Parkrun and a running pause

It was great to be back at parkrun this week. Once again, the plan was for a double run, with a fast race and then another lap to make up 10k and my long run.

‘Twas wild and windy on the moor, and with many opting for cross country later, a good chance to enjoy a blast and see where it placed me. I have to admit I wasn’t really feeling it as I jogged along warming up.

I’m a bit concerned about a niggling pain in the bottom of my left foot, towards the heel. I’ve had it most of this week and although it’s not too painful it’s not right. So I’ve been tennis ball rolling and stretching and trying not to self diagnose. It has eased and the last couple of days have been pain free, which is why I decided to run today.

The wind made the first straight rather meaty, though there was some shelter in the pack. It seemed to hit us from the sides, gusting runners edgewards over the paths. I was taking a cautious approach, just running to feel, pushing quite hard but not flat out. As I settled into the first kilometre I was just over 5min/km pace.

Out along Grandstand Road and the shelter of the trees and I started to chase down runners. A guy in a black hat close ahead who I scooped up on the tail of a faster group who overtook me. Through the gate with Rob minding I didn’t get my trainers muddy and back out onto the moor and I started to look ahead for my next target, a girl in blue.

That was a good wee battle as she knew I was coming, my breathing growing cough like at times. And she kept pushing so I had to work for it. We ran side by side for a while and I even thought she might take back the place, but I kept my head down and fought on. Once past I knew I had to keep going and open up a gap or else she’d be back on my tail.

Over the gravelly bit around the back of the museum and another girl in my sights, but she dropped back and made it too easy, so I pushed on. Through the gate just before 4k and a smile of encouragement from the marshall as we head into the wind.

I try to find shelter behind the nearest runners, but I still need to make my own space. There’s a young girl and I presume her dad running together. I’ve seen them a few times on this course and we’re quite well matched for times. They continue just ahead of me and spur me on.

As we turn into the last long straight marked out by the lamposts the wind drops and the smooth tarmac puts a spring in my step. I stretch out my legs and have that glorious feeling of running free and easy. It’s more like the first kilometre than the last one. I keep up the flow, passing the girl and her dad, sights focused on the last corner and the final short sprint to the line.

Turns negotiated it’s hammer down and pile it on for the finish, cheered from the sidelines by Jeff. I stop my watch, get my breath back and go to check in – the time on my watch says 25:29. The official time clocks me at 25:31. And I’m happy with that. It’s consistent with my recent runs, and still over 60% WAVA.

I pause for a breather and to gather up my long sleeved top, which I tie round my waist for later. I’m still not sure about running another lap, but I set off at a steadier pace back into the wind once again.

It’s a real contrast to the first lap. Runners still stream across the exposed moor, but now I’m out on my own. I try to relax and enjoy, just look around and appreciate the still mild autumn. I alter the route so I don’t interfere with those finishing their race and so I get the gravelly bit out of the way early on. It’s still tough though and I slow down quite a bit out over the back and along Grandstand Road.

But once again when I turn back in and follow the lamposts, my legs come back to life and I feel like I’m pushing the pace again . It’s not my aim to run this section fast, but I know I’m edging on 5k pace again. I go with it and finish with another breathless sprint even though the finish flag has long gone.

I stop and stretch and chat to the couple planning to set up a Whitley Bay parkrun in the new year, then make my way back to my car where a warm fleece and a bottle of water await my efforts.

Stats and stuff:
6.23 miles 52:59
1) – 0.62m – 5:07(8:14/m) – 64cal
2) – 0.62m – 5:09(8:17/m) – 65cal
3) – 0.62m – 5:05(8:10/m) – 65cal
4) – 0.62m – 5:18(8:31/m) – 65cal
5) – 0.62m – 4:54(7:53/m) – 62cal Parkrun
6) – 0.62m – 5:30(8:51/m) – 65cal
7) – 0.62m – 5:22(8:38/m) – 64cal
8) – 0.62m – 5:42(9:10/m) – 64cal
9) – 0.62m – 5:46(9:17/m) – 63cal
10) – 0.62m – 5:01(8:04/m) – 64cal
11) – 0.01m – 6(6:58/m) – 2cal

Back home for a shower and lunch and there’s no doubt this time. The tight feeling pain has returned to my left foot. Once again, it’s not agonising. But it’s not right and I’d be foolish to ignore the warning signs.

So I will continue rolling the affected area over a wooden massage roller. And I will stretch, particularly the calves and IT band. And I won’t run again until I’ve got it checked out.

