A great way to start 2009 – 12.31 miles @9.57m/m. Up along the Royal Canal to Ashtown, a small loop over to the south side of the Phoenix Park and back along the LUAS line into town.

My 2008 diary shows a total of 1,059 miles. This is an increase of 36% over 2007 during which year I had months of downtime with my legs just refusing to co-operate.

Helping me along during the second half of this morning’s run was the T’Pau album Bridge of Spies (yes I know, how old is that). Carol Decker has the most achingly beautiful voice and China In Your Hands, one of the best commercial singles of recent times, belongs to her alone despite the clever instrumentalisation. It is difficult to imagine anyone else covering that song successfully.

But the rest of the album is quality too. And Ms Decker, when you belt out Sex Talk, Monkey House and Thank You For Goodbye (hiyeea!) then I am truly Putty In Your Hands.