Tuesday, 31 January 2006

Feeling better

Its the long run - not done anything serious since BM, so need to get this one out of the way.

A cool grey morning, just the weather for plodding.

As a result of BM where my average pace was 13:04 with AHR 146, my plan is to continue to do my training at 140, (apart from my club runs which will be quicker - around race pace) and aim to run at an average pace of around 14 mm - that is to use the Trinity method - make up any spare time at the end of the mile, in walking.

So to try it out. As usual the first few miles were painful - tight calves again, stopped to stretch a couple of times.

Just took water in my hilly bottle carrier and dextrose tablets, rather than gels, which I hate. I failed to push the stopper back down on the bottle after the first slurp and so had a damp back for a while - which made it cold.

But after that it was going pretty steadily up until the killer hill at the end - and I decided to not even try to run that, just to walk up the steeper bits and plod when it levelled off a bit - my back was aching at this point, probably partly because it was cold..

So the numbers

Mile AHR

Last time

today's pace

today's AHR

1 132 12:29 12:22 131 downhill, looks a bit quick but HR low
2 137 13:25 13:35 132 pretty level
3 139 13:41 13:59 137 rising
4 138 14:33 14:13 136 climbing
5 137 11:29 13:11 134 someone moved the mile markers last time!
6 137 13:29 13:09 138 coming home
7 133 13:57 13:22 136
8 139 13:52 13:28 137 this is uphill
9 136 14:56 15:05 133 main road to cross and killer hill warm down
9.0 136 13:33 13:36 135 2:01:56 2:02:27

so pretty pleased again, managed to keep going even on the hills unless the HR said slow down, and tried to keep running and not walking by decreasing stride, keeping cadence (sounds techy doesn't it!), but sometimes I just have to walk I am afraid.

End of the month
So 68 miles plodded this month, in spite of a week off last week. That is 13 miles more than I did last January - so a bit further on in my training. Just looked back at the spreadsheet for last year, and I missed quite a few of my long runs for various reasons - will really try to make the long runs and the 'kinda long' runs stick this time.

Monday, 30 January 2006

looking better

thanks for all the positive support guys'n'gals

Northern Cross Country Camps today, so it's off on the club bus to Blackburn with teenbeanz.
Team manager says he reckons teenbeanz may be a counting memwber of the team today, as only four U17s on the bus.

Arrive in plenty of time to frozen puddles in the car park but a glorious blue sky - and a cold wind.

Teenbeanz goes off to investigate the course, while I investigate the clothing stalls ands buy a new fleecy hat and some more magic £1 gloves - I thnk the magic bit is that they get lost easily but at least as they are even handed, odd ones will always match.

Teenbeanz is in the first race and another U17 turns up with his dad, so maybe teenbeanz will not count after all. I go down to the start with the lads to collect their outer layers in a bin bag before the start

and they are off! I find somewhere to cheer him on at the end of the first lap - and he has at least two behind him

and the finishers begin to come in - but where is Tom our No1 runner? not to be seen - and here comes teenbeanz with someone close behind - we yell as he comes in and he stays ahead - so not last !

it turns out that Tom dropped out after the first lap - and TB saw him walking back, so knew he had to do as well as possible to count, and several others dropped out too so TB was even further up the field than it appeared - he was pleased

we went over to teh stalls and did some spending - a hoody with the race date on, and a fridge magnet with his pic - and one for grandma.

then a bonus - XB and the xbettes turned up to support Bobbis - so a natter with them and we had to collect the senior ladies' kit too

then U17 girls, so we walked out to one of the hills to watch and encourage them - a tough hill too - rather rutted with tracks and muddy in places

Collected the kit for the senior men and then walked up the hill to watch them and take a few pics - got very confusing, because the men passed our point 4 times on their 12 km race, so there was multiple lapping going on!

and soon it is time to go home - full of fresh air and some exericse, if not running, for me

Another early start as tigerrunner picks me up to go to Tough Guy - we get there with time to look at some of the course - eek the ice on the pools is ¼ inch thick!!

Met up with Meldy, cougie, Annaspanna, oxymoron, jj and the count's lady and a good time was had by all as we wandered through the course watching the crazy people struggle through freezing cold water, over enormous obstacles and electric fences - mad all of them!

Back at the finish I wondered what time TR would do as I had only managed to see him at the first obstacle and then I lost track of the order of the fences and did not see him again. And then he was there - showered and cleabn but VERY cold - shakign so much that he coould not put on his gloves or hold a cup to drink the hot chocolate. So it was back to the car and warm up. Then off to the pub for Sunday lunch and home to my long suffering family.

