Running and Writing for ME/CFS no. 37

The paperback version.
The paperback version.


Those of you who follow the blog will know that the book was launched yesterday, 14 June, in digital and print forms. For those who missed the announcement, please follow this link to the post, where you’ll get the details.

This part of this series of blog posts has now come to a natural conclusion, so future posts will concentrate on the running aspect, where I’m training for a half marathon, The Great North Run, to be completed on 13 September this year.

Other writing posts will continue on the blog, however, so if you’re a reader/writer, keep popping in, won’t you?



Well, that’s possibly a little OTT. My training programme involves runs on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. The last week called for a 10-minute run on Wednesday and 15-minute runs on Friday and Sunday.


Wednesday, I was preparing for an online interview with Sally Ember (the link to the Youtube version is here, should you wish to spend an hour listening to me drone on). That was due to start just after 14:00. I’d arranged for a local charity to collect some unwanted furniture for recycling in the community during the morning, and they arrived on time at 11:00. I’d also arranged for a building supplies company to deliver materials for ongoing work in and around the house. The intention was to have my run after the deliveries. But the builders’ merchants came late so I postponed the run to later. My wife had a bowls match in the early evening and needed transport, so I missed the spot after the interview. By the time I’d eaten to re-stoke the boilers, I was no longer feeling ready to run. So Wednesday’s short run was cancelled.

Thursday, it rained most of the day but we shifted the paving slabs from the front of the house to the back, where they need to be laid for a garden path.

Friday, we shifted half a ton of aggregate from the front to the back. No problem. I was about to prepare for my run but remembered I needed to make a note of something. I bent to pick up a pen from the coffee table and ‘Twang!’ my back went. For a few minutes I was in severe pain and not a few expletives escaped from a mouth usually averse to such unthinking expression. But it seemed to subside so I mounted the stairs and started to change into shorts in readiness to scare the squirrels in the forest with my knobbly knees. No way. The back warned that it wasn’t about to allow me to place one foot in front of the other without making savage attacks on my lower back muscles. So, I had to abandon that attempt. Instead, I dug out my dad’s old walking stick and took seven and a half hours to walk the three hundred yards to the local doctors’ surgery. An X-ray and an appointment with the physiotherapist was advised, since this is the third time in as many weeks that my back has ‘gone’.

Sunday, I was still hobbling like some ancient guy the morning after the night before. No run for me. But I did manage a short, slow walk with Valerie in the trees.

I’ve now made the appointment for the X-ray and await contact from the physio. In the meantime, I’ve practiced a few exploratory exercises and found that I’m becoming a little more mobile. I expect to be able to run this week. I’ll let you know about that in the next post.

You know, when our ape ancestors left the trees and discovered they needed to walk upright to scout for potential enemies, they never considered the affect of such an upright stance on the spine. No forethought: that’s their problem. Still, I suppose I should be grateful: imagine trying to write whilst clinging to a wavering branch!

To contribute to my fundraising efforts for Action For M.E., please click this link and take the easy steps to make a donation. Or, even simpler, send the text ‘MESA76’ to 70070 to donate £5. Thank you.

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