Saturday, 29 April 2006

plodding again :>))

legs really have not suffered after FLM - maybe I could have done more?

apart from some walking I have not done any exercise this week - a plan to swim failed to materialise

I woke to glorious sunshine and had to go out and run - no time for much as the teentaxi is required on a Saturday morning

however t shirt and shorts weather and off I went into the park in my new Saucony omni trail shoes (that's another column in the spreadsheet!)

just a little plod enjoying the air - 2½ miles in 32 minutes

and next?

new plan is forming to get me round Abingdon with a new PB

looking back at my training for FLM, in spite of promising myself I would, I didn't do anywhere near enough long runs - so more of those need to be factored in - Mondays have been blocked off in the diary from now until October!

Tuesday, 25 April 2006

FLM 2006

Where to begin?
[Sorry this is so long, but it will probably be my only record of the weekend so I have to get it all down while it is in my head.]

Travelled down to London on Friday - train diversion via Birmingham to Euston, which meant I wouldn’t meet RunnyBunny at Kings Cross and travel to the expo together – were all my nightmares of disastrous train journeys about to come true?

Five of us from the running club had booked into a hotel close the expo, so I went there to drop my bags before registering and meeting RB –we decided that the pasta party was required, so off we went, but while standing in the queue I realised I couldn’t find my purse – a small panic, RB paid for my meal and then I scooted back to the hotel – and there it was on the table in my room! Phew! While dashing out to the hotel I was spotted by RichK andTrinity – so I stopped for a chat on my way back. Poor Trinity had withdrawn that morning, her leg having given her clear messages that it was NOT going to run 26 miles :<( Difficult to see all these excited people at the expo when you know you will not be running.

It is soo good to see people you know at such a huge event! Also met jog*jog*jog while chatting to Rich.

I went back into the expo for a mooch, buying a RW goody rucksack and a reject’s fleece on my way round and then back to the hotel for Spaghetti Napolitano and an early night.

I met Keith Anderson at breakfast and we chatted – he told me to let him know how the day goes and he’ll suggest what next for Abingdon – nice man :>)
Lots more people expected at the expo today, it was going to be crowded and but should be a chance to meet up with some more friends.

First things first – I take my Oxfam vest to have beanz printed across the top – an essential aspect of running this race is having your name on your shirt.
And where shall I go next? Now, various people have suggested that it is a good idea to have shoes from different brands, giving a slightly different ride and strengthening leg muscles better - and you can't have too many runnign shoes can you? So off to the Saucony stand – a combination of Hippo’s recommendation and the free draw on the RW site I suspect!!

I decide that I really can’t justify another pair of road shoes, but a pair of trail shoes is a different matter. After some misunderstandings about sizing – whether we are talking US or UK sizes, eventually we find a pair that is a good fit – and a test run on the tready shows that they are doing the job - apparently. So that’s £70 for the shoes plus a ‘free’ ‘goody bag’ containing a long sleeve saucony top, some gloves and a beanie hat.

I hear from Tigerrunner, the Sinfin boys are in town and registering! We meet up, have a wander round, two of the lads go for a massage, we mooch some more and then its time for pasta – again. Legs are getting weary, boys are getting thirsty so they adjourn to the pub. I manage to meet up with both SpeedyG and Hippo for chats before going to the pub too, where a couple more club mates are hanging out – they are off to Cuba in the morning, but call into have a jar or two and wish us good luck.

I meet Bud Baldaro in the hotel and thank him for inspiring teenbeanz at last year’s Trailplus – he asks how he is going now and says he shouldn’t worry about not liking track racing! He’ll be at TP again this summer, as will teenbeanz.

And now a chance to rest our legs before the evening pasta hunt. Initially we had not planned to go far from the hotel, but there did not seem to be much around, so on the advice of the concierge in the hotel we took the DLR to Canary Wharf – after the next stage in the train nightmare came true when we got on a train in the wrong direction!! Close to the station we found
Carluccio’s which sold pasta, didn’t have too long a queue and looked good.
We had pasta all round – they didn’t have a simple tomato sauce on the menu but they came up trumps with a great sauce as well as some fantastic bread.
An uneventful journey back and to bed – but not before I had pinned my number on my vest, packed my bag, debated the long sleeves/short sleeves issue to myself with the help of the weather forecast (and got it wrong).