Another day of fresh air and some walking but no running for me.

Monday - and a run!
Was supposedotbe my 'long' run today - but I knew I had so much work to get done and a meeting at 2 pm so I changedto a short 3 miler to turn over my legs and the long one tomrrow.

As it turned out I was pleased I did a short one as my calves were SO tight - never really loosened up in the whole run - lack of use and no stretching over the last week I guess.

So just my normal route out and back up the main road, with the killer hill on the return and keeping my HR under control.

Mile Pace AHR
1 13:12 133 main road to cross and then mostly downhill
2 13:51 135 downhill to the turn
3 14:13 138 really must get this under 14:00
0.25 14:55 137 road to cross and uphill
3.25 13:51 136 45:00

It was good to be back running - even if it was not very pretty.

Friday, 27 January 2006

humph :<(

well I seem to have acheived nothing this week, let alone today

  • defrosted freezer
  • been school governor for an hour or so
  • responded to a few work emails
  • not run
  • not done the work I was supposed to do
  • eaten too much bready stuff

feel very disatisfied with myself

I've plodded 2 miles this week

off to Northern XC champs with teenbeanz tomorrow so standing in a cold field in Blackburn for an hour or five

then off to another cold field on Sunday for TG

I want to do both those things, but they don't do much for my FLM training :<((

Thursday, 26 January 2006

Thursday wash out

last night was club run, just a couple of miles because we had another beginner - may be a beginner but she was quick enough to keep me at current race pace!!

and I also did it without any walking breaks - so chuffed with that!

so that was fewer miles than the schedule said yesterday

2 miles

and today?
I was planning on doing my 5 miles when it had got light, but a rush job for work came in, then a hair appointment, so it has not been done - can't see it being done now, will try and fit it in tomorrow, btu waiting in for plumber, appointment at school and waiting in for a delivery, mean it may be a shorter plodette that is squeezed in

Wednesday, 25 January 2006

keeping going

recovered from BM with no ill effects - but no time to run on Monday - w*rk does get in the way sometimes

mrbeanz has not recovered - his sore calf is letting him know that he shold have pulled up at 3 miles, rather than carry on! lots of icing at the moment

went to the gym yesterday - the teenbeanzes are now 16 so are allowed to use all the equipment so they had an induction last week and nonrunningteenbeanz wants to start going regularly, so this must be encouraged

I went on the cross trainer and did some resistance stuff - - and the ITB roller OUCH

teenbeanz did some of his stuff, but as is usual the PT did not give enough detail on the card, so he could not not remember which machine a couple of the exercises were four - I made suggestions, but it didn't match his memory!

ah well

Sunday, 22 January 2006

Brass Monkey 2006

This really is a brilliant race - nice and flat, warm starting and finishing area, lots of forumites - and the best marshalls - loads of them and all giving great encouragement - even when they have been standing waiting nearly three hours for the last of us to crawl in

mrbeanz and I set off soon after 7.00 - after we (sorry, he) had scraped the ice off the car windows

on to the road and it was foggy, slowing us down a little, but as there was not too much traffic it was not a big problem

arriving in York, we followed the AA instructions to the race course, missing the turning twice before eventually hitting the car park

desperate for the loo after lots of hydrating I lept out of the car - to be greeted by richk who was parked one row behind - a great start!

gradually more of the clans gathered - Xavier Breath (XB), Evil Pixie, RunnyBunny, Northern Snail, Stumpy, little miss happy, mark*w .....

meeting in the underworld of the Grandstand was great - plenty of space - decent loos and somewhere for a photoshoot out of the cold air - pics will be on richk's site soon

all too soon it was time to remove the layers and move to the start - meeting more forumites on the way

and we are off, starting at the back and soon very nearly right at the back, I plodded along, HR 150+ which was higher than intended, but it seems sooo stupid to walk right away - suppose I should have warmed up properly like Pixie - but I did the first mile in 12:16 - far too fast - no wonder HR so high!

my target was just to get under 3 hours - which is 13:30 pace, but I also thought it might be possible to run 13 minute miles at a reasonable HR, so that is what I tried to do - using Trinity's tactic of run the mile, walk any 'slack time' at the start of the next mile and then complete the next mile

worked well for 8 miles - kept the running going pretty well, especially as there were so many marshalls out there, it seems a shame to walk!

