Facebook SDK

Saturday, 31 December 2011

My first parkrun audio blog

Here is a link to my first Audioboo style blog post. I just thought I'd give it a go to try it out. It was a "one take" effort, so not perfect. Please feel free to comment and let me know if you think this new format adds or detracts from my blog!

Click here to have a listen, it's less than 2 minutes long!

Thank you parkrun!

I think its only right that my very last parkrufan blog post of the year is a big, big thank you to parkrun, parkrun HQ and in particular everyone at my home parkrun in Coventry for making it another fantastic parkrunning year.

I feel very fortunate to have parkrun in my life and I know I am extremely lucky to have a parkrun almost on my doorstep, less than a 10 minute warm-up jog away. My one wish for would be parkrunners for 2012 is that many more of you are as lucky as I am to get one of these fantastic events in your local park.

Its been another amazing year of growth for parkrun, doubling the number of events and runners each week. Lets hope we see similar growth in the 2012 olympic year. Lets hope parkrun gets Brittain running!

Thank you once again to everyone that makes parkrun the amazing event that it is week in and week out. You all do a great job, thank you!

Friday, 30 December 2011

A chance to be a parkrun tourist

Coventry parkrun and its race director are taking a well earned break tomorrow. This gives me and the rest of the Coventry parkrunners a great opportunity to become parkrun tourists.

For me it will be my first parkrun at any location other than Coventry. I have considered running at other parkrun events before, but the location of the Coventry event is so convenient for me that there has never been any good reason to head elsewhere.

So this cancellation of the Coventry event forces me to become a parkrun tourist for the first time, something I have really wanted to do for quite a while. In fact, it means that I manage to tick off one more of my targets for the year right at the very end of the year. This time last year I stated that running at another parkrun location was something I wanted to do in 2011.

So then the question is where should I do my parkrun this weekend? The closest three seem to be Brueton, Braunstone and Leamington. And for no particular reason other than it probably being the closest I have chosen Leamington.

If I understand correctly this means it will be a PB of sorts, being my first run at that location. I also hear that Leamington may not be the fastest of courses, but given my current state of injury comeback that doesn't bother me at all.

I'll try and blog my thoughts on Leamington parkrun and becoming a parkrun tourist for the first time at some point over the weekend. Happy parkrunning one and all!

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Review: parkrun targets for 2011

Almost exactly a year ago I wrote a blog post setting out my parkrun targets for 2011.

I thought now would be the right time to look back at those targets and see how well (or poorly) I have done. I haven't really looked back at them or given them much thought this year and with all my injury problems over the last 7 or 8 months I am not expecting to have done very well.

I split that original blog post into two parts, general aims and some specific targets. I will rate how I have done in bold immediately after each aim and target. So here goes.....

First of all I set out some general aims as follows. I said I would like to:

- Complete 50 parkruns in total and get the 50 parkruns t-shirt.
At the time of writing (23rd December) I have run 48, with numbers 49 and 50 planned for Christmas Eve and New Years Eve. So I may still achieve this aim.

- Run at least 30 Coventry parkrun events in the year, but hopefully nearer to 40 if possible.
25 so far, so maximum of 27 - FAILED! But closer than I expected.

- Achieve at least 5 new PBs.
Ouch! I only managed 1, way back in February - FAILED. But what a PB, a 25 second improvement from 18:14 down to 17:49, so I am not too disappointed!

- Win my first parkrun event.
SUCCESS, winning my first and only (to date) event on the 12th February, getting that huge PB in the process.

- Perhaps I might even do my first parkrun at another location.
FAILED, but there is always next year!

From those general aims I set out the following definitive targets.. I must:

- Get a new PB before the end of February.
SUCCESS - that huge PB!

- Take my PB below 18 minutes before the end of April.
SUCCESS, that very same run!

- Take my PB below 17:45 before the end of 2011.
FAILED, but so so close!

- Finish in the top 5 of the male points table.
FAILED, unfortunately too many missed events and the latter part of the year running in the mid-field and towards the back certainly haven't helped.

- Finish in the top 10 in at least 75% of events attended
FAILED, I have managed this in only 13 of the 25 events I have taken part in. So only just over 50%.

Considering the injury filled year I have had, I didn't do too badly with my aims and targets. Lets hope next year goes just a little bit better, hopefully with a few less injuries!

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Christmas parkrun fun

It was another fantastic morning for a parkrun.