I have an appointment with my sports massage lady on Thursday. She’s very thorough and has pointed me in the right direction for treatment she couldn’t offer before. I’ve also left a message with my podiatrist to try and make an appointment there.

I don’t have run mileage targets and no big distances to train for in the near future. There’s a 10k in 3 week’s time that I was hoping to sharpen up for, but it’s no big deal if I don’t. I’d rather be cautious and get this sorted now than have it spoil my race plans for next year. And it may be a challenge to see how much cross training I can safely do instead. Maybe I can really improve my swimming (which is what I said I would work on over the winter).

An evening of myth and metaphor

I’m always on the look out for creative events. Earlier this year I spent a brilliant day at the Edinburgh Book Festival where I got to see and listen to one of my favourite fiction writers Neil Gaiman in conversation. And then spend an evening with two writers who seek to put the creative into business,  John Simmons and Jamie Jauncey.

Some time ago I spotted the Newcastle Winter Book Festival and searched the web site for interesting events and workshops. Unfortunately many took place when I was at work, but a competition caught my eye. Writers were invited to submit a short piece of prose or poetry on the theme of myth and metaphor.

I haven’t done a lot of creative writing recently, but I knew I had a poem that would fit the bill. As I trawled through my archive of writing, I stumbled across an even earlier prose piece, written over 4 years ago, while I was at Moniack Mhor near Inverness on an Arvon writing course.

I gave it another look and it still made me smile. So I dusted it down, gave it a light editing and sent it away with barely another thought.

I’d practically forgotten about it until I get an email last week, telling me that my piece, entitled Jabberwocky, had been shortlisted and I was invited to an evening of poetry readings at which the winner would be announced.

And so I found myself for the first time in the Star and Shadow cinema. A quirky little place, cobbled together. A ramshackle building brought to life behind a magic painted door.

We stepped into a candlelit room, of small tables and a platform stage. With jazz playing, we snuggled into a welcoming sofa, not knowing quite what to expect.

We didn’t have long to wait for the big announcement. My piece came an honourable third place. No prize save the honour of a round of applause and an embarrassed bow. The winning short story was read on stage – an atmospheric tale with dramatic dialogue.

And then we listened to a small group of poets read from their work. Conjuring up images of cricket matches and workers in overalls, singing a paean to Tuesday, making us smile, making us think.

The last poet to take to the stage was Liz Lochead, the Makar or national poet of Scotland. Her rich accent bringing to life the sounds of her native land, she had a twinkle in her eye and a rich vein of dark humour in her work. It was a pleasure to hear her, not so much read as recite from memory her poems, like a bard of old.

I enjoyed revisiting my old creative work and remembering that special week of inspiration and writing in Scotland. As the dark nights draw in, it feels like the perfect time to revisit old tales and stories again.

Solo run

I woke early on Tuesday morning. Early enough to get out and run on my own in the half light before breakfast. Quiet. Still. And a delicious coolness that made moving a pleasure.

I haven’t run by myself for a while. And this was a test, to see if I still liked it. If I could still make myself get up, in the dark, in the cooling November and run. I set my Garmin to intervals and headed out on my familiar coastal path.

The peacefulness washed over me, like a glass of water on thirsty lips. No distractions. Just the darkness and the sounds of my feet and breath. Even the sea was silent and still.

My feet felt flat at first, landing heavily. But gradually, gradually I got into the flow. Eight quicker bursts of three minutes each with a minute recovery in between.

I never quite managed the speed I was after. I stopped on the fourth rep, being cautious around a friendly dog. And I ran through a bit of a stitch on another.

But I loved it. The peace. The stillness. The space in my own head. The challenge. The structure. The feeling of having achieved something measurable at the start of my day.

This morning I was up early again for my regular PT session with Ian and trying out some new exercises using a tyre for resistance. It’s always a challenge, always good fun and always a great workout. And it means I’ve clocked up 250 hours of training and racing this year. I’ve enjoyed every minute.

Fetch tri training day

I love being invited to these. I’ve been looking forward to this day almost as much as my birthday weekend.

And, sure a couple of hours drive either way is a long way to go for a bit of training, but it’s more than worth it for a Lesley hug, cake and fab company.

The miles ticked by very smoothly in my new car and I remembered where I’d taken a wrong turn last time, so the journey was really no bother. And it was quickly a whirl of birthday wishes and Jed and Finn snuggles and more importantly my first chance to meet Al, Lesley’s son and another superstar triathlete.