after 10 miles it got a bit tough - a felt the threats of cramp in my calf, and had run out of drink

but the cramp never really materialised

a mile or so from the end XB jogged out to meet me and came back in the for the last mile - and there was Pixie and mrbeanz to cheer me in :>))

what a great finish - and I managed to run the last 100 yards too!

this is the best bit - back into the grandstand and they are only just doing the presentations - and there is tea and coffee and great flapjack!
So a sit down, warm up and natter with XB and mrbeanz, finding out about their races

XB missed aPB becuase he wasn't htinking about time, just enjoying the race - finishing in 1:50

mrbeanz's calf seized up at 3 miles, and he plodded round in 1:50 just behind XB

sorry we did not gather again with pixie and others :<(

the numbers

Mile Pace AHR
1 12:16 149 oops off too fast as usual
2 12:50 150 can't keep up this HR
3 13:10 147 getting better
4 12:52 149
5 13:06 147
6 13:06 146 consistent
7 13:01 145 they are all meant to be like this one
8 12:56 146
9 13:12 144 getting tired now
10 13:25 143
11 13:19 143
12 13:16 143
13 13:40 142 oops chatting with XB!
0..1 11:59 146 sprint finish
13.1 13:04 146 2:52:27

the numbers show that 13 mm should be possible with more tranining, making a sub 6 hour marathon possible too

full results at the Knavesmire Harriers site

Wednesday, 18 January 2006

a plodette

club night tonight and we had a new lady in our slowest group - so we just did a two miler - good to have someone else around my pace - though I suspect she might speed up fairly quickly


distance: 2.02 miles
time: 26:23
pace : 13:03 mm
AHR: 142

off to Coventry first thing tomorrow until Saturday - will try and fit in a little plod tomorrow evening

and then Brass Monkey on Sunday - see you there Pix!

Monday, 16 January 2006

a struggle this morning

long post warning - got to get this one out of my system!

Monday is LS day - and today was to be 10 or 11 miles - last long run before Brass Monkey next Sunday

so a look at the map suggested I could tag a bit onto each end of the 9 miler to take it up to 10 and see how I feel when I got close to home, whether I might add a bit more on

so early porage then settle to a bit of work until digestion has happened - durign this time the heating went off and I began to to feel cold and ot liek going out - but I must

its grey and miserable, outside the forecast is for showers this morning and heavy and more frequnt showers by lunchtime

so I dug my gilet out of the cupboard, a long slow cold and wet run would be worse than anything

decided to try dextrose tablets rather than gels for energy en route - I find the consistency of the gels is bleurgh and half strength lucozade - too sweet at full strength

so eventually I get out of the door and plod on my extra loop, by the time I join my usual route I have added 0.65 miles

by this time the HRM is beginning to play up and despite groping up my top it seems set on not working - except to occasionally tell me my HR is 224!!
as I am wearing an Enell, I have just tucked it under the strap, without the elastic strap - so maybe the contact is not good enough - though this is not usually a problem - or maybe it need a new battery - will have to investigate.

so will just have to run on feel - and I plod along for a while, but the toxic twenty is turning into 30 and I am tempted towalk, even though it is flat and early days - and I am thinking of escape routes, just doing the 6 miles instead of 9+ - but as I walk to clean my glasses a cyclist passes and calls out 'keep going' so i set of again - thanks to that man!

eventually I get into gear and by the time I get to the escape lane (4 miles) I am not even contemplating taking it!

it is a good for the first 5 miles - some ups and downs but not too much traffic and I have not yet done it eonought ot be bored by it

at the turning point I seem to have a lost a few of my extra yards - and insteadof turning at 5.65 it is 5.5 - ah well

now on the main road and a few buses pass - and I have a thought that I might catch one!

but I keep on going and now I am pleased I have my gilet - on the way out it was sheltered and I did get very warm - but now I am running into a wind and it is trying to rain

on familiar territory I plod up killer hill - managing to keep plodding some of the time but getting rather slow and a few short walks

as I near the turning for home the 9 mile bleeps - and I know it is 0.3 miles up the road to home, so I have lost more of that extra distance - not sure how though!

so I continue on to add a little extra, but it is serious rain and I don't go as far as I should - and dip out for home, by the time I get to the door it is 9.7 miles

and its over

Mile Pace AHR
1 12:40 mainly downhill - too fast
2 13:56 downhill and level!
3 13:53 level and up
4 14:23 uphill
5 14:21 still mostly up
6 13:21 turned for home
7 14:09 getting tired
8 13:49 uphill - so not bad
9 14:43 killer hill
0.7 16:01 its raining, uphill and I want to finish!
9.7 14:04 2:16:31

of course, I now wish had carried on past the front door - to make the 10 miles- as Hal Higdon says, don't cheat on the long runs

so its miles under the bonnet and now I have put a new battery in the HRM is it is fine

better today than Sunday!