Up early for breakfast – yes there is ‘porridge’ but not as I know it – more like milk with a few oatflakes floating in it. I settle for cereal and toast.

7.30 and we begin to make our way to the start – the first DLR train is pretty full before we get on, but we are on, then there is a convoluted story about what we have to do when we change trains – nightmare reawakens – and TR has been having similar dreams! We are advised to get the train to Greenwich rather than Cutty Sark as CS is already filling up with spectators and is very congested.
A bonus of walking from Greenwich is that we walk up to the start with the RFG crowd – seeing most of the runners, plus Sally Gunnel and the doc – we guess Crammy is copped up in a box somewhere with Brendan Foster. I chat to Michelle who is very nervous and we talk a little about Anna and what star she is. Chris takes a pic of Michelle and me!

Arrive at the start in time for the loo queue, then sort out clothes and drop the bag off, keeping an old cagoule that is probably not very waterproof, but will do for the hanging around at the start as there is a light drizzle.

And so to the run- it’s not really a race is it?

Had hoped to meet up with SpeedyG at the start to try to run-walk together – but it was not to be.
We set off and cross the start about 8 minutes after the gun, but about 500 metres further on we grind to a halt – and it seems to be the loo queue at 600m that is causing the delay!!
My target time is 6 hours – which is 13:44 minute/mile, so the plan is to run a mile and then walk until the 13:44 is up at this start of the next mile. I’ve been doing this with 14 minute miling in training and seemed to manage it – up to 14 miles anyway.
I use the mile markers to give me the lap times on the Garmin, rather than rely on the GPS as I know it will be unreliable in the City amongst the tall buildings and the two tunnels. So I’ve set the custom screen to give me HR, lap time and overall time. I decide that I WILL walk if my HR goes too high – but what is too high? I decided that 148 was too high, but looking at how I faded I think maybe I should have gone for 145 – I used 140 in most long runs – and I was probably going too fast in the first half of the run.

I can’t do a mile by mile report of scenery etc – so the highlights are really looking forward to seeing people at particular places – and that will not be possible at Abingdon, so I’ll need a different strategy by then.
Mile 11 – Nicko on his bollard – a big hug.
Mile 11 and a bit – Meldy – another hug and ‘you’ll see the others soon’
Mile 13.5 – my brother and nieces and the first of three great bear hugs of the day – what stars to chase round London in the rain!! It kept me going along the Highway just looking out for them!
As can be seen from the data, the AHR has dropped, I am slowing now and walking more– I made a decision to walk if it went over 140 at this stage – too late I suspect
Mile 17 - Mudchute and the forum supporters – more stars! – Stickless, VRap, Evil Pixie, CdK and MrCdK, Berry, and more I am sure – all a bit of a blur – some hugs and kisses and a couple of mini mars bars for my bum bag and on I go.
I make a decision now that I am probably more effective walking briskly than trying to run walk and feeling horrible about it. So my brisk walk comes into its own again and I manage sub 16 mm walking, if you discount stops for hugs!!
Mile 22ish and my brother pops up again :>) and I tell him it is going to be more than 6 hours to finish as I am walking more now.

Mile 23ish(??) I spot Trinity standing alone watching the crowds I run over to her and we have a big hug – not sure who needed it most.
Somewhere around this stage it is raining heavily and I am wishing I had worn my long sleeved helly and my gilet – I am getting quite cold now and when I spot a St John’s person with space blankets I go for one.

And again I see my brother - not sure where – Embankment or Birdcage Walk??

Soon I am near to the finish, I throw away the blanket and manage to jog the last 100 m or so on the encouragement of the commentator!

