Navigating Life’s Course: Balancing Work, Family, and Personal Health

Hey there folks,

It’s Adam, again, navigating my way through the labyrinth of life. Last time we chatted, we explored a new chapter in my running journey, didn’t we? But, as life has its unique way of reminding us, running isn’t the only thing I’m juggling. There’s work, the wonderful chaos of family life, and my ongoing battle with the scales and the lifelong effects of cancer.

I see work and life as like running. All about endurance and strategy, knowing when to push hard and when to rest. When to take action and when to think and be thankful.

Then there’s my young family, my team. Being a dad, it’s an adventure in itself – unpredictable, rewarding, filled with belly laughs and the occasional (daily?!) tantrum (mine, not the kids, honestly!). Seeing those little faces light up and hearing ‘Daddy Daddy Daddy’ when I walk through the door? That’s the best! It makes everything worthwhile!

But let’s be real, juggling a high-pressure job, a young family, and personal health goals ain’t a walk in the park. Remember my wobbly knee and those extra pounds I’ve been carrying around? Yeah, they’re still here. But I’m not letting them or the after effects of cancer have the last laugh.

I’m learning to find balance, to find harmony in the whirlwind. It’s about fitting in a quick cycle during a lunch break, choosing the healthier option (well, most of the time), and quality time with the kids amidst it all.

So, what’s next? Well, as I tiptoe back into running, it’s gonna be a juggling act. But you know what? I wouldn’t have it any other way. Because amidst the chaos, the stress, and the uncertainties, I’ve got my team – my family – and a job that keeps me on my toes (when my knee allows it).

So here’s the deal – I’m not just going to navigate through this labyrinth, I’m going to own it. I’m not just about posting runs; I’m about posting real life. The good, the bad, and everything in between.

That’s all for now, folks. Keep your fingers crossed for my knee, and send some good vibes my way as I head into this new chapter of wellbeing, work, and the joy of family life.

Until next time,



Charting a New Course: My Personal Running

Hey there, it’s Adam back on the mic (or keyboard, rather).

Last time we chatted, I filled you in on my runner’s knee saga. It’s still a work in progress, but hey, life’s all about rolling with the punches, right?

I’ve spent the last while swapping running for spinning away on my turbo trainer. It’s not quite the same as the wind in my hair on a morning run, but it’s movement, and that counts.

Throughout this forced time-out, I’ve had time to think. You know what I realised? I miss the rhythm of my feet on the pavement, the clarity of thought with every mile. But there were parts I didn’t miss so much – the constant tracking, the public Strava posts, the unspoken competition it all bred.

So, I’ve made a decision. As I look to the future, I’m taking running back for myself. I’m planning to focus on my wellbeing while running, walk, stop, run, just move when I can, have a sustainable recovery then enjoy the journey.

This period of stillness has given me a chance to rethink my relationship with running. I want to shift the focus inward, run for my own wellbeing rather than the stopwatch. Less about chasing PBs, more about chasing tranquillity.

While I’m here, I might as well admit – I’m toying with the idea of the London Marathon after entering the ballot. But if I go down that road, it’s going to be different this time. I want running to be my personal therapy, a way to reconnect with myself, not a stage for competition.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m itching to lace up my running shoes again. But when I do, I’m doing it on my terms. It’ll be less about pace and more about peace – mental and physical.

For now, my journey is more like a stroll than a sprint. But with every small step, I’m edging closer to my goal. And, in the face of it all, I’ll keep pushing forward.

Maybe in the future, you’ll hear less about my runs and more about my calm musings during peaceful, solitary jogs.

So, until next time, here’s to personal growth, to the journey of recovery, and to the joy found in every comfortable stride.

Stay strong,


Injured, and down

So, a while ago, while on a run, my left knee twinged. The next day I could barely walk.

That was several months ago now, and it’s not improving, I have not been able to run and have a permanent limp. I’ve been to two physios and am now waiting on a hospital referral.

I’ve been doing a little cycling on my turbo trainer, but it’s not the same. It’s amazing the effect it has on mental health. I’ve been super stressed, weight has been going on and lots of things feel bad due to both. Running is not easy, not running is even worse.

Ahh well. I just need to keep moving. I’ve entered the obligatory London Marathon ballot. Let’s see what happens there lol.

I will try to write some more soon, been super busy with work and my mind has not been in a good place for writing tbh.

Talk soon


Turning the page

So of course like everyone else, I’m thinking about 2022 now. 2021 has not been my greatest year for running, in fact, probably one of my worst, especially if I review my statistics, although, being a stats nerd, I can make them work for me 🙂

I have not run now for something like 6 weeks after being ill with a really bad cold and cough and then (I think) breaking a toe, I think, because now that we are in the grip of Omicron, there was no way I was going to get it checked at a hospital for them to just strap it up the same as I can.

Now I’m thinking it is time to turn the page on 2021 in my head and look forward to 2022, with a new baby on the way in January, I have no plans to set lofty goals.

