It should always be within a mile of the sheep.

  • Sunday, November 22, 2015
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“Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It's a very mean and nasty place and I don't care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard ya hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done!”
(Sylvester Stallone, Rocky Balboa)

Running with Jerry last week we were talking about the privilege of living where we do as we are able to access extensive off road running right on our doorstep. I mentioned how restless I am and how I wouldn't mind moving - but that if I ever did it would have to have trails nearby. Yes said Jerry, it should always be within a mile of the sheep. That's it I thought, it should always be within a mile of the sheep, what a great rule of thumb for both running and life.
Before this I last ran on September 23 and it was as close to perfect as running can be. I love England and I love running in England during the early autumn. I was out on the trails at dawn, there was a low, thin mist, I was breaking cobwebs with my face and I saw a lone deer crouching in a field, dark and still against the green like the slash of an artists brush.
Since then I've been shackled by a chain of injuries, initially hobbling with an unexplained and out of the blue injury in my hip joint which halted my running for weeks. When it healed I went running again but within half a mile I turned my ankle over on a root and fell to earth. The pain and frustration was such that I had to fight back the tears and the sight of the immediate tennis ball sized swelling didn't help, I knew that I was screwed as far as running went for a lengthy period. X rays showed no fracture but I was told that it would take six to eight weeks to heal. The doctor was wrong, I was ready to go after four but then my back flared up making movement difficult - another week out

So it's taken a lot of patience but I have been able to kick start training, once again becoming the Rocky Balboa of South East London with another one of my endless comebacks. Last Sunday was a muddy six miles of surprisingly good quality given our respective fitness levels and this week I've been able to run home from work, chasing the light and pursued by the dusk. It won't be long before the darkness overtakes me and I have to use my head torch. I'm just hoping that's it for injuries, 2015 has been brilliant as far as my running goes, I've never run better. Being hurt and incapacitated has marred that somewhat and I now want to finish strong and carry my great form into the new year.

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