Time: 6:13:42 – an improvement of over 18 minutes on last year’s time – so maybe next year I can get under 6 hours!

and afterwards
I made my way to the Oxfam reception, which was up the top of the Duke of York steps – how on Earth was I going to climb those steps with my very heavy goody bag (loads to drink in there) as well as my kit? A lovely lady from Oxfam came dashing down the steps to meet me and carried my bags, as I entered the reception area there was a great cheer - more tears welling up – they were all so kind, I showered, was massaged, and met my family listening to some good music. I couldn’t eat the wonderful food though as my digestion system was still shut down.

And at last I retrieved my phone, which had soo many messages asking how I had done, where I was, was I ok – by now it was an hour after I had finished and I had not checked in with anyone (tsk) – but lovely that so many people wanted to know :>)

I wended my way over to the Thistle, where there was a lovely welcome from so many friends (sadly I had missed some because they had been and gone).

It was lovely to see Meldy and Nicko again and especially to see RichK, and Leon and Karen, and Hippo of course. And there were my great Sinfin clubmates who had finished AGES before me but had hung around drinking beer until I turned up.

Eventually hunger got the better of the lads, the football had finished on the telly, so we Sinfin runners wandered off to find food. And another Italian restaurant – this time for Pizzas or Lasagne. But I couldn’t do the lasagne justice – my digestion still had not recovered from the hammering of gels and lucozade. So just a small glass of wine, and loads of water.

Back to the hotel and crash out to sleep – after hanging all my kit up to dry out before packing in the morning.

the morning after ….
after waking starving at 1 am and a feast of muesli bars and pretzels (and water), I was not up too early, breakfast and then off to the train into Tower Hill. We went for a good look at Tower Bridge, as no one remembered much from yesterday. Then we walked along the embankment to Blackfriars, taking a tube to Kings Cross for some lunch in a cafĂ© – all day breakfasts for the boys and a delicious bacon bap for me – the first food I had actually enjoyed since the run.

On to the train, a good read with music in the ears and a return to reality at home.

Mile Pace AHR
1 13:19 142 includes 2 minutes stopped!
2 12:44 148
3 12:05 146
4 12:24 147
5 12:21 145
6 12:52 146
10km 1:18:38 a pb by 5 minutes - oops!
7 12:54 146
8 12:48 143
9 12:53 142
10 13:30 143
11 13:32 140
12 13:55 141
13 13:52 143
13.1 2:50:45
14 14:21 140 hugs from brother
15 missed the marker
16 28:50 137
17 15:43 135 Mudchute
18 14:30 136
19 15:38 132
20 15:12 129
21 15:30 126
22 16:22 122 more hugs
23 15:53 122
24 15:58 119
25 17:14 118 hugs and slowing
26.2 17:14 120
26.2 14:39 135 6:13:42

How could I forget - Tigerrunner didn't quite make his PB - but he WAS 15th in his age group :>))))

Wednesday, 19 April 2006

short plod

getting back into a routine after the holiday, so went out at 7.00 for a short plod

2.2 miles, 30 minutes at 2 seconds over marathon pace

I have a plan to meet up with SpeedyG at the Blue start and we will plod together with an aim of getting in under 6 hours - we have slightly different plans - she wants to run a mile walk a minute, I want to use the trinity method to keep from going too fast and walk more than a minute if necessary

anyway we will start off together and see how it goes

last massage this evening and a good natter with masseuse about her Reading half, RFG and other stuff- she may be on RFG tomorrow night, massaging Michelle!

been having the weird dreams - my anxieties are all about logistics before and after, rather than the run itself

so my dreams are all about catching trains and finding stations, too big a kit bag .........

ah well all too soon it will be all over and we'll be wondering what to do next!

I need a plan!

Monday, 17 April 2006

Looking towards London

Less than a week to go and I feel I need to take FLm into account in what I do now

A gentle day - not up too early and some study sorting - taking things out of boxes and either throwing away or filing.