I was sat on the sofa, beer in hand and foot up, when my wife mentioned that a family friend had just signed up for the Oxford half.

And then all of a sudden, so was I ! Thanks Katie!

Here we go again! But at least it is something that I am confident with. I had planned to just focus on my 5k time which has slipped dramatically but here we are and I’m now considering purchasing a coaching plan, new gear, blah blah blah!

The Oxford half is a lovely run and fairly local to me, I’ve run it before, so I have a good insight to the route, the one thing that sticks in my mind are the cobblestones, ahh the pain lol.

I have some weight to lose (some, ha!) and we will have a young baby, but with some flexibility around what time of day I run and maybe taking our nearly 2 year old on some of the runs in her buggy, I think I can successfully train for a HM for October 2022. The plan will be key, but the discipline to execute is what will really make the difference.

I found that using a power based plan before did not help me, I actually got slower, so this time, I will be going full on and asking a coach to create me a plan, making sure the objective (time target) is realistic and achievable, I have a time in mind, but I want to see what the coach thinks and follow the advice.

So while 2021 has not been a great year in many ways, I’m now ready for 2022 and mentally preparing for the changes that are fast approaching.

I do hope that you all are safe, stay safe and that 2022 brings an end (or at least an improvement) to the Covid-19 situation, and that you all have a wonderful Christmas.



Bit of a struggle

So running, right now, is a bit of a struggle.

After my ultra I have struggled with motivation, struggling with knee pain, with work life balance, with the demands of children blah blah blah! As I type this it sounds like excuses, but quite honestly, it’s been a struggle. I went out today for my first run in 2-3 weeks with a friend, and we ran slowly, deliberately, just because we both need to.

I really enjoyed the slow run.

I was at physiotherapist yesterday to get some help with my knees and he has diagnosed knee bursitis. He gave a massage to the connecting muscles and did dry needling, I left with almost zero pain and my run today only twinged slightly in one knee which was a real relief. I now plan to continue in this way, just taking it gentle, no aims or objectives for a little while, to allow my knees to heal and my mojo to return.

I have a couple of 10k’s planned coming up soon, so I will need to be very careful in those and just accept that I am going to be even slower than normal for a while.

Once I start feeling stronger, I think it would be a good idea to focus on 5k for a while and see how consistent I can get with time and then once consistent, set myself a target! But first, heal, health and mojo!


Ok, so happy running all, and take care.


Quick update

Here’s a link to a quick vlog I made.

So I’ve been training since 23rd February and it’s been pretty tough for many reasons, mostly not because of the running itself. Much of my difficulty lies in managing the balancing act between work, family life and attempting to train for an ultra. Now that’s no different to other people’s challenges, but there’s no getting away from the fact that it’s a serious challenge and everyone’s situation is different.

Essentially, where I am is that I can happily run about 3 times further than I could at the beginning of my training. I was struggling to run a 5k, now I’m happy running up to 9 miles. Nowhere near enough for an ultra of course, so my plan is to walk as much as I need to during the event itself and not worry about it. Knowing that the experience will add value for next time!

The fact I am now happy to run that distance is important to me, finding the time to do so is still a challenge, so I’m just being kind to myself and running whenever I can and trying to stick to my plan as much as I can.

Ok, so take care all, happy running!


Well that hurt

Well, yesterday I ran along The Ridgeway, was aiming for 2 hours in power zone 2, did not achieve that!

I am learning to respect The Ridgeway.

My training plan was to run 2:45 on Sunday, this was never on the cards as I had missed some training due to ‘reasons out of my control” such as a 1-year-old, and work, insomnia, physical pain related to my cancer surgery etc. So I had planned for a 2-hour run, which was my longest this year, at that, I only managed 9 miles and even then, not in zone 2. The hills pushed me up into zone 5 at times and predominantly zones 3 and 4, despite being slow!

Aside from power zones and pace, I was running in my Vibram trail shoes, which to be honest, I might have as well been running barefoot and it felt like I was running the whole 9 miles on cobblestones. It. Really. Hurt!

I mean. Really.

By mile 5, I was suffering big-time, like no other run.

I had run a 10k the day before so my legs were a little tired anyhow but nothing dramatic. I had also had a bad nights sleep and was not feeling it but went anyway, after some mocking from my ever-loving wife when I was trying to chicken out of the ‘long run’, she rightly said, if you can’t run 2 hours now, how can you expect to run the ultra in 2 months? She was right and I knew it, so my stubborn side kicked in and took control.

Bloody idiot!

I ran, it hurt and it was slow and it was not pretty, but I slogged through a painful 9 miles at a ridiculously slow pace and I cared not a jot!

I ran up a huge hill, chatting to cyclists as I overtook them and then they overtook me and we switched places a couple of times, I stopped for photos I convinced myself that I would carry on, limping while running and then I discovered a new mantra for myself that kept me going.