Sunday, 15 January 2006

good weekend

County XC champs today, so off to the park with teenbeanz - not far to go this year, just a mile or so up the road

His is first race and we arrive in plenty of time to warm up, meet other members of the club team and generally get in the mood

Sudddenly its time to get all the warm clothes off and the spikes on

and they are off!

two laps of the course and as they come back at the end of the first lap there is a least one drop out ahead of him and one runner behind him

he maintains his position to the finish - and received an invitation to be a reserve for the County Team!! He is dead chuffed :>))

and as a bonus my forum mate tigerrunner won a bronze for third in his new age group - 50th birthday on Friday!!

Saturday evening was the Club Awards dinner - being a friendly club as well as awards for best man and lady - based on race results over the year; there are leagues, so you can win an award by doing well amongst your peers; also there is a club member of the year - chosen by club members and finally a memorial award given to a family who have contributed to the club in the past year - so a really nice affair

So it comes this last award and TeamBeanz won!- really nonrunningteenbeanz won it - he has created a website for the club - it went live this very day and we now have a silver rosebowl to polish for the year!!

He was chuffed when we came home and told him

Should have run 3 miles yesterday, but no time before the XC races and to weary later

so off out this morning for a little plod up the road and back - funny how a 3 mile run almost seems like not worth getting changed for - but that is what the schedule says, so go with it

Mile Pace AHR
1 12:41 130 generally downhill
2 14:20 136 a little undulation
3 14:21 138 better than my usual pace up this killer hill
0.15 14:29 160
3.15 13:49 135 43:33

the return mile and half is the last stretch of my 9 mile run; yesterday mrbeanz ran the 9 miles in preparation for Brass Monkey - he informed me the run is undulating rather than hilly - but even he said the last mile up my killer hill is a bit of a pain at the end of a run!

Friday, 13 January 2006

plodded and prodded

still on track with the HH schedule, so feeling pleased with myself

this mornign was due to be 3 miles, so I went to the gym and did 5 km on the tready - trying to keep up the pace - so 3. 1miles done

and then for a massage

the phyzz had suggested that I see the sports masseuse / therapist once a month to keep me ticking over, rather than see her unless there is a serious problem so off to see Anna - masseuse to Coventry City FC!

A good session, she certainly found some of my notty points, and gave me a good going over - now not allowed to run for 24 hours - so will do tomorrow's 3 miler in the afternoon

now feel like I need a snooze!!

Wednesday, 11 January 2006

slow 4 done

had planned to run early, but decided to get some work done first and I am so pleased I did - now a glorious day
clear blue skies and warm (apart from the wind)

so 4 miles plodded - and I use the word advisedly

how come these were at a slower pace than the 9 miles on Monday?

Mile Pace AHR
1 13:01 132 mainly downhill
2 13:54 138 seems level!
3 15:37 136 definitely uphill
4 14:14 134 HRM intermittent uphill
.14 15:20 159
4.14 14:14 135 58:54

by the way when I talk about killer hills - they are not generally serious hills or particularly long they are just killers at the end of a plod - and always are there as I live close to the top of a hill!

Monday, 9 January 2006

9 miles d&d

so Monday is long run day and today Hal said 9 miles so 9 miles was done

same route as I did on New Year's Eve - downhill, level, climbing, undulating downhill, levelish, killer hill (You'd love it Leon!)

So the numbers:

Mile AHR


1 132 12:29 12:59 139 downhill
2 137 13:25 13:43 139 pretty level
3 139 13:41 14:03 143 rising
4 138 14:33 13:44 151 climbing
5 137 11:29 13:24 149 must have lost signal here I think!
6 137 13:29 13:31 140 coming home
7 133 13:57 13:32 139
8 139 13:52 13:54 138 this is uphill
9 136 14:56 15:02 137 killer hill warm down
9.0 136 13:33 13:48 142 2:01:56 2:03:55

so pretty pleased with this!