Zuzi and Lucy soon arrived and after a bit of kit and bike faffage (including dealing with my very flat tyres) we were soon ready to hit the bikes and cycle to the pool. Not before a team photo though.

The lovely quiet country roads made cycling a breeze. And the weather couldn’t have been more perfect. I am loving this late autumn mildness for training. A bit of chat as we cycled along, just feeling happy and alive and enjoying being out on the bike again.

We made quite a bike puzzle at the pool, locked in and secured up. And although the busy pool meant it was hard to string more than a couple of lengths together at a time, I still got a decent swim in. And Zuzi gave me some great swimming tips.

I’ve spent so long just trying to get my breathing right I’ve picked up some bad habits, like crossing my arms over. And I could tell I’ve not swum in a while as I was rushing, not relaxing through the strokes and holding my breath instead of breathing out under water. I’m sure it will come back again, and now I have to work on my arm placement.

Zuzi leant me her pull buoy and that was a weird sensation, swimming without using my legs. I’ll have to add one of those and a kick board to my Christmas list. Hopefully they will help improve my swimming now I’m more confident about covering the distance I’ll need for tris next year.

All swum out, we grabbed a quick snack and were soon back on the bikes for the long route back. I was taking it steady as I really don’t feel bike fit, but a couple of times it was great to get the speed up on a downhill or a flat. The carbon bikes soon showed their performance advantage though. And Lucy did a fantastic job, powering up the hills stuck in the big ring, when I was down to the lowest gear I could manage and still struggling.

I’d had a couple of quick blasts of speed and tested my mettle getting down and tucked on the downhills. But towards the end I really started to get niggles in my back. Not sure if it was the backpack weighed down with my bike lock, or just the effects of my longest bike ride to date on the back of a training session that had me dragging a tyre along the sands.

Gallantly, Al dropped back to ride with me as I eased up. He has the souped up version of my bike, so we were well matched. I just hope to have the skill and fitness to do my bike justice one day. I still feel like it’s a lot better than I am.

I was really grateful to see the Marshall’s home at last and a bit doubtful of whether I would make it bingo and manage the run. But as soon as I stood up straight and lost the back pack I was fine again. A couple of stretches and a Garmin reset and we were off again for a wee run.

Little steps little steps to ease the bike ride out of leaden calves. And my first time running with Lesley! It was lovely. Just a nice easy pace at first and then we seemed to pick up and up without really feeling it. We went from 09:30 min mile pace to almost 08:00 min mile pace in around 2.4 miles. But out on the country roads with the sun setting and the microlights buzzing over, it felt like an easy run.

Spotting the house in the near distance, I stepped it up a gear and went for a bit of a sprint finish, with Al giving me something to chase. Great fun! And the best bit was knowing a feast of soup, tiger bread and cakes awaited us indoors.

Zuzi and Bob (Lesley’s husband) did us proud and the food was soon hoovered up by the hungry triathletes. Lots more talk of races done and planned for the future and daft friends who couldn’t make it. And all too soon it was time to go.

I had the very best of days. Being outside, enjoying the scenery, being active and wearing myself out with training and talking. Learning some swim tips and doing my first chain gang cycle. I love my bike (have I mentioned that?). But most of all I enjoy having the very best of friends. Those it doesn’t matter how often you see, you pick up exactly where you left off.

All triathlon disciplines covered and bags more hours training for the 365 hours thread!

Big thank you to Lesley for a brilliant day .

Bike Total 22.89 miles in 1:47:23
Swim: 750m 39.27
Run 2.44 miles 21.04
Cake: jaffa, fruit, chocolate and vanilla sponge, chocolate brownie

Today has been very much more sedate. A lie in and then out for lunch with our friends from the farm, Lee and Beth.

Giving it some beans

The Heaton Harriers Town Moor  Memorial 10k  has been one of those ‘will I/won’t I?’ races. Two years ago I got an astonishing PB on this course that convinced me that a sub 50 10k would be possible. But then the next year I had a head failure and a real mixed bag of a race.

A few weeks ago, still riding on a high from my success at the Great North Run, it was definitely on. Fast, flat and over familiar ground with plenty of good club runners to chase. I mixed up my training, had some fun, tried some new things, including running with a club and then took a week off to recover from the dog bite and give myself a training break.

So targets altered to be realistic and take the pressure off. I wanted to give this a good run, to see where I was, having not raced 10k competitively since May. And the plan was to hit a good 5k and hold on as long as possible.

