To run or not to run?

My Dad has always told me, ‘pain is just a weakness leaving the body.’

As a runner, this statement is both encouraging and confusing. I understand that to see improvements, one must push through the difficult times. However, if you’re injured, surely you need to take some time off?

I currently have a bruised big toe. It went from being tender, to agony, now tender again. I can run when it is tender, but I know that running on ‘agony’ is never a smart move as this will delay the recovery process and make matters worse. 


For the records, my Dad also told me: ‘You can’t come second in a war.’ I now know to take everything that he tells me with a pinch of salt. However, you can only imagine my distressing childhood – thrilled with my six-year-old self for coming second in the Egg & Spoon race, only to soon be told that coming second is basically being the first loser.

But, I’m not ruined. My Mum has enough sympathy to go around every man and his dog – so between the two of them, I had a good balance. Also, Dad’s attitude to life taught me to have a sense of humour from a young age – thinking about it, his influence is a brilliant combination of hard work ethic and determination, but also, not taking yourself too seriously. You see, deep down he is joking. (But deep, deep down, he is deadly serious. Dig a bit deeper and life is a joke again. But not really. Because you must win). Confused? Welcome to my life.

Back to my big toe. It is currently tender, but not hardcore pain, therefore, I am able to train. There is no manual or guidebook as to when you should rest, and when you should lace up your shoes. The trick is, to listen to your body.

Yesterday, my body said yes. Boy, am I glad it did. By saying ‘yes’ to running, meant that I got the chance to run with Deena Kastor! Deena is America’s best woman marathoner. She is a successful Olympian and holds the American women’s record for the marathon in an inspirational time of 2:19:36.

Here is the breakdown of the session that she took me on. (In Mammoth Lakes, California. Altitude: 8,000ft)


1.5mile warm up

400m hill, maximum effort x5 (recovery is jog down)

1.5mile cool down

Stretching with foam rollers

Drinks and pretzels and chats!


I am going to join the Mammoth Track Club so that I can run with Deena and others again. My next session with her will be on Tuesday at 7am!

Hope y’all have a good week. Now to bathe my toe in warm water and Epsom salts!

Please check out and follow my main site, for all the latest travel adventures: 

Run to get faster, run to get fitter, run to feel happier.

All the best,



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