I start to teach my Mum to surf the tinternet - she did have a go a year or so ago, but never got very far - this time I think she might make it - once she has got used to using the mouse

after lunch its off to the gym for a swim - just a leisurely swim for me, mainly there to encourage the teenbeanzes to go and use their membership

the nice thing abotu my Mum being here is that we go for awalk round the block in the evening

Up early to cook bacon baps for thirty at the church breakfast! So as that WAS early, I do not get in my last 'long' run - will do tomorrow

after lunch I get out in the garden for 2½ hours, trying to make sure I do not strain my back - a common problem for me in the spring - turning and moving compost heaps across the bins and spreading the mature stuff will have to wait until next week

and another walk round the block after a rather filling tea of roast duck, roast potatoes, cabbage and carrots

A beautiful morning first thing and so I go out for my last long run - 60 minutes is the target, but I don't go far enough

a lot of strange spikes in my HR - up to 217 on one occasion - I must try putting my polar on at the same time as my garmin- not sure whether they will interfere?

as usual first 1½ miles are very ploddy, and then coming back into the park I suddenly get the urge to RUN!! and I do for a while, however all too soon I am at the foot of our steep hill home, so its back to walking with the occasional jog on the slightly less steep bits

but it was a glorious morning to be out

which cannot be said later in the morning

Easter Monday is the date of the 2½ mile handicap at the 'elite' athletics club we are members of and teenbeanz won the youth cup last year - will be more difficult this time as he is quicker his handicap will not be so generous
This is a road race around the streets near the club and I am marshalling on corner where it is possible to cut a few yeards off the course - so no cheating this year!!

I walk out ½mile to the marshalling point and wait and wait and wait .... and it begins to rain, and get heavier and heavier - good job I have a marshall's bib over my fleece! eventually the first runners appear, by which time the rain is torrential and they are running straight into it

as the last runner passes me he thanks me for waiting and tells me he is last - and I tell him that I know the feeling!

teenbeanz does not retain his trophy - in fact the fastest runner in the race is another U17, so not too surprising

I then drive my Mum back to Lincoln and arrive home very weary - definitely an early night tonight!

run numbers briefly:

3.73 miles; time 53:70 average pace 14:17 best mile 13:09; AHR 128

Friday, 14 April 2006

Catching up

missed posting for the last few days - various reasons, hectic life, moving study, loss of internet connection ...


weigh in - another pound off

drive down to Cambridge

arrive in Cambridge in time for lunch - meeting - drive home

drive home - loads of traffic, pushing it to be back in time for running club, but just get home in time to change and collect teenbeanz

club run - we plan 3-4 miles but I don't even get to walk around the car park and warm up, we go off too fast - first mile 12:27 (forgot HRM) and my calves are screaming - I let the other two go on and I jog back to do some stretching - only 2 miles done and this is a steep taper!


off into town with nonrunnignteenbeanz to buy jeans, walking gear for DofE and a new phone for him

first a haircut for me while he does market research, then a coffee in cafe nero - pretty rubbish coffee

then shopping, the orange shop queue is so long we decide to shop online having chosen the phone he wants

but we do find gaiters, walking trousers and jeans so he is fairly happy

afternoon - lots of physical activity moving stuff back into my study - carrying, bending, stretching, putting stuff on shelves

but no running

am not sleeping very well - legs seem to be twitchy, is this a tapering effect? certainly can't be too much running this week!


up at 7.45 - a lie in!

need to do something but not much time after lie in, so jog round to the rec where there is a cricket pitch, a football pitch and bowling greens on a terraced hill. For some reason I never think of running here but actually it is ideal for some stuff - a flat football pitch makesa good place for intervals and the hills might be good for hill work - it is not too sleep but is even and different bits give different gradients!

the football pitch seems to be about 0.05mile x 0.03miles - which is about 80 metres x 50 metres I think

so after a very heavy legged warm up, all of a sudden I felt like a bit of a push - so I 'sprinted' along the long sides and walked along the short sides x 4

and the garmin shows that the 80 metre bits were done at 10 mm - and under - amazing for me!! and HR went up to 153 - which means I could have worked a bit harder - or maybe for longer - to get it to 160

will have to try and incorporate that into my training more regularly after next week

Monday, 10 April 2006

running along the canal

an opportunity to run with the marathon queen - not to be turned down

and as she ran a good half yesterday at Reading, there's a chance we might run together!

