I'm still here. Sorry for the long silence. It's not through choice I can tell you. Work, but mostly computer problems, are the culprits. Long story short: infestation - brief fling with Windows 7 - too much incompatibility - revert to Windows XP - all programs work wonderfully after initial installation - things fall apart badly once all the patches, fixes and service packs are installed - weeks squandered on this timewasting activity - Tracklogs still unusable after all that. I am not a happy bunny.
After the revelation of the HoS100, the creaking knee has not got any worse on the whole. Small incremental improvements are coming from the runs. The events seem to provide therapy in the longrun. On balance they appear to be my knee's friend, so I'm building up slowly but surely. One-leg squats are a distant and fading memory but I can at least shuffle my way around with only mild discomfort.
I celebrated the unexpected 100 completion with my first Woodbank Parkrun the week after. Parkruns are a series of weekly 5k runs up and down the country. They are a brilliant incentive to build up speed, compare times and chart personal improvements. I have done three so far. It's quite a hilly 5k so times are down. My best time was 23:17 on the second one.
I have also entered the series of four Manchester 5k Sizzlers in Wythenshawe Park, held fortnightly between 1st July and 12th August. It's flat so times are quicker. I managed 22:10 on the first one and I've just run 21:44 on the second one this evening. If memory serves me right, that might not be too many seconds off a PB. Things are looking up and the speed events seem to be working.
That's not all either. Hold onto your hats but I'm getting a taste for short sharp fell races as well. I completed my second such event on 26th June - the ~6-mile Whaley Waltz. It was a double-header day with the third Woodbank Parkrun first. And get this, I've entered the Tracks To Trig this coming Saturday, which is a 1.1-mile uphill time trial. I haven't decided yet whether to do the Parkrun first.
As you can see I have a newfound healthy taste for the shorter faster stuff as part of my return to fitness, but don't panic, I haven't neglected the longer stuff. I have already completed Baslow Bootbash (27 miles), Osmotherley Phoenix (33 miles) and White Peak Walk (26 miles). Photographs are already uploaded and reports will follow in due course. There's plenty more in the pipeline but I don't want to count my chickens yet.
It's been amazing to get back out there again, mixing and mingling and actually taking part.
I leave you with a Mark Hartell special from Osmotherley Phoenix. I might just be returning.