I wouldn't say it is exactly mild today, but running at 7 minute mile pace for 3.1 miles in three layers (with the top layer being felt!), two hats, two pairs of socks and gloves was a little too much as it turns out! I very nearly overheated I think.

Yet another superb parkrun though. An amazing 225 parkrunners finished the run today at the Coventry event. An incredible turnout given what day it is.

After the parkrun and the catch up with parkrun friends, three of us headed off for a bit of an extra run - in our Santa suits!

We headed out on a route of about 3 miles or so. This part of the run was just as much fun as the parkrun itself. I suppose three men running along busy streets is not something you see everyday.

Every few seconds we were getting flashed and beeped and plenty of waves. You would think most of this would be from cars with young kids in the back, but surprisingly many of the most enthusiastic wavers were women on their own. I think women must love Santa. There aren't many days of the year that three 30 something men can run around in fancy dress and get waves from women!

It was a lot of fun and felt great to put so many smiles on faces. Even if many were probably laughing at us rather than with us, but I'll take that anyway.

Looking forward to doing again next year!

Friday, 23 December 2011

parkrun at Christmas

As we all know, parkrun is brilliant the whole year through, but I for one believe it becomes just a little bit more special around Christmas time.

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and (as far as I know) every single parkrun around the country (and beyond) is intending to stage its weekly event as usual, subject to the weather of course! Thanks to a core group of fantastic volunteers every parkrunner knows that they can turn up at any one of these incredible events and enjoy their usual parkrun fix. All these volunteers are giving up the morning of Christmas Eve willingly and free of charge so that others can run. That in itself is pretty amazing.

Now if you are as lucky as we are at Coventry parkrun, you may find that your local parkrun is putting on a Christmas Day event too. Please check the Crispy Christmas Compendium to be sure. Now, if a parkrun on Christmas Eve wasn't amazing enough, you can also run on Christmas Day! Not only that, but you will find that there will be people there to volunteer just so that others can run. These people, volunteering for free for the good of their local parkrun community are just brilliant! and we should all be very grateful to them.

The fact that we get these parkrun events so close to (and during) Christmas isn't the only thing that makes me think parkrun is a bit more special at this time of year. All you have to do is look around at parkrun this weekend and you will notice how happy everyone is to be there. parkrunners are always happy to be at parkrun, but the smiles will be a little broader and the banter even more friendly. There will be people in fancy dress, whether its an official Santa run or not, and everyone will be having just a little bit more fun than usual. I'd even go as far as to say that the friendliness and Christmas spirit that you see at parkrun at Christmas time can put you perfectly in the mood for the big day.

If you do manage to make it to a parkrun on Christmas Eve and especially so on Christmas Day, please do remember that the volunteers are giving up their time so that you can run. So if you can spare the breath during your run, or alternatively before or after the run, do try to say thank you to each and every volunteer or possibly even a shout out a "Merry Christmas!" as you pas them. The volunteers will be happy to be there anyway, but this little gesture of goodwill will go a long way.

Finally, I'd just like to wish everyone a very good parkrun for tomorrow and Christmas Day (if you are lucky enough to be doing one) and a very Happy Christmas and New Year!

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Santa parkrun is....great fun

Yesterday saw the second official Coventry Santa parkrun. Considering the very cold conditions it was still a very good turn out at just under 150.

It was good to see so many getting into the Christmas spirit. Plenty of full Santa suits, a Rudolph, a present, lots of Santa hats and even a very festive Elvis Presley made it to the start line!

On Friday I laid down a challenge (on the Coventry parkrun Facebook page) to other parkrunners to try to beat (what I believe) is the Coventry parkrun record for a fully suited up Santa. Last year, at the first annual Coventry Santa parkrun, I managed a time of 18:35 to finish in 2nd place.

I even mentioned this "record" time to my brother, knowing that he would probably be the fastest Santa on the day, with me still in no fit state to run anywhere near that kind of time. I thought this was a very risky tactic for my record, but what value does a record really have if no one knows it even exists?

And so the challenge was set!

Running at my own pace, again significantly quicker than last week, but slow enough to feel that I wasn't risking injury I was a long way from the front of the field so had no real idea who the lead Santa was.

It wasn't until nearly 18 minutes into the run that I had any idea whether my record would be broken. At this stage I saw that my brother Andy was indeed the lead Santa and he seemed to be on target for one or two seconds either side of my record time. It looked like it would be very close.