so after scraping ice from the car I drove down to b-z's place and we made for the canal, garmins set for a 90 minute plod - part of the TrailPlus taper

it was a wonderful morning, blue sky, sunshine, but not too hot and an off road run along the towpath

the plan was a 5 minute warm up walk followed bu runnign to 45 minutes and then back

its a good job we planned to walk the first part - it was seriously uphill to the canal!

and then a downhill plod, past a few locks, where the only noticeable gradients occur, we chatted, about running and runners we know, I guess most of the people who might read this got a mention!

after 45 minutes we turned, a shame really, we could both have gone on, and it was such a beautiful morning but at this stage I would like to have faith in the schedule!

so back we went to a drink of water, a cup of tea, a shower and pub lunch

what more could you ask for!

a great day - thanks, marathon queen!

oh, numbers:

Mile Pace AHR
1 14:21 118 5 min walk then run
2 13:15 137
3 13:42 135
4 13:47 134 turn around in this mile
5 13:17 136
6 14:05 133
0.56 16:23 118 walking cool down
6.56 13:13 131 1:31:39

Sunday, 9 April 2006

life, the Universe and new carpets

a leaky pipe before Christmas has resulted in disruption ever since

at last the light is at the end of the tunnel - I had to clear one end of the room so the decorator coudl make good

this weekend I have had to clear the whole room so that the new carpet can be laid this week

this has been a serious undertaking - I have been in the room for 10 years, accumulating stuff which might be useful, but has not left the box since it was put there some time ago!

so the move has involved a lot of throwing away - and a resolution that nothing will go back - it will be filed - in the filing cabinets or in the recycling box

not much left in the room now - except the printer which has to be kept alive whilst the teenbeanzes print out the last of the GCSE coursework - final, final, final deadlines this week!

I did manage a plod this morning - 45 minutes 3.3ish miles and all before the rain and hail arrived.

two weeks from now it will all be over .................................

and the next one to be planned .............................

Friday, 7 April 2006

Friday - not long to go now!

Nothing much done yesterday apart from shopping with studentbeanz

this afternoon I saw her off at the station and then went to the gym

it's too late to do much about enduarnce but maybe a bit of speedwork wil not go amiss

so after warming up on the cross trainer I did my speed pyramids - up and down the speed until 5 km done

used HR for the top of the pyramid, and will try to push a bit harder next time - enjoyed it once I was passsed the toxic 20!

Wednesday, 5 April 2006

getting fitter!

it's been a good couple of days

Not a running day, but it was such a glorious day I couldn't stay inside. So studentbeanz and I went for a walk in the park - the one with the steep hills and the golf course. It was great, we chatted about this and that and by the time we got back we had walked 2.3 miles and felt soo much better for it!

A couple of weeks ago I went along to WW and yet again I had not lost anything and I did not have time to stay to the talk. This was a real waste of money. I asked a good friend if she would help me - both to lose weight and to develop my running post FLM. She agreed but suggested there was no point in witing until after FLM - lets start now.
So over the last 10 days I have been logging what I eat and the exercise I do. And this simple discipline has resulted in a 2 pound weight loss in the last week :>)) I've just got to keep it going now!

Another beautiful day, but a shorter walk this time - lots of other stuff to do and a club run this evening. But 1½ miles done. I really must do this every day when I am working at home - it is such a good way to break up the day.

Club run
V69 was not there tomight so just XLS and me. We decided that 4 miles would be a good distance to do, and set off together, comfortable for her and a bit harder for me, but I did manage to chat most of the time - so not that hard!
First mile done in 12:38 - crumbs and I was chatting too! AHR 137 - what is that all about - would have expected it top be at least 5 higher!
And so it went on, chat, run, enjoy:

Mile Pace AHR
1 12:38 137 didn't feel that quick!
2 12:54 139 includes two major roads to cross
3 12:20 142 quickest mile ever!
4 12:57 143 crossing those roads again
0.08 12:14 151 uphill sprint!
4.08 12:42 140 a good run

More than a minute quicker than marathon pace - and anotehr quickest mile PB!

And then a shower, a few of teenbeanz's chips and home for shepherds pie!

Definitely a good day

Monday, 3 April 2006

stuff gets in the way ...