So another chance to see my running buddies and gather more birthday wishes and just be glad to be out and active. I grew a little nervous with all the hubbub in the cafe before the start and ventured out to find some air and space. I saw Ian, my PT and another one of his clients and enjoyed a bit of confidence boosting chat. A little jog, some warm up drills and a bit of head space and I was set.

I also had a nice chat with an Irish guy who was regretting a big night out and told him all about parkrun. So hoping the luck of the Irish would stay with me, I lined up at the start, with friends around me. Jeff , Ian and Les up front, Penny beside me and Peter being cheeky in the mix.

A few moments silence to remember the fallen. Then a starting pistol and we were off. The field is quite congested at the beginning and I picked up a spurt to get through and past runners and find my own space as quickly as possible. I joked to Peter about taking a swim as we rounded the pond. It would have helped us get through the field quickly. But he was soon off and away, and I didn’t catch sight of him again until the end.

So the first km is always a bit unsettled, a bit slow, then a bit fast, a bit dodging and weaving. As we went through the first marker my Garmin said 04:59 – perfect pacing. Could I hold on?

Off onto the long straight path away over the moor and I start to settle. The pace feels fast, but not stupid. I’m comfortable, at ease with my running. I tell myself to hold it, keep it in check, make sure I have something still to give. There is still a way to go.

Runners I recognise from parkrun and other races go by me, including Jules who I think is a similar pace to me, maybe a bit better. I resolve to keep her red and white vest in my sights. As we approach the gate out towards Grandstand Road, a friendly Elvet Strider who I met at the Hellhole 10k says ‘Hello again’ and ‘I’ll run with you, I like your pace.’ I must make an effort and ask her name next time I see her. Elvet Striders do seem to be a friendly club.

We stick together for a little while, but the wind whips her casual chat away from my ears and I’m too focused on the narrow path and the group ahead to make much of a response. I spot a way through a small group of runners and push on. It’s the last time, I’ll have anything like a group to cling on to for the rest of the race.

Through the gate and onto the gravelly ground on the moor again. But I know this path well from parkrun and it no longer holds any fears for me. I pick a path to the smoother edge and power on, my sights now set on a girl wearing a T-shirt with a Halloween pumpkin on the back. She is a good distance ahead, but I resolve to try and wheel her in. It takes me almost another two kilometres but I get close enough to see it’s a Wokingham Half T-shirt as I go past.

We seem to come quickly back round towards the lake and the start again, almost half distance and I know from checking my Garmin on the kilometre beep that I’ve dropped just below that 5 min target. But I’m close, still close. I take a bite of mango to keep me going and as I pass through the 5k marker the marshall calls out a time of 26 something.

This rattles me a little as 26 is a good minute more than what I would call a good parkrun time for me. But I remind myself that this is just a benchmark run. I can’t always keep a perfect pace and if I dig in and keep going, I can still make something of this.

Because I do still want this. I want to run well and fast. But I’m not stressing about it. Just focusing on keeping the legs turning over, the breathing smooth and powering on.

All the way round I am reminded of the great support and friendships I have made through running. There’s Ken from work whose daughter is a superstar runner. There’s pocket rocket Stacey on the home straight cheering me on. And another shout whose voice is familiar, but I cannot place as my mind is focused on the run. Then round by the back of the museum a dark haired guy calls out my name on each lap, and I still can’t place him. But thank you – whoever you are!

I start to pick out runners ahead to reel in again. But my first target slows to a walk and that’s too easy. Then I spot a familiar figure in an Elvet Strider’s vest. It’s Claire who I know is a lot faster than me and I’m gaining on her. I check she’s okay as I pass and shout out my target pace in case she’s just had a blip and wants to go again. This gives the game away to a runner in a dark blue vest who runs on the opposite side of the path to me then pushes on ahead.

I know I’ve slowed again as I spot a 5:2x on the Garmin, which is also now telling me that I’m low on lap memory. I hope it will last, but I condition myself to running the rest of this race on feel. As it bleeps for 7k, a blind runner and his guide go past and he asks me ‘what’s that?’ so I tell him the distance as they move on ahead.

Just 15 more minutes focus I say to myself and remind myself not to leave it all to the last k. I start to stretch out a little more, eking another inch out of my legs, maybe slowing the cadence a little, but still keeping the pace. I run through my mental checks and it’s all good.