I then had to wait another 6 minutes until I had finished to find out from Andy that he thought he had missed it by 1 or 2 seconds. As it turned out it was 3 seconds. A great effort but not quite this year!

With it being Christmas eve next week, a number of us have agreed to get a bit more use out of our Santa suits this year and do the same again. The question is, should Andy (or anyone else) beat my time, will it count as "the record" or does only the official Santa parkrun count? I'm sure there will be plenty of friendly banter discussing that next week!

Looking forward to another (unofficial) Santa parkrun next week! Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Friday, 16 December 2011

The parkrun 50-club

I am now rapidly approaching my 50th completed parkrun.

As I am sure most readers will be well aware and no doubt already members of, completing your 50th parkrun gets you into the 50 club and entitles you to the fantastic 50-club t-shirts. Adidas, one of parkrun's official sponsors gives these away to all parkrun 50-club members for free. Isn't that amazing! Not only do we get all the fun of parkrun for free, but once you reach 50 runs you get a t-shirt for free. Not only that, but if you have seen the new 50-club (technical) t-shirts, they are fantastic and far nicer than the old Nike ones. They look the part, I believe they are made of the right materials and are therefore breathable and they are the must have parkrun status symbol!

There are of course also the elusive 100 and 250 clubs and the associated t-shirts, but they are (probably) many years off for me t the current rate, so I'll concentrate on the 50 club for now!

It's has been an up and down parkrun year for me. There was the high of my 17:49 PB in February followed by months of disappointingly recurring injury problems. Those injury problems have significantly hampered my progression towards joining the parkrun 50-club. At one stage I was on target for reaching the milestone in late September. That shows just how many events I have missed.

I said that I was approaching my 50th "completed" parkrun. I say "completed" because there have been a few (maybe 3 or 4) that I have started and not completed. Amazingly, with all the injuries I have had, only one was due to injury. The others were runs started with my kids and stopped half-way. The kids enjoy parkrun and want to complete one (well they do before they start), but half way through they have always had enough and its better to stop before they hate it (or me!).

So the 50th run and joining the 50 club beckons. I believe I have completed 47 parkruns now. As long as I don't have any injury problems in the meantime, tomorrow will be number 48, Christmas Eve will be 49 and (I can't do Christmas day) New Years Eve (Coventry parkrun #99) will be my 50th!

Hopefully I will be one of the last parkrunners to join the 50-club in 2011 and if I don't manage that, then one of the first of 2012. 50-club, make room for another member, I'm on my way!

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

A few Christmas running bargains

Just a few running bargains that I have spotted on Amazon this evening:

Santa parkrun 2011

Its the week of the Coventry parkrun Santa run and my Santa outfit has made it back down from the loft and is ready to go.

I loved the Santa parkrun last year. Probably in part because I nearly managed my first parkrun win, missing out by about an inch, but also just because I think its fun to run in fancy dress, particularly when you still run well.

A few years ago my brother and I did the Coventry fun run dressed as ladies. Out of the 5000+ finishers that year we came 19th and 20th I think. I find it pretty funny that dressed as ladies (and I mean full dresses, filled bras and handbags!) we still managed to finish so close to the front. So I think I enjoyed the Santa parkrun last year for similar reasons.

To be honest last year was the first Coventry Santa parkrun and as a result the number of people in fancy dress wasn't that high. This year I expect it to be a much higher percentage of Santas, Elves, Reindeer amd other Christmas themes.

If you are thinking of buying a Santa suit for your own Santa run then I have found this selection on Amazon:

If anyone is fancies the Coventry parkrun Santa run it takes place the Saturday at 9am in War Memorial Park in Coventry.

I'm pretty sure there will parkrun Santa runs all over the country over the next couple of weekends. In fact I have just found that you can find a full list of Santa runs here.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Another beautiful day for a parkrun

A little bit of a delay posting this one after a busy weekend, but what a lovely day for a parkrun we had in Coventry on Saturday.

There is no doubting that it was a touch on the chilly side, but crisp and sunny would be the best way to describe the conditions. We are now reaching the time of the year when anything other than moderate conditions sees the numbers reduced down to the core of passionate parkrunners. That said, Coventry parkrun still managed to exceed 150 runners. Given the fact that it was cold enough for the course to have plenty of icy patches that isn't a bad turn out.