I had no choice, either give up and sit or just keep going, so I repeatedly told myself to suck it up buttercup.

This worked!

I swore at myself. I mocked myself. Then I ended up telling myself that I am better than I thought I was. Particularly when I got within 30 minutes of my finish point. 

So my lesson of the day is that I must respect The Ridgeway. It is beautiful but unforgiving, in its way.


Big Bloke Running Ultra. 

Moving over to Vlogging!!

So…. I’m trying out Vlogging 

Here is the link to my first video

Not sure how this is going to play out, it’s maybe my technology geek coming through! I know I don’t have the right lighting yet or maybe background etc, but I’m playing with it and having fun.


Let me know what you think if you have a few minutes to spare 🙂



Well, it just gets better…

So Boris has cancelled Christmas, Brexit ‘no deal’ looks most likely and we have a new strain of COVID-19 which has led to countries closing their doors to people from the UK.

Merry Christmas!!

Looks like we are all heading for some fun times ahead, with around 21 million people having been put into tier 4 and thousands of them ‘making a run for it’ just before the deadline, I am guessing that this new strain which is apparently 70% more virulent that the standard strain, that we will see a nationwide viral explosion.

None of this of course has anything to do with running!

So let’s get back to that and step away from the politics shall we. I have been focussing much more on my running and have managed to meet my weekly goals most weeks now despite the growing pressures from work. I have been running to make myself happy, focussing on enjoying it rather than anything else. My ultra plan starts again in February, so just keeping a certain level of health (I won’t say fitness!!).

I am really looking forward to starting my training plan now and bringing a bit of structure to my runs, to be honest, a regular 5k, along the same route is starting to get monotonous, the trouble is that sticking with 5ks means that its really not worth travelling to anywhere for a run. The longer runs required in the plan will make it more worthwhile to drive to the Ridgeway for a run. The last time I ran there, it nearly killed me 🙂 so I think I had better make sure I run plenty there, specificity is key to training.

I plan to start using my GoPro to Vlog my runs, it will be a bit of an experiment, so when you see those, be kind! But I will appreciate feedback on how to improve them.

Talk soon, and have a wonderful Christmas all.

Better, slowly.

So in my last blog post I said that I would run four times a week, a minimum of 5k each time, I have, so far, been able to do this and do so without too much of a strain on my work / life balance, so for now, this seems to be ok

Screenshot 2020 11 17 at 09 32 25

In the picture you can see my daily Running Stress Score as created by Stryd, you can see the consecutive days of running then the car crash(!) and the beginnings of my four runs a week. Clearly October was not a great month for my running!

Todays run was a nice simple power zone 2, 5k run, I’m quite enjoying running without any stress of actually following a training plan, I know that is to come, but for now, thesis quite nice. I have an 80/20 Power running plan set up in my Training Peaks account which kicks in mid February, so that should see me ready for the Ultra next year. Right now, the right thing is  just to enjoy running.

Back to todays run! As I say, a simple zone 2 run, which means a really low pace, conversational pace really and sometimes even slower when going up any hills because a hill increases the power requirement for a given pace obviously. It was running mostly in the dark which I love almost as much as running in the rain (dark and rainy mornings are the best!), slightly cold but I’m not yet in my winter gear, looking forward to that (ummm no!). I managed to keep 71% of my run in zone 2, which is pretty good, but I need to focus a bit more and stay in that zone 2, I tend to speed up towards the end because I want it over, as you can see below (orange line power, blue line pace).

Screenshot 2020 11 17 at 09 52 25
The route I run is fairly uninspiring, although I guess many would love it, I run from Aston down to Cote, out towards Shifford a bit and then back. I have been running this route mostly because it has the quietest roads from a traffic perspective but also, it is easy as I just go from my doorstep rather than having to drive to a starting point.

One of the benefits of the route are the locals in Cote, there is in particular, one older gentleman who is nearly always out and has a chatter, really lovely chap, who I suspect might actually be lonely, so it’s nice to have a chatter with him in the mornings. I think he will get a Christmas hamper as a surprise! Of course another benefit is the wildlife, I have seen some really beautiful owls and other birds of prey, along with small deer.

I’m sat here now writing this and can still feel the fact I ran this morning, some 14 hours ago, its good to know that even a gentle run has an impact on the body in some way!

While I write this I am also thinking about work and the impact that has on my running and home life as the hours I work or spend with family blur into each other. I think that the changes that lockdown (and now LD2!) have brought are not necessarily healthy, but are rapidly becoming the new normal for so many people, in particular knowledge workers. I for one, spend far more hours in front of my screen sat at a desk than I have ever done. While I reflect upon this and the the results of my woeful training this year, I can’t help to wonder if the two are linked, it’s definitely an input to reduced motivation, of that I’m certain. I guess if the vaccines that are being spoken about now really bear fruit then maybe by this time next year I might be in a position to answer that!


Ok, going to drop off now, will catch up again soon.