Saturday, August 27, 2011

2011 Streak Day 213/365 (Aug 1): Problems you might have on a run

2011 Streak Day 213/365 (Aug 1): Run - 2.34 miles, Time - 21min 34sec, Weather - hot

On some days running is easy and everything flows, and  you come home feeling refreshed with the world full of possibilities. On other days you struggle and and it feels uncomfortable or hard work (or both).
There can be all sorts of reasons for a bad day. The most frustrating are the mysterious ones where there is no obvious reason. You have not been overdoing it, you have not changed your patterns, you have had enough sleep, you have eaten well, you are otherwise feeling fit, you are not trying to do anything extra. It just happens. Your muscles feel watery and there is no power. All you can do is write them off and say they are ‘just one of those things’. But although you know that is what you should do there are always nagging questions about what went wrong.
Other days are more explicable. You might for example be ill. The feeling of inner weariness is quite distinct and you know what is happening but there are then complications in deciding how much to keep going. If it is a proper full-on illness like traditional flu then there is no debate - you are unable to do anything; but many viruses don’t knock you out, they just make you feel sub-optimal. The usually advice is that if it is not a chest infection you can keep going but how much you want to is a different question entirely. There is always the thought that allowing the body to rest will clear things up more quickly and it is better to have a short break rather than drag out a longer sequence of poor quality runs. There can be no general advice. It really does depend on how well (or bad) you feel.
Some days can be marred by twinges - the mysterious pains that can come and go without leaving a trace. The problem here is that you have to know the difference between a twinge and an injury and that is something I find really, really hard. I go through a couple of stages: the first is to carry on and some twinges just go away quickly. If it persists then I will stop, perhaps walk, perhaps stretch, perhaps do a few loosening exercises, depending on what it feel like and then carry on. If it goes - good. If it stays it is probably best to adapt the session by either carrying-on gently, or aborting as a precaution. 
The most uncomfortable days though are the ones when you get the ‘runners’ trots’, when everything is reduced to one simple question, that dominates the whole of your mind: ‘can I get back in time?’. Once the problem has been sorted, it is sorted and everything is fine but those moments before are pure agony.
I was thinking about this, this morning  on what should have been a 6 mile run. A couple of miles out I realised I would not last and the only thing to do was walk home (and a most unpleasant walk it was). 
It was a shame because wind and limbs were ok and it was a beautiful morning with the sun rising in a clear sky and the promise of a hot day ahead. It should have been one of those good days when everything felt easy.
But it was not.
Today’s picture is of bird damage.
The old buildings in the village are built in the traditional way with rubble walls covered with a lime render. For some reason birds seem to like to eat the render. Many a time we saw a flock of them perched on the stones, pecking away at the lime. 
The picture shows a small activity, repeated often enough, by many birds can have a dramatic effect. Quite a big chunk of the wall has been exposed and mortar removed. If allowed to continue, over the years it could become quite a problem.

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