It's easy to let cold and icy weather put you off from turning out at parkrun. I think those that don't turn up are missing out. They probably have no idea how many actually do turn up whatever the weather. Its pretty incredible to see to be honest. The most amazing of these occasions is when we get snow. These parkruns have to be the most enjoyable of the year. Everyone knows that we run at our own risk and almost everyone takes it easy and just has a great time as a result. Safe to say I am probably one of the only parkrunners looking foward to the next parkrun in the snow.

I believe at least one or two parkruns around the country weren't so lucky this week with ice stopped play in a couple of cases. Safety first always has to be the sensible approach of course.

Almost unbelievably Coventry parkrun saw a winning time of 16:14 which is some going in decent conditions but, given that half the course was more suited to speed-skating than running, this is very impressive. I never did find out which one of Torville and Dean it was! It might even have been Wilf O'Reilly (who?)!

As for me I managed another stepping stone back to full fitness by completing the whole course running (albeit at a comfortable pace) without stopping once. Fingers crossed my softly softly approach to this comeback will continue to work.

Friday, 9 December 2011

parkrunday Tomorrow!

Its every parkrunners' farourite day of the week tomorrow - its parkrunday! (the new name for Saturday)

Personally I'm looking forward to it a great deal. It should be another stepping stone back towards full fitness.

Luckily there have been no side-effects whatsoever from my midweek physio pummelling. So much so that I felt confident enough to run today without fearing any risks of soreness prior to parkrunday tomorrow.

I managed to run slightly over 2 miles today, in a little over 18 minutes, averaging what my iPhone says was 8:46 per mile. I only stopped then as it was time to get back to work. It didn't feel like it would be any great risk to have run further. Better than this was the fact that I ran the whole time. Only last week at parkrun all I felt up to was 3 minutes jogging in any one stretch and now I have managed 18 minutes at a faster pace without any signs of trouble.

I have a lot more confidence as a result of todays run and I believe that I should be able to run at a similar pace tomorrow and hopefully run the full 5km (3.1 miles). I don't exepct that to cause any problems at all as it felt completely fine at that speed today.

It feels great to be slowly working my way back up to speed and it feels even better to be able to start a run of consecutive parkruns. Fingers crossed that continues and I get a really good run of events without any signs of injury.

And so I fall back into the Saturday morning routine of getting up early to get breakfast down, warm up and stretch before our beloved parkrun. I may even consider jogging up to the start line rather than driving. I think I am up to that too.

parkrunday tomorrow - bring it on!

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

More (but less) physio pain!

Another Wednesday and another painful deep massage session with the physio!

This time he "had to apply much more pressure" in order to reach my pain threshold, or so he said. It was true to be honest, when he started off applying the deep massage it was nowhere near as bad as last week.

As I assume that any decent physio could, he could clearly tell that I was reasonably comfortable and he proceeded to increase the applied pressure of the massage until I reached (breaking point) similar pain levels to last week. Whether it was just his sadistic side or the fact that deeper massage is better for me at the moment I don't know. I can only assume that he was just pushing me as far as he could for beneficial purposes. The greater the applied pressure the better chance of breaking down the scar tissue I suppose.

He assured me that the calf injury must have improved since last week as he "really did have to put a lot more into the massage". At one point he even told me that his thumbs were really painful. I could only laugh and say "good!". That was me getting him back for last week when he said "I could say I'm sorry but I'd be lying" and "its not going to hurt me!".

The banter between us is great. Even if it is one way (from him) once the pain really kicks in! I think that may be one of the indicators he uses to know when he has reached my limit. i.e. I shut up. That and the biting the pillow, the red face and the fact that I am trying to escape through the base of the treatment table as I arch away from his grasp!

I am very pleased to say that we have scheduled another session of pain for a week today. "same time same place" he said in a slightly too jolly tone. Of course. What fun! I can't wait!

Some very promising signs though. Last week I hobbled away from the session an almost broken man. This week I was positively prancing across the car park. Not quite skipping, but walking pretty normally. So it can't have been that bad, can it! Or perhaps, hoping beyond hope, the leg really is improving. Fingers crossed there will be no bad reaction tomorrow and I can start to plan towards parkrun this coming Saturday. I may even try to jog the whole way.

Monday, 5 December 2011

parkrun is...only 5km

There are so many running events out there that are available to the general public. These range from the really short to the ridiculously long but, of them all, parkrun must have the best distance to balance being long enough for serious runners, short enough to entice those starting out and just about perfect for everyone in between.