Today was planned to be a 2:30 run - last of the longs, or first of the tapers

I had to get out by 8:30 to fit it all in as student beanz was due to be picked up from the station

but the gas man cometh -the road outside is being excavated and new gas pipes laid to all the houses - but we have two gas meters - owing to it originally being two houses - and this is 'illegal' - so much toing and froing with higher and higher levels of foremen and I have to agree that a new gas pipe will not be connected to our 'second' meter - so no heating or hot water in that half of the house - which inlcudes studentbeanz's bedroom and my study :o(

then phone calls to mrbeanz who explodes (well not literally) and wonders why they thought we have had two separate bills for the last 10 years! and to our patient heating engineer who promises to call by this evening

all this means I do not get out of the house until 9.15

I decided I could not face the A6 yet again so will go down river, past the gym - so I can call in there for a drink, and it saves using my bottle belt, and just use my bumbag for phone keys etc - as I will at FLM.

Off I go plodding gently, but my HR seems to rise rapidly every time I go above walking pace in the first couple of miles - maybe I just need to warm up more slowly - I was already doing 5 minutes walk at the start as that seems to ease my calves into it.

The walk from the station to Blackheath for FLM should help there.

Anyway, I plod to the gym -which is just 4 miles, and good timing for a drink and buy a lucozade sport, drink a third and add water to dilute it - too sweet at full concentration.

Meet my massueuse who is doing Reading on Sunday with Michelle from Run for Glory - her first half and she has not run for 4 weeks, she has a sore calf.

Also went up and sorted out an appointment for tigerrunner to have amassage before FLM

and then student beanz phoned to say what time her train is due

and I realise I don't have time to go as far as planned - so a loop around the gym site and then a plod home

so not quite 2 hours done, rather than 2:30 - ah well that's life

Mile Pace AHR
1 13:53 130 downhill but HR erratic
2 13:24 146 downhill and level!
3 13:47 137 level
4 13:51 133 level
5 12:49 132 level
6 13:20 137 level
7 14:35 136 up
8 14:46 130 up
0.43 16:17 129 up!
8.43 13:56 135 1:57:30 1108 Cal

So 10 seconds slower than marathon pace and a HR that suggests something to spare

But a shame really - I had decided on a route with not to much undulation except for the climb coming home, a good day for running - bright blue sky, if a little breezy and I didn't have as good a run as I did last week in the pouring rain!

Saturday, 1 April 2006

home at last

back home after three days away:

No run - not enough sleep on Wednesday night so too tired to do much by the time I got to the hotel in the evening after a long drive, a day's work and another drive.

An early start to the day when the hotel fire alarm went off at 4.00 am! Apparantly someone in a non smoking room set fire to their bedclothes!
At least the system seemed to work, and we were back inside in 15 minutes.

Up early for a run before our meeting - and I needed it - the meeting has the potential to be stressful, as some clashing personalities arriving. A great country park close to the hotel, so some good paths to run on and I did just over 4 miles. Was great to get past the toxic 20 and not think about running, but watch the wild life and relax.

Meetings went smoothly everybody behaved professionally and we acheived lots I think.

Finished work in time to put my feet up for 20 minutes and then go out for another plod. I thought I'd try a different route ands slightly misjudged the distance - only 2 miles, and although a running mate suggested I went out for another mile, I resisted.

Lovely relaxing dinner with three of the best colleagues - not too much shop but plenty of good chat - and also some reminders about why I don't want to go back in the classsroom.

Up early for another plod and another route - just 3 miles this morning, but now I am getting a feel for how the paths join up, so next time we are here I will be able to add a little distance easily.

Meetings went well this morning with lots of productive work done, so we were able to finish at lunchtime :>)

And home.

And I do not go away again until FLM weekend - so that has to be good :>))

And studentbeanz is coming home for a few days this week, which is even better :>))

March mileage was the most ever :>))

Apart from not having run longer than 14 miles in training I am feeling fairly good about FLM at the moment.

Even feeling so good I can bear to have the countdown clock up there (thanks to Leon and computerbeanz!)