I’d really like to be racing, but I’m running on my own. Jeff had offered me some advice about taking advantage of a group to keep the pace up, but it’s advice I can’t take today. Instead I focus on the positive and give myself a mental well done that I’ve managed to keep my focus and drive on my own. Still I target the next group which contains the runner in blue and a girl in a black top and see if I can grind down the gap over the last section. At 8k I snatch another bite of mango.

This is tough now and my mind cannot help doing the mental maths. How close am I to what I want? Course PB is 52:15, 10k PB is 51:40. I know I’ve dropped seconds continuously off that 5 min target pace, but how close am I? I pass through 8k and sneak a look to see 41.xx

Come on. I still want this. If I can race the last 2k, maybe it’s possible. I push on, but at the same time keep Scotty’s mantra in my mind – ‘relax and enjoy’. If I tense up now, it will not do me any good. I am running well. Smooth and fast and powering on through. I tell myself to get to 9k and then give it hell.

And I’m really motoring, pushing on and it hurts quite a lot now. But there are barely 5 minutes to go and I can live with the breathing going ragged for 5 minutes. I’m gaining, gaining on that group that’s remained elusive ahead. Don’t leave it all to a sprint finish I tell myself and try to wind it up a little.

Round the last muddy, leafy path and up the small rise towards the finish. That’s not a hill I say to myself as I shorten my stride and pick my feet up. Spotting Peter who has tracked back to cheer us on.

If it wasn’t for the turn, I’d be sprinting by now. And when I hit the straight that’s exactly what I do. Full power straight on and go for it. The runner in blue is toast before she realises it and I’m inches away from the girl in black I’ve been chasing from around 7k. I think I pip her to the line. But one of my best finishes ever takes it out of me and I cross the finish in a bit of a head swim.

Ian spots me coming through as I try to keep moving, wanting nothing more than to bend over and catch my breath. I can’t take in what he says, but I hear the note of concern in his voice. I’m okay. I know I am, but I guess I look a bit drained. I wander to the side and get myself together. It’s only then that I look at my watch.

And it’s close, but not enough. 52:22 by my watch and likely the results may be a second or two more. So no course PB which was the minimum I’d hoped for today. I allow myself a moment of disappointment which Ian hears, but it doesn’t take me long to remind myself that that’s just racing. And it’s far, far from a shabby result. In fact, it’s one I can be proud of. And a big birthday hug from Peter sets me right back on track.

I watch some of the others come over the line, including Penny and my unnamed Elvet friend, still smiling. And have a nice chat with Nadhim who has had a cracking race today.

As I go to collect my hoodie and warm clothes I start to feel a bit swimmy again and regret the rookie mistake of failing to bring anything to eat for after the race. Goodness knows I have enough cake in the house, but I’m forced to buy a cereal bar and I hang around for the presentations as much to give myself the chance to recover as anything else.

That shows I really gave that race all that I had today. I felt strong, kept my focus and kept my head. And it’s been a great weekend. Two races, plenty of cake and lots of chances to catch up with Fetchies and other running friends in real life and through our interconnected world. Practically perfect.

Thanks to Heaton Harriers who put on a great race, Ian for continuing to support all my training with great plans and workouts, Wallsend Harriers for the great running sessions and everyone who supports and encourages me in all my running goals.

Stats and stuff:
10k 52:22
1) – 0.62m – 4:59(8:02/m) – 63cal
2) – 0.62m – 5:10(8:19/m) – 66cal
3) – 0.62m – 5:04(8:09/m) – 65cal
4) – 0.62m – 5:06(8:13/m) – 65cal
5) – 0.62m – 5:08(8:16/m) – 65cal
6) – 0.62m – 5:25(8:43/m) – 65cal
7) – 0.62m – 5:16(8:29/m) – 64cal
8) – 0.62m – 5:14(8:26/m) – 65cal
9) – 0.62m – 5:22(8:38/m) – 65cal
10) – 0.62m – 5:15(8:27/m) – 64cal
11) – 0.06m – 22(5:45/m) – 6cal

Birthday recipe

Take one runner. Add cards and parcels to open. Delight with books, things that smell nice and a special sparkly something that evokes memories of another very happy day. Feed with porridge, banana, blueberries and honey and get set for parkrun.

Ensure the sun is shining, the wind is not too brisk and gather a crowd of smiling faces on Newcastle Town Moor. Deliver unexpected visitors, cards, gifts and birthday kisses. Dress in a vast green 30 min pacer shirt, then embarrass over the megaphone.

