Like Craig Whyte, I’ve been keeping a low profile recently. Not because I owe £140 million, though. A few months back I had a particularly bad episode of back pain, which saw me unable to walk properly. I could barely stand up and as I shuffled around the house my wife noted that I was moving like Caesar, from Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and nicknamed me accordingly. This was the third time in a year that I had suffered badly with this and I decided that enough was enough. I booked an appointment with the Physiotherapy department at Monklands Hospital and have been attending there for the last two months. I had been given a number of stretches and exercises to do, to improve my posture and strengthen weak muscles. I’ve did some short local walks, cycling and a bit of canoeing, and all appeared to be going well until Thursday, when I tried running again for the first time in months. Everything appeared to go well for the first 6 miles, then I started to feel cramps in my calf muscles, which brought me to a halt. Normally I could have called my wife and she could have picked me up, but my car is off the road for repairs, so there was no option but to make my own way home.
The remainder of the route was done at a mix of slow shuffle and jog, but I was happy that I had got out. I like running on the moor out to Longriggend and I had missed the views there. The Pentlands were completely covered in snow, the Ochills less so. As I came up from Hillend past Wester Bracco to the Lilly Loch the last stragglers of Canada Geese were gathered near a puddle, ready for the off.
Next day my back pain had returned though, and by the afternoon it was pretty bad, although I wasn’t reduced to Caesar like movements. I hope at some point that my back will be up to long runs again, but in the meantime I’ll have to keep it short, or stick to cycling. For now that probably also means no big walks with heavy rucksacks for a few weeks.