Interminable Rain


Pic from

Aw… poor little guy. And, after yesterday, I know exactly what he feels like…

Torrential rain in these parts. In this pic, the orangutan is sheltering from the monsoons of Borneo. At least monsoon rains are warm. No such luck here in Ireland. We had hours of wind and rain and c..c..c..cold like I`d never seen before.

Since I`ve started running regularly of course, I`m more attuned to the elements. Whereas before I would have closed the curtains and shut the door on the elements and curled up by the fire, now, I`m like a little kid with my nose pressed up to the window wondering if I`ll get out at all today.

And there was no way in hell I was going out in yesterday`s squalls. Should`ve stayed home and done core exercises. But instead I stayed home and ate creme eggs. No, there is no correlation between the two, except that more of one is required to offset the effects of the other. And I know which one I prefer to be doing.


And that neatly describes my relationship with running. I`m a fair weather runner.

Damn, someone stole that name already for their blog!

On the plus side, I got to fool around about with wordpress. Boy, but it`s a complex planet: so many themes, too many choices. I inadvertentently changed my theme to the one you see here now. I like it though. It reminds me that my heart is also in art and that I really should spend a little more time updating my photography, painting and knitting interests. And maybe even blog them on here.

I also found a fab photography blog. I`m sure there`s a ton more out there too but this one really appealed. Back when I started running I used to take the camera along and enjoy a photorun. I reminded me that I`ve gotta do that again.

And I have an ongoing knitting project in the works with the beginings of an aran jumper in my knitting basket. More pics and updates to follow….

And the very best of news. I start two weeks holidays today so I`m going to knit and photograph and swim and run to my heart`s content.

Oh, and blog it all here, of course.

Chi Running



My running form has been pretty abysmal lately. Legs like lead, pace like an old lady(okay, okay, don`t start!) and I`ve gloomy thoughts creeping in about last year being maybe as good as I`m ever going to get.

Hmmmm. Time to change things around.

Have been reading Danny Dreyer`s “Chi Running“. It appeals because it claims to minimize injury while also minimizing the effort one puts into running. And anyway, I`m biased towards anything that encourages me to really enjoy running.

As I`ve been leafing through the book, I realised I`d had Danny Dreyer`s epiphany myself. Not quite on the road to Damascus but on a long slow run last September. My feet were protesting just a tad back then-Achilles stuff rather than my subsequent marathon ligament and joint crap-and I just felt I`d have to really really relax my feet, relax my body as I ran. And, even more critically, shut the hell up and totally concentrate on what my body was trying to say. Didn`t go down too well with my running buddy at the time but it sure worked for me. After a mile or two of niggles, my feet co operated again, and, as the run went on and I hit an almost meditative frame of mind, enjoying the rhythm of the whole thing, have to say I didn`t feel I`d run twenty miles at all. Just felt really really good.

Well, I`m plainly not in that position in the past few weeks. Yep, recovery of feet from marathon really has taken a long time. I haven`t signed up for physio or anyone else beyond getting orthotics for work wear and walking. I`m just tuning into what my feet want. Doing whatever running they can manage and, from a foot recovery point of view, that approach seems to have worked for me. But at the cost of speed and possibly endurance.

Yesterday was meant to be a long run. Ran with leaden legs a total of 3.20 miles. Hated every second of it.

So, last night, I dug into Danny Dreyer`s book in ernest. Learnt how to change my posture in order to improve my running form. Also decided, even though I`d use the Garmin to time my run, I wasn`t going to fuss about time, just really relax, almost hit into meditative mode and just enjoy the whole movement.

Another factor was the route. I didn`t plan to go to a particular place or distance. But I did start off from a completely different part of town, with the intention of just following my nose around the place.” Relax and enjoy” were the key words.

And I did. I was barely breathing. Just moving along, tuning into the forward lean and the back stride that Danny recommends. My pace was slow-real slow. But I didn`t care. I`ve plenty of time to get faster. Aim was only to enjoy myself. No mega push. I`d say my heart was barely breathing. And all of me felt good.

It`s been good to get used to the Garmin too. I like that it keeps a record of everything and now, that it and Chi Running are new to me. I might as well start at a very low base line. Which I have. Pace was just shy of eleven minutes. Distance 4.50 miles. And yep, I enjoyed every second of it.

The runner in the above pic is Irish athlete Catherina McKiernan. She does a lot of work with Chi Running. She has weekend workshops on the topic and I emailed her about attending one of them. Won`t quote her directly here now, as I haven`t sought her permission, but I did get a delightful and lengthy email back from the lady herself all about the whole Chi Running workshop and how it might help with my foot problems. I am sorely tempted to attend. I really want to run the marathon again this year, really want to do it injury free and under 4.30 minutes.I just don`t have €110-€150 on a workshop right now.

So, my recessionista solution has been to invest in the paperback from the originator of the Chi Running principles. It`s not quite the same as having Catherina analyse my form on video and in person, but `twill have to do for now.

I`m hoping I`ll tune into some of my September LSR form, time and distance, over the next couple of monthsa and all with even less effort.

Anyway, tonight`s run has been encouraging. So, we`ll see.