What does it mean for BM?
Last night I commented on Pix's blog that I was hoping to run at 13:45 or (optimistically) 13:30 pace at BM which is in 2 weeks time and flat as a pancake.

Today I ran the first 8 miles in 1:46:59 which is equivalent to 13:22 pace - including some serious gradients. So maybe I should hope for a quicker pace than I had suggested at BM.

As I was plodding round today, I did think that I might run BM to my HRM - without the bleeps of course. I tend to get into a groove of plodding, which sometimes slows down, but if my HR says I could be going quicker then I try to speed up a bit. And it is a training run for FLM anyway!

Sunday, 8 January 2006

getting back into the groove

So back from working away - and not much running done

I was staying at the Madejski Stadium in Reading - usual new stadium location on a trading estate - not ideal running country. It did not look like the sort of place you'd want to be out on your own early in the morning, so I decided to try the gym. A colleague told me that it opened at 6.00 am - so there I was at 6 ready to go - but it did not open until 6.30.

Rather than sit around for half an hour I decided to plod outside just looping round the stadium. But I was not dressed for runing outside at that time on a January morning, so I only managed 3 laps - 18½ minutes before my hands were numb. So fionished off with three flights of stairs in teh hotel and glutes and core exercises.

Then a long day of exhibitions and giving talks left me worn out by the time we got back to the hotel at 7.00 pm.

The only way I was going to get a run in before leaving for the conference was to get up at 6.00 again, but a bad night's sleep put paid to that -so it was just the glutes and core this morning.

Exhausted by the meetings and woken at 3.30 am by boy racers practising their hand brake turns in the car park outside, meant again I did not get a run in.
6.30 pm home at last and out for a curry to celebrate the teenbeanzes' forthcoming birthdays next week.

The two targets I had for these days away were to try and plod each day and eat sensibly.

As seen above did not manage the first but DID manage the second. :>))

A lie in until 9.00 am such luxury!
Then a visit to the gym this afternoon - just 3 km on the tready and some core strength - long run tomorrow.

The plan for the week ahead:

Monday 9 miles
Tuesday rest
Wednesday 4 miles steady
Thursday In Exeter - rest day
Friday 3 miles treadmill: speed pyramids
Saturday 3 miles recovery
Sunday cross train

Wednesday, 4 January 2006

working away again ....

So it all begins again - off on the train for few days away in a hotel

two targets:
  • eat properly
  • get in some running somehow

the hotel looks to be in the middle of a loop of road about half a mile long, so a few circuits of that morning and evening may be the best way to put in a few miles - might be doing the dreaded 'doubles' !! - but just a couple of miles each time owing to time constraints, not serious daily thread type doubles :>)

there is a gym , but they tend not to open early enough in the morning and the treadmills always feel a bit rickety after the good solid 'life fitness' ones we have at the gym

the eating will be ok in the hotel, its the buffet lunches I'll have to watch

I have decided to run FLM for Oxfam this year and have now set up my web page - take a look and read about why I chose Oxfam

Tuesday, 3 January 2006

stepping down week

The long run should have been a 9 miler at the end of the week, but the only day I have time for a 'long' run is today, and it is a bit close to Saturdays' 9 miler, so I decided to swap this week and next week and just do 6 miles, using partof Saturday's route

a tad slower than Saturday - which may be reflected in only a banana before I went out and not enough water - did not take a drink with me - and also the fact that I did do 9 miles on Saturday, which was the longest since Windsor.

so I've put Saturday's numbers on the equivalent miles in for comparison

Mile Pace AHR Saturday
1 13:17 133 12:59 139
2 13:50 136 13:43 139
3 14:08 137 14:03 143
4 13:48 140 13:44 151
5 13:57 138 13:54 138
6 14:20 139 15:02 137
0.09 14:09 141
6.09 13:53 137 1:24:39

so in fact although the miles were a tad slower they were also at slightly slower HR too - I managed to keep the HR under 140 better

so I am happy with that

Monday, 2 January 2006

New Year New Resolve

Happy and Healthy New Year to you all

So others have posted their targets for 2006 and so must I.

First the long term over the year stuff:
  • loose a pound a week through the year to get me to a healthy plodding weight
  • run at least 4 times a week, even if some are only 2 or 3 miles
  • be more organised in my working life

On the way - to be a stone lighter for FLM (I now weigh the same as I did last April) so I need to

  • drink 2 litres of water a day
  • eat at least 5 fruit and veg a day
  • concentrate on low GI low fat foods
  • do core strength and stretching on non running days