Sunday, 29 June 2008

A week off

After last week's six miler we went out for a belated birthday lunch. Travelling in MrBeanz's Honda Civic proved to be very painful. The angle of the seat made both my piriformis and knee go into spasm. I confess I had probably not stretched properly after my run, but it has put me off travelling in the car again.
It also resulted in me having a week off running. When I went out on Tuesday for my short run my knee just didn't want to know. It has been sore on and off for most of the week. So I decided the best thing was to rest it.
I went into the garden yesterday evening to discover these beautiful flowers had come out and I hadn't noticed.

I must get out there everyday.
Yesterday I went down to London for a meeting about teaching astronomy. It was a great day. The first time I have arrived at St Pancras since the new refurbished station opened.
What a fantastic building it still is. The original building by Gilbert Scott has survived the developments to accommodate the Eurostar trains. The lower level used to be out of sight - and was used to store beer barrels brought by train from Burton on Trent which is on the line from Derby. I have also heard that there used to be stables down there. The roof was built by Butterley - a Derbyshire engineering firm who still exist in name at least.

My meeting was at the Royal Astronomical Society in Burlington House. At lunch time we were shown some of the archives of the society - which included first editions of Newton's Principia and John Flamsteed's Star Atlas - another Derbyshire connection there. It was kind of mind-blowing to see ( and be able to handle!) these old books that did so much to change the way we think about the world. Newton may have been a bit of a b*stard but he was also a great thinker.

Anyway back to running. I woke this morning, heard people running down the road, thought about getting up and decided to stay in bed, I have been up before 6 every day this week. I will try a little plod tomorrow. I did eventually get up and take RunnerBeanz to his race - where he at last broke the 40 minute barrier with a pb of 39:31. So he was pleased - and so was his proud Mum! He had run round with a V60 from the club (it was the British Masters 10k champs) RB, then pipped him to the post in the last 100 metres.

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Another week passes

I managed a run on Tuesday morning, short but trying to run a bit quicker on the R bits.

Now its Sunday morning and its long run day - up to 6 miles, but hard going. Maybe my 'hayfever' is really a cold as my HR was up compared to last week. So I just took it steady and stopped to look at the views.

The flat part of my run (middle couple of miles) are along the Derwent Valley, part of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site
On my way back just before the steep climb home I cross the bridge seen on the right in the picture. This is the view if I look back.

This mill was built by Walter Evans in the 18th Century to spin cotton. There were already other mills using the river here - including paper and corn. Evans worked with Richard Arkwright, who was building mills up river of here at Cromford.
He not only built the mill but many cottages for the workers, a church and a school. The original school became structurally unsound (allegedly only the younger children were allowed on the top floor at the end!) it was replaced by a new building, which my children attended. The cottages are now higly valued and fetch good prices when on the market - even though they have no off road parking:

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Running on

Another week has passed and I have manged to run almost every other day.
Which is good - including 5 miles last Sunday and another 5 miles this Sunday. The average pace today was the best since I came back to running this year - and I did my best mile as well. If you want to know the gory details they are on my Fetch Training Log.
Yesterday I went to Chatsworth with LFV. It was a lovely day and we had a good walk round the grounds a few of the things we saw:
Revelation - this hydraulically powered water feature opens and closes as it fills with water. All the water features are supplied by water stored in reservoirs at the top of the estate, which in turn are supplied by water off the fells.

The meadows were fantastic, full of the most glorious flowers:

More pics on my Flickr page

Thanks for all the support.

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Still here

Two weeks since I blogged - not sure where it went.

I gardened at half term. As usual I suffered the next day or two - knee didn't like squatting so lots of back bending -but it has to be done.
The bog garden is beginning to show some colour now.

My quads are still giving me problems. I think it all stems back from protecting the leg too much. when I injured my knee. I heard this edition of Case Notes on radio 4. The female runner seems to have the same problems as me.
I had a session with the phyzz, A. She gave me some exercises to do to strengthen the quads and bring them back into balance. I MUST do them more regularly otherwise paying A for a session is a waste of time.
A and I tried out a Body Balance class at the gym last week, it was advertised as core strength and a mix of Tai Chi (sp?), yoga and pilates. But it was too advanced for me and although I enjoyed it I don't think it did me much good - I've had the first pain in the piriformis for about a year (although that could have been driving MrBeanz's car) - and my knees have been hurting more at night. I would like to find a beginners pilates class.

I have managed some running but not enough really. I've been reading back in my blog (really must save it somehow it is the nearest thing I have to a diary) and looking at when the training went well. Last summer I was getting out in the mornings before work and taking a route where the inclines are more gradual. I shall go back to that I think.

On a non-running note I had a bit of a rollercoaster ride over the last couple of days. Back in the spring I entered a national competition to win some biggish money to spend on a project to enhance physics teaching in school. A week or so ago I heard that I had won £1000 as a 'good runner up'. I was disappointed not to get through to the final but pleased to have £1000 to spend. On Thursday I had a call to say we had been upgraded to finalist so there would be £5000 to carry out my proposal and the opportunity to win even more money. Great excitement - scared, brain buzzing wondering what I had let myself in for. Then Friday morning another call - sorry we got it wrong, just the £1000. Complete deflation and disappointment. But we do have £1000 to spend on Physics.