $£%$%$%$
Left Knee: That seems to have worked a bit, will continue with movement
Ears: Lady reports 4 km completed on schedule, Irene Cara singing about Fame again.
Stomach: Mission control we have a problem! Experiencing pizza problems.
Brain: Elaborate Stomach please.
Stomach: Pizza had not completed full nutritional circle before mission start.
Brain: Can you hold it together for 3 minutes. Legs, we have a CODE RED. This is not a drill, I repeat this is not a drill. Move it, move it!
Eyes: I see the docking station, hands get unlocking device out of pocket.
Brain: Well done everyone, we learned a few things today but overall a good job.