Monday, January 16, 2012


              So here we are in the good ol U.S. of A. We always stay in Manhattan Beach in LA, quite simply because its totally cool. Sue and I instantly drop into the 'West Coast' thang; up at 6:00 am and running along the beach as the Sun comes it. The weather is very similar to where we live  but thats where the similarities end..... after all this is California not Cannes.
              I hit the 'Strand' which is a running/ walking/ cycling/skateboarding /you name it/ path, that goes for miles up the coast. Now clearly this is not trail running but its a pleasant change and allows me to do a bit of speedwork.......only problem is, this is L.A......Beach Boys country and I am surrounded by very fit young people going very, very fast. Still I content myself with the knowledge that if we were on the trails high up in the mountains then I'd have em, (Well,....possibly).
           Then disaster!! I get ANOTHER calf strain!!! Now this is getting serious and is very frustrating as now its the other leg in pain. I never get injured, so two strains in a month is a worrying development. I'am doing the usual R.I.C.E treatment but am now 'walking' the California beaches rather than running; not very cool at all. At least I can still do my strength/resistance work in the gym however as this is California, I am looked on as a rare novelty, I mean, I think I am in pretty good shape but next to this lot I look like Popeye without his spinach. I decide on a quick trip to the Wholefoods Health Store to stock up on supplies.
      Wow!....It's huge and is a bit like how Donald Trump would design a health store. BIG. They have 'everything', times a thousand; 50 different types of Green drink, 50 different fish oils, and 100's of different types of nuts and seeds and berries.....some Sue and I have never even heard of. Whatever you want, they have it ..'Do you have any organic hemp protein?'.....'Yes sir but we only have a limited choice of 37  hemp protein products!'....Crikey... Its all green and big and overpowering, no wonder the Californians are so healthy and next a whole aisle of assorted milk........and non of it from a cow!
          Anyway we left the store with a large (green) bag full of organic everything full of pride at how we had just 'saved' the planet........and then got into our large gas guzzling car......oops! Now the big question is; Will all this make me run any a faster??....
         Later we met friends at my 'fav' restaurant; 'The Cheescake Factory'. Now as you can guess from the title cheescakes are their speciality but in 30 years of coming here I've never had one. This is not as a result of my healthy eating regime it is quite simply because by the time you have finished your main course it is impossible to eat anything else, I would have to run 20 miles a day to burn all those calories up; best stick to my green stuff, sit crossed legged and chant a mantra as the sun goes down.
       Later Sue massaged my rather sore legs with some special herbal oil bought at a super trendy, hippy,body and soul shop........hope it works, it cost a fortune!
    The next morning I hit the beach and tried a gentle jog which felt a little better, this was followed by an 'Ice Bath'; now if you've never had one its an interesting experience. I poured several buckets of ice into the bath and basically sat in it for 20 minutes freezing to death. When I got out I couldn't feel any pain in my legs; only problem was I couldn't feel anything at all, took me about 10 minutes to thaw out and regain contact with all my faculties. Green foods, herbal massage, ice baths.....if all this doesn't work I'm going to give up running, start drinking and stuff my face with cheescakes, pizza's and chocolate donuts!! Surfs up....


  1. Phil

    As we both know, the Strand is a solid concrete path with absolutely no give in its surface at all. Its the most unattractive surface to train on. Normally atheletes avoid the Strand.

    I am not smart enough to know if your calf strain was caused by the unforgiving nature of the Strand but it certainly can't be ruled out either. I hope the strains are gone before the Cool Runnings @ Way Too Cool in March!

    1. Appreciate the advice....I think I'll run along the old train track in the tree section from now on,