Amazing what a foam roller and stack load of textbook one-leg squats can do for you! So after straining my lower back, and as soon as I could comfortably sit in my car, I was off to my local sports physio for some treatment. Despite the ‘paid torture’ I came out better for it, with a clearer understanding of how the injury was likely to have occurred, and what I needed to do to ensure it was less likely to happen again. I’m certainly going to knock rowing on the head for the time being.

Just as the back was sorting itself out I was hit with a cold. On the surface it didn’t seem too bad. At least not in the way of congestion. But I had quite a cough and found it difficult to breathe, especially when out training. The cold was also kicking off a few hay fever symptoms. I even reached for my wife’s inhalers/asthma medication. I was willing to try anything.


The first of my local running races, a bumpy 10km race around the Cleobury countryside. I’d already run the course a couple of times in advance so knew what was in store for me, particularly the great named Ron Hill, a very steep 100m bank within a km of the finish.

At the gun I settled into joint first, with the other guy eventually dropping back. I was on a reasonable pace, despite the very warm temperature and little wind. My mouth and throat were bone drive because of my cold and then at around 3 miles I was starting to find it hard to breathe. My chest was tightening up.

I decided I had no choice but to drop the pace a little to contain my effort if I was going to get through the race without major problems. As I backed off I suddenly became aware of a runner closing in on me, and was overtaken around the 4.5 mile mark. Fair play to him, he paced the race perfectly well and made sure I didn’t hang on his feet. I did a fair amount of walking up Ron Hill. With the front runner now a good 30secs ahead and no-one in view behind me I was able to ease-off in the final mile and enjoy the occasion. I finished in 39mins. 4mins slower than the 10km I had done in May and only 3mins faster than a time I had done in a recce training run. So I have unfinished business here.

Really enjoyed the atmosphere of the event overall, and we all had fun playing with Annabelle. Certainly will be back next year. If all the other 10km races are like this then I won’t be doing much else next year!

Back to back weekends of Ludlow 10km and Shrewsbury 10km coming up.



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