Set off on a 5k run with Sue keeping an honest 6 min/km pace. Then go read her blog.  Run for a while with a bright young chap and encourage him to overtake and sprint from the final corner. Pace at least two runners to a PB. Finish with cake.

Transport home to a warm shower and a thorough testing of lotions and potions. Read messages and emails from lovely people with more warm wishes.

Dress up smart, wear something sparkly and zip up boots. Drive to v posh hotel.

Sit down to afternoon tea with lovely running buddies who you’ve only met in the last couple of years, but who feel like lifelong friends. Talk about running, cycling and the value of good friends. Try desperately to finish off a cake stand full of sandwiches (crusts cut off), scones and cakes. Fail and resort to doggy bag.

Drive home after more birthday hugs and smiles. Park up and watch the firework display on the beach :-)

An absolutely splendid birthday that turned out even better than I expected. Presents are always nice and appreciated, but there are things of greater value that money cannot buy. Good friends and happy times are treasures that last.

Thank you everyone. I have very much enjoyed sharing today with you xxx

Dreaming in the firelight

We get most of our food, meat and vegetables from a small organic farm in Northumberland. Every week, we get a box of goodies delivered to our door in the early hours of the morning. We’ve been doing it for a few years now and it’s completely changed the way we eat. No more processed, packaged ready meals, lots more vegetables and some non-meat meals and learning to love the cheap cuts and leftovers.

This weekend, there was a working party on the farm. A chance for box-scheme customers and friends to come and visit, see what it’s all about, help plant some trees and fix some fencing, with the promise of a tasty meal at the end.

I’d originally planned to do an aquathlon on Sunday. But I wasn’t sure how well my bite wound would heal and whether swimming would be wise. And having taken some time off training anyway, I decided to ditch it and just enjoy my day on the farm instead.

And it was a wonderful day. We got up there early to help clear up and set things up for the visitors, sweeping out the packing shed and setting up trestle tables and hay bales for seats. When the helpers arrived, I joined a crew planting trees, dog rose and blackthorn which will act as a windbreak for the vegetable garden.

Sunset over the fields
Sunset on Bonfire night

The weather was kind. Bright, clear and surprisingly mild, but with just enough coolness to make you glad you were keeping active. We dug, and planted, ferried muck from the heap and settled the trees in. As the afternoon wore on, we began to tire. But tempers never frayed. A bite of an apple and a swig of water and on we worked with the dogs, ducks, geese and chickens inspecting our progress.

As the light began to fade, we stepped back to see the fencing done and over 300 trees in place. A good day’s work.

A quick splash under the standpipe and into the shed for pumpkin soup, topped with stir fried sprouts, chickpea fritters and plenty of proper bread. There were many second helpings. And still room for almond and rhubarb tart for afters.

Stepping out into the pitch dark, looking up at the Big Dipper shining out in the stars; we gathered around the bonfire, watching the flames flicker orange, blue, yellow, purple and green.

My decision to do a little bit less meant I enjoyed what I did do a lot more. Rather than worrying about how I would perform the next day, I was able to enjoy the present. Just relaxing and enjoying being active and outdoors, feeling like I accomplished something. It’s a quieter feeling of satisfaction than a good run, but the wholesome ache of muscles and a hot shower and bed were just as welcome.

You know you’re a runner when…

You get nipped on the ankle by a yapping dog.

I was heading out for a run on Monday lunchtime when a couple of loose terrier dogs came out yapping and barking. I stopped running and tried to move away from them, but one nipped my ankle. I thought it was a play nip, but it did draw blood. So, run over.

Luckily I was close to work where we are well looked after by our security team. So I went straight back and got cleaned up and a dressing on, while they reported the incident to the police and dog wardens.

Although it was a relatively minor bite, I was advised to get it checked out, so I spent the rest of the afternoon at my local A&E who patched me up and sent me home with some antibiotics and a bandage that was going to make showering interesting.

Unfortunately after a day on the drugs, I felt rather sick and sleepy. My stomach was sloshing around rather alarmingly and every breath was magnified by an intense heartburn. I even had to make myself eat my tea. And you know i’m not right when I’m off my food.

After a bad night, I had to take the day off work to recover. It seems antibiotics don’t really agree with me.

I’m fortunate that it wasn’t a bad bite and my workplace is very understanding. And I am feeling  a whole lot better today. So I shall just take it easy for a few more days and chalk this one up as another daft story in the Scribbler’s book of tales.

Only I could get bitten on Halloween.