I think we are all well aware of the 3 most common distances for major organised runs. Those being the 10km, half and full marathons. We all see plenty of these advertised all over the country and beyond. These are intriguing, enticing and the mainstay for serious runners, or those going out on a limb for the sake of a challenge. But are these distances really the way to attract new people into running? After all none of them are exactly easy to achieve if you have never run before. They all require significant periods of training, or at least they do if you follow proper advice. Perhaps that is the attraction and maybe that is why they are so popular. But I do often wonder how many people do these for the first time and are put off for life. Or how many people only do these events once a year and don't really get into running in between, because they find that this kind of serious running just isn't for them. That would hardly be surprising with this type of "in at the deep-end" approach. They are just a little too far for many.

There are of course longer organised runs. I'm talking about ultra-marathons. These events are just incredible and certainly not for the beginner. I often read John Kynaston's Ultra Running Diary blog. I once read about him "hitting the wall" at something like 63 miles, only to somehow recover to complete the last 31 miles of a 94 mile run. Incredible, but as I say, certainly not for most of us.

Over the last few years we have also seen events such as the Sport Relief mile take off. Obviously this is a charity event and is concentrating heavily on raising money rather than the distance, but it is also a well chosen distance for younger kids. However, the mile isn't really long enough to be a regular run for most people. You hardly feel like you have started before its over. Its not really quite a distance run.

So we come to the perfectly placed 5km distance of parkrun. Its nowhere near as daunting as a 10km or half marathon, where we are all normally tempted to start our timed distance running. It can be walked in well under an hour if jogging becomes too tough. For the average parkrunner it tends to take somewhere around 25 minutes, with many more finishing between 25 and 40 minutes. For most people 5km is an achievable distance. It is only 3.1 miles after all. Its also important to say that it doesn't matter what time you do it in, there is no cut off time (other than for politeness to the organisers if you are likely to take over an hour say).

You don't even need to train to run a 5km. Of course you can train, but you don't need to. If anything, parkrun (can  and probably will) become your training. Most likely, parkrun will make you want to run and to train, if nothing else, just to improve your parkrun PB.

These days there are even iPhone apps to encourage us to run. One of these, the very popular couch to 5km running plan concentrates on getting non-runners up to running the 5km parkrun distance. 5km is clearly a target that people in the know believe is the right distance to aim for to get non-runners running.

The fact that parkrun courses tend to be circular (or similar), and often cover multiple laps, it is normally pretty easy to drop out where you started without completing the course if you find it to be too far. You can always try again the next week.

The parkrun 5km is also challenging enough to attract numerous club runners each week and many of the really decent club runners at that. All over the country we see many, many sub 17 minute runs (and frequently far quicker than that) every week. These are not times to be sniffed at. You can't just turn up and run sub 17 minutes, you have to be a fast runner to do those times. This only goes to show that the parkrun 5km distance is attractive to really decent runners as well as to the rest of us.

Thank you parkrun for choosing 5km, its perfect!

Sunday, 4 December 2011

A personal worst, but I couldn't be happier!

Well somehow I managed it, a parkrun without getting injured!

More than that, I managed to set myself the challenge of not going too fast and I stuck to that too. I had decided to partly jog and partly walk, setting the balance between the two states of relative slowness as felt appropriate during the run. As it turned out I was able to split it roughly 50-50 and it felt great just to have done that. I did feel one very slight twinge during the second lap, but I immediately slowed to a walk for a while and when I sped up to a jog again there were no issues with the dodgy calf.

In the end it took me 38 minutes 40 seconds to finish in 153rd place out of 160 and I really couldn't be happier with that. It's a stepping stone back to fitness. I know I could have done a bit more or gone a little faster without problems, but I'll save that for next week. The great thing is that I am back doing parkrun and as a result I have taken one step closer to that elusive parkrun 50-club t-shirt, which I can't wait to earn.

To be perfectly honest, I don't think I enjoyed it any less than any other parkrun that I have taken part in. Don't get me wrong, I love giving it my all for a really fast time, but I enjoyed it yesterday just the same.

I have to say a huge thank you to the volunteers. I have often experienced their encouragement whilst running towards the front of the pack, but it was great to see that the levels of support were just the same for those at the back. I felt a little embarrassed the first couple of times, especially when I was walking, but I soon realised that I shouldn't. It was genuine encouragement and it helped give me that usual warm feeling of being part of the parkrun community. Thanks again volunteers.

