Comes a time – When the hamstring sniper pulls the trigger

Disclaimer: my blogs are written as my own therapy and reminders, always have been, so I make no apologies about them being from my perspective.

It’s been almost 6 weeks since my last blog, 40 days, a long time and it has recently felt like longer. 40 days, 960 hours. The equivalent of 1920 episodes of Emmerdale. Can you imagine? My running has actually been more painful than that imaginary Emmerdale binge, recently more of a pullback than the Woolpack and I would use even more puns and analogies here but I don’t actually watch Emmerdale so just insert your own and we will all be happy though I’m sure there was a dude with sideburns in it called Amos.

amos cube 3

Amos. Socially distancing yesterday.

In my last blog I was full of the joys with my marathon cancelled, had a new lease of life, a new positivity about my running.  I was aiming for the short stuff and hitting the track again. I was so excited to be invited along to join a track training squad bubble, all of us training for the same event, the Monument Mile, and my mood, morale and enjoyment was going through the roof. Really, what a difference it made to me. These other guys are all age group British medallists and have trained together a while so of course I was nervous about joining in with a close knit group but knew it could help me unlock whatever my potential is/was. Of course I was worried about getting spat out the back, but the first few sessions down and I was actually managing to hold my own with them. The most difficult thing about the sessions was actually the Milk Tray man escapades of finding and accessing tracks but where there is a will there is a way. The sessions were designed by our very own Mr Miyagi who had been a Commonwealth games finalist and was full of advice for me and was filling me with confidence for the task ahead and beyond, thinking of potential indoor track season, next year’s outdoor track season when I hit the over 50s.


Coach Sensei, the Field of Dreams, yesterday.

As much as I love the track the last few years over 800 and 1500 hadn’t been great but confidence along with the right type of training was making me think about what I could achieve. I was confident I could get my times right down again. Last year in the mile I ran 5.03. I can’t lie, I feel sharper, faster, fitter, and training specifically for it all being well I can smash that, smash the 5 minutes and was actually looking at the other end of the 4.50s rather than the high end, ambitious yes, but sometimes you know when it’s going well. Sometimes you start to believe. You start to flow.

And of course it comes crumbling down.

It starts as a niggle, so you calm it down. A few days go by and all seems ok again. Then it feels more than that so you abort the session that, to be fair, you are flying in, and take a few days off and stretch it out. You think you are doing the right thing and you do a totally harmless easy run a few days later, easy pace, to see how you are. Short and at the furthest point out (only a mile and a half but still) you start to feel it coming back again.

You stop.

Walk 100 metres.

It’s starting to rain, ok let’s jog back easily but man I feel it. Very uncomfortable but I will get back, take a rest, few days off. 500m from home and you can sense him on the grassy knoll.

He has you in his sights.

Aim locked.

And Bang.

The hamstring sniper releases the bullet, hits his target and you are gone. Can’t run, can’t jog, can barely walk and crumpled in a heap. In that 500m slow hobble/ walk that takes an eternity back to the house you know your injury free spell is gone, you know everything you are training for is gone, all these months with no races and as soon as they start to look likely you are out the game. It’s now a matter of how long you are going to be out for. The 500m is like the longest 500m of your life, unlike your legs your mind is racing. You are on your own but notice you have been joined by a black dog who you know is going to be your companion for the next while. Now I have a real black dog, a labradoodle called Betsy.


Betsy saying hello, yesterday.

She is a real big bundle of fun, but this new one is a different one altogether. It’s not as friendly and over the next while it is going to keep biting. I don’t think I need to spell out anymore.

So it seems the hamstring was torn.

There’s a load of scar tissue from previous issues. My hamstrings, as I have been told before, are tighter than two coats of paint, a Hamilton Harrier at the bar, Barry Manilow’s face.


Barry Manilow, Newarthill Bowling Club, yesterday, 

Like piano wire. I’ve been to physio and am following as best I can the advice I’m given. Had a couple of maulings, now have the go ahead to start a stretching regime and know I need to start some proper S&C work. This I can handle, have to handle, and I will get there like we all do, I know I will but it’s tough. Having to send the email to withdraw from the mile to give someone on the waiting list a chance to prepare for and run it was tough, none of us like admitting our aim is gone. Tough to see your group going from strength to strength, but brilliant at the same time. Conflicting. The black dog biting at you, talking to you, telling you you only ran with them a few times, you aren’t really in the group, you couldn’t hack it, accept your limitations, they gave you a chance and you blew it. Tough to watch my lack of willpower as half a stone goes on in under 2 weeks. The mood goes up and down, of course it does as running my great stress release. With great trepidation I have managed that first very short very slow jog. Only two miles but you use it as a glimpse of light at the end of a long tunnel. I am no different to many of you out there injured just now, it’s happened before and it will happen again. I’m sitting here making the promises to myself about better S&C that I know I will forget and neglect it once I’m back. It’s potentially going to be a very difficult road back to where I was. But my head is actually now in a good place and I am positive about the road ahead.

I am not different to anyone else so what is the point of this post? Sympathy? Oh good God no, we all get injured, 100% not what I am looking for. So what? Well I do read my blogs back because that’s why I started them in the first place. This one is to remind me of how I feel when I can’t do it. When I am having my moans when I am back running I can take myself back to how I am feeling just now, get the finger out and enjoy it a bit more and remember how lucky I am. So to any of you reading this injured? I know how you feel and take this as a virtual socially distanced hug. To those of you not injured but not enjoying your running? Just think how you feel when you can’t do it and get that smile back on your face because in an instant it can all be taken away. To anyone else reading it. Why? Thanks anyway. And to Emmerdale, I get the impression that Harriet the vicar isn’t exactly the vicar of Dibbley (wee durty), but I switched over to Storage Wars so have no concrete evidence.

See you all further along the line.

The songs, actually sharing a few, from the EP “Comes a time” on the fantastic Last Night From Glasgow  ( label by the very talented Mark W. Georgsson. From his earlier Nordic, country and American roots this EP expands the sounds, more sonically expansive, give it a wee listen then support him by buying. Lovely blue vinyl or download.


Mark’s record, not yesterday as that was by the Beatles.

The tracks are on the playlist.


4 thoughts on “Comes a time – When the hamstring sniper pulls the trigger

  1. Excellent, getting it down helps to get it out of your system. Although you are injured, your already in a better place than you were a few weeks ago. Your looking forward to being with new training partners, trying new ideas and expanding your horizon. Your sense of well being is more acute and this engenders more positive thought. Compare these( long term benefits) to having a grade 1soft tissue injury. No contest really. Looking forward to seeing you back in the bubble soon.


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