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I took this photo a couple of weeks ago before heading out for a run, to show how my funky new running leggings clash with my shoes.  And our newly block paved driveway.


That was the last time I ran.  I had to cut my run short and limp home because the gentle ache in my left shin that I'd been ignoring for a few weeks suddenly got a lot worse and turned into a stabby pain.  Roughly where that badly doodled black X is.  Ouch.

Dr Google convinced me it was either a shin splint or a stress fracture, and it turns out the actual doctor/physio agrees.  I've avoided having to go for any diagnostic scans as it had already started feeling better by my first appointment (after four days of rest).

I've had two physio sessions now, involving some evil calf massaging on both legs.  Apparently my muscles were very tight, so potentially causing extra strain in other places.  I hadn't suddenly changed running frequency, technique, or speed and my shoes aren't badly worn, so this has probably been building up for a while.

I'm now on a regime of stretches several times a day, and avoiding high impact exercise.  I never thought I'd miss going for a run!  I've had to resort to swimming, though I was pleased to discover last weekend that road cycling doesn't seem to cause any pain.

There are two important lessons I should learn from this:

  1. don't ignore niggly pains in the hope that they'll go away
  2. when people say stretching is important, listen!

Sadly this means I'll be missing out on Gloucester 10k this year.   I'm aiming to find another race later in the year when I'm up and running (groan) again, so watch this space...

Glevum Way, part 1


The Glevum Way is a 39km (24 mile) loop around Gloucester.  Many years ago (seriously, it's at least 6!) I picked up an information leaflet about the route from tourist information and have somewhat miraculously managed to keep hold of it over three house moves and a lot of decluttering.  And yet until now I'd never got round to properly walking it (some bits do often feature on our regular dog walks)

Along with a few friends we started in Cooper's Edge where the route crosses the M5, and walked clockwise through Upton St Leonards and around the bottom of Gloucester, to eventually finish at the Docks. This covered nearly 3 of the 5 sections the leaflet splits the walk into - though that describes the route going anticlockwise.

friendly cowsfriendly cows.. not so much the field of bullocks we found half an hour later

The walking is easy going and mostly flat - we skirted around Robinswood Hill rather than going up and over. The route generally seemed to be well signed, mostly with round 'GW' stickers on the usual yellow arrow footpath markers, but sometimes with a properly named green signpost.  We only went off track once, at Naas Lane, and I think that was something to do with having just taken a deliberate detour to avoid going through a field of bullocks....

At this point we were getting closer to civilisation again, although given the amount of rubbish strewn on the road side I'm not sure that's the right choice of word - let's go with 'urban' instead...  Walking through Hardwicke, we stopped to grab sandwiches for a picnic as we'd realised we weren't going to make it to a pub for lunch (it was about 2pm by this point).  We did stop at the Pilot Inn for a drink though.

Lady's Well
Lady's Well, Hempsted

From here the route crosses the canal and continues along the tow path before heading back into fields around Hempsted.  You walk right past Lady's Well, and after the next road crossing walk alongside the household recylcing centre.  Yup - the tip!

It's actually nicely hidden, and if you ignored the air vents and vast numbers of seagulls you might think it's just a normal field...

gloucester tip

Soon after we found ourselves at Tank,  finishing our walk with another well deserved drink.  24km in about 8 hours, including stops.  Both dogs were suitably exhausted once we got home!  Plan is to finish the rest of the Glevum Way over the summer, probably in two smaller sections.

Goodrich Castle


Things to do on a slightly grey and drizzly bank holiday weekend when you haven't gone biking/camping with friends because of dog faff: visit a castle!

This is the view from the top of the keep at Goodrich Castle.

view from the top of the keep at Goodrich Castle
looking north - note River Wye on the left

We've had this one on our list for a visit for ages now - a couple of years ago we used the car park and walked up Coppet Hill, intending to go in afterwards... but ran out of time.  I'm certain I'll have been dragged around it as a child, of course.

It's a dog friendly site, and the admission charge includes a really good audio guide.  And I'm saying that as someone who easily gets bored of listening to commentaries!  It had plenty of interesting information, but without being waffley.

The tearoom was very good too - I had a massive cheese scone, Jon had some very chocolatey cake, and the dogs got some biscuits and a fuss from the staff.