Pulling and Pushing

I’m out on a run doing speed work. It’s tough, but I feel good and strong so I’m pretty happy until a mile before home when something goes ‘ping’ in my left calf. I pull up to investigate and apart from a little tenderness, I think I’m okay. When a van driver stops to offer me a lift, I decline because I’m sure that I’ll be able to walk… but soon, with no one in sight, I realise that getting home might be a slow process because my leg keeps collapsing under me. 
By the time I reach the top of our lane, I’m ready to crawl, but fortunately some neighbours (and there are very few of them!) spot me, bundle me in their car and deliver me to the doorstep. Phew! I’m not known for my patience but with only two months to go until the Cardiff half marathon, I’ve rested, iced, compressed and elevated the injury and generally been sensible – I’m just hoping I’ve got away with it!

Work wise, I’m trying to pull myself together for the next writing marathon. I love the satisfaction of having created a fictional world but dislike having to shout about it afterwards! Promoting Follow A Star and Only True in Fairy Tales has been draining – I’m immensely grateful to everyone for the support and especially to those who’ve been kind enough to leave reviews - a glittering collection of gold stars really wins prizes in Amazon world - but, heck, to use Lily’s phrase, a lot of the time I really do feel like an ant trying to push a boulder up a mountain against so much competition.

Putting Amazon rankings and the tyranny of the computer to one side, Tom and I decide to blow some cobwebs away and test my calf muscle with a trip to Fishguard - where we used to keep our wooden boat, Veryan - followed by an ice cream and short walk at Goodwick. It’s a glorious day, my leg seems fine – and there is nothing like a Belgian chocolate ice cream for making everything feel better!


Tom marks the spot where we used to keep Veryan!

We head back home across the beautiful Preseli Hills stopping occasionally to enjoy the view and take a few snaps, like this one of a shepherd’s hut I’ve always admired.

Lovely, isn’t it? Alas, as we try to set off again, we discover that the car has mysteriously impaled itself on a small boulder, the front wheels are spinning impotently and The Biscuit Tin is going nowhere! I get out and try to push - which achieves nothing. Just as we are beginning to think we might have to live in the shepherd’s hut, an estate car zooms up beside us, a Welsh couple jump out, spring to our rescue– to the delight of their children beaming at us from the back seats – and zoom off again. Whoever they are, we’re very grateful to them!

And finally…
First reports, a couple of Face Time calls and lots of photographs suggest that the little family are enjoying Canada, which is great news.

And congratulations and good luck to Rose who starts a new job with HarperCollins today – don’t worry, baba, you’ll be fine!

Painting is 'Pink Plank' by Tom Tomos


Jane Lovering said…
Wow, you've been busy! I hope the leg is recovering and that the weather continues as picturesquely lovely for you - and that sales of the books keep going up and up! Mmm, Belgian chocolate ice cream...
Chris Stovell said…
Thank you, Jane - all good, apart from the fact it's pouring down again!
Maggie Christie said…
Wishing your leg a speedy recovery. Always a worry, this close to the race.

It sounds as if we did the same thing yesterday regarding ice cream and a walk at Goodwick. I'm amazed we didn't bump into each other! (Mind you, I'm well known for walking past people, head in the clouds, face in ice cream! :D )

We were there late afternoon, by which time you were possibly already teetering on your boulder - I hope the Biscuit Tin isn't bruised after that mishap!

Can't wait to read OTinFT - it's downloaded and next in my reading queue!
Chris Stovell said…
We must have been within minutes of each other, Mags - we were in Goodwick just after 3pm, we bought an ice cream, walked to the end of breakwater and meandered back over the Preseli .... just! Yes, worrying about the leg - too many step hills and not enough stretching, I guess. Cx
PS. And thanks for buying OTinFT!
Mandy K James said…
Glad your leg is better. Hope your sales go from strength to strength too xx
Pondside said…
Sending best wishes for healed and strengthened leg and through-the-roof book sales! Do keep me in the know re the little family in Edmonton.
Chanpreet said…
I hope your leg is healed up and you're able to train again. I'm also very happy to hear the Biscuit Tin got out of the jam it was in and that all is well with the family in Canada. :)
Chris Stovell said…
Pondside, thank you for your good wishes and your reassurances that set our minds at rest. Much appreciated. x

Chanpreet, I'm going to try a short run on the flat tomorrow to see how it goes... eek! And thank you! x
Teresa said…
Do you realise you keep being rescued?
Just one question: did you have your cell phone with you when the "ping" happened? You should have. It was a ping could have been a bang in the middle of pouring rain and who'd be reading those reviews in Amazon? ;) Who, I ask?
Amazing report from Life with Chris! ahahah
Glad all turned out for the best,
Frances said…
Chris, glad that your recent traveling adventures have had happy endings. Do take care of that leg...do you consult a doc or trainer or other runners when something like that sudden "give out" happens? I know I would freak out a bit, and then, like you, would try to drag myself home.

Hey, amidst the travel hiccups, that chocolate ice cream sounds Wonderful.

I'm going to pop over to Amazon and write something like a review or something. My reading of Follow A Star stalled as I tried to speed my way through A Passage to India in time for this week's book club meeting. I'm a sometime attendee of this group and didn't want to attend un-prepared. Turned out ... you guessed it, that others had not read the book in years, but had refreshed their memories with that exxcellent film version of the sotry.

Now I will return to Follow a Star/

Chris Stovell said…
Ah, Teresa - you too! I'm afraid I didn't have a phone with me - and Tom wasn't very pleased about it either. As I got colder limping back I began to see the error of my ways - thanks for the reminder! Cx

Frances, thank you so much for posting your lovely review. It will really help Follow A Star as the review system drives future promotion. Awful having to remind people that if they've enjoyed the book (preferably!)please could they let others know? I'm very grateful to anyone who takes the time to do it. Thank you. Cx
Irish Eyes said…
Delighted to hear the calf is on the mend, DO NOT DARE TO GO OUT WITHOUT A MOBILE PHONE LADY! good people and even better authors are hard to find, and we would not like to loose you. Love the pic of the Shepard's hut; and the following rescue.
loved the blog...a day away makes life seem a whole lot better, doesn't it?
Flowerpot said…
Do hope your leg behaves itself, Chris and good luck with all the promotion - I hate that bit too. It's exhausting isn't it?!
Chris Stovell said…
Oooh, I certainly won't now, I.E.! I think I've learned my lesson. And thank you for your concern and for your lovely comment! x

Sue, it is - I'd like the luxury of just writing, but hey ho, if I was, say, a hairdresser with my own business I wouldn't expect other people to do the marketing for me so I've just got to get on with it!
Claire McC said…
Glad to hear you muscle injury is improving, Chris.Joining you on your run from the comfort of my sofa was most enjoyable and definitely my idea of exercise. (Shameful, I know!)

I hope Tom's 'scrape' heals quickly. In our house that would qualify as a fainting injury! Looks painful!

Best wishes to you both. x

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