A day on and I am very glad to say that I have had no bad reaction to the walking and jogging, which is great news. So now my attentions turn to parkrun next week. Hopefully I'll get on the bike once or twice this week for fitness purposes. I may even try a jog round the block in the week. The aim now has to be to work towards jogging the whole way if and when the calf is up to that. Whether that is possible next week I shall have to wait and see.

All in all I think I'll need to build my confidence in the calf gradually over the coming weeks and months, but yesterday was certainly a good step in the right direction.

Friday, 2 December 2011

To parkrun, or not to parkrun (tomorrow)? That is the question...

To parkrun, or not to parkrun (tomorrow)? That is the question...

And the very simple answer would have to be "not". But things aren't really as simple as that.

On Wednesday I had my session of pain with the physio and my calf is still very sore. On Wednesday evening I fell ill, have been in bed since and still feel pretty bad and dehydrated. So common sense tells me that running at parkrun would again be a bad idea. However, as I was reminded last week you don't have to run at parkrun.

I discussed my return to parkrun with my physio on Wednesday and told him that my intention was to return to parkrun this Saturday and try to mostly walk with a bit of jogging. He agreed that this should be safe. If anything he was saying that I should try to progress a bit more quickly than the 1 minute walk 1 minute jog (at walking pace) that I was suggesting. So in theory that was what I wanted to do tomorrow.

I suppose the sickness has changed things a bit. But the way I am progressing today, I expect to feel fine by tomorrow morning.

The parkrun 50-club t-shirt is also still there on the horizon, just five runs away, which is another big tempting factor. I saw what they looked like last week and can't wait to earn my own. How can I claim to be a "parkrunfan" if I don't even have the t-shirt?

If I do my parkrun tomorrow I think it is safe to say that I will beat my recent all-time slowest time of 33:14, set when pacing my friend Mike round at the spooky Halloween run. By beat I of course mean "run slower than".

All in all I think I should be up to a part walk, part jog at parkrun tomorrow. The fresh air will no doubt do me good after being in my bed for most of the last 36 hours!

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Physio pain!

Wow, did my physio give me a good going over on my calf yesterday!

Its the first time I have seen him for a few months, probably since August. I was seeing him for at least a couple of months about my ongoing calf strain. In August we had finally reached the point where the strength and flexibility of the calf seemed good and he basically thought he could do no more to help me and it was just a case of more strengthening exercises and a gradual comeback.

Well yesterday it was as if he and my calf were making up for lost time. He did the usual assessment for the first session back and decided that the softly, softly approach was out the window and we were heading into the realm of deep massage!

In my semi-pro footballing days I had a number of persistent injury problems, the worst of which was my right hamstring. Those hamstring strains were often treated by the club physios with deep massage. I had remembered it being a painful experience, but the mind is clever and blocks out memories of extreme pain, as I'm sure mothers of two of more will agree. Not that I am saying that deep massage and childbirth are in the same league. I found childbirth quite painless to be honest!

So the physio set about the massage, nice and gently to start with, before gradually building up to the point where I wouldn't have been surprised to look round (I was lying on my front) and have found a 50 stone man putting all his weight through my calf muscle.

How my leg didn't break I have no idea. More than that, with all the straining against the pain, I have no idea how I didn't let out a little (or big) puff of wind straight in his direction.

We briefly discussed a few products that might help with the massage process. One of which was the 66fit Foam Roller that I have since found on Amazon. As follows:

Eventually our friendly conversation turned into a one way stream of him telling me "I'd say sorry, but I wouldn't mean it" and "its not hurting me". This and my will not to cry (too much) finally turned my resistance to pained delirious laughing. I had to let it out somehow.

Finally he eased off and slowed to a stop. I got off the physio table and found that my pummelled leg was now reduced to hobbling again. Luckily that hasn't lasted, although the calf is still sore. I suppose its bound to be for a day or two. Then the physio happily turned his thoughts to "next time". Oh no, I have another 3 or 4 weeks of this. Thankfully he has given me a week to recover, both physically and mentally.

I left his company with a jovial "see you next week" and I even shook his hand and said thank you as if I had really enjoyed it, when actually I just wanted to cry at the prospect of doing it all again next week!

I can't wait. Not! Lets hope its a slow week.