Monday, 29 June 2009

Thame 10k - Race Report

YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!!!!!!! I got to go for a run yesterday. The Thame 10k. I have a smile on my face again.

Lets put this in writing first of all... This is an absolutely superb event! The race was brilliantly and frequently marshalled throughout the course with some great little pockets of support who really gave myself and LG some encouragement. There was plenty of parking and it was pretty much on the start/finish line and again, well organised. The course itself is a beautiful and picturesque little route that takes on a few bigger roads, a little quaint High Street and an approx 3/4km section on a little path away from any roads called the Phoenix Trail. If you needed more positive reviews, it has a 9.30am start which is great. It's like the organisers have used their brains and actually thought 'maybe people still want to have some of the day left after the run' which I can't praise them enough for. The feel of the event was great too. A friendly, local feeling even though we out out-of-towners with the announcer calling mine an LG's names out as we were putting in our sprint finish.

This was Lovely Girlfriend's first ever 10k. In fact, the longest she had ever run was 6km last Dec so this was a big step up and was blighted by some training injuries that pretty much stopped any proper training until 2 weeks before the race. We ran the entire thing together and after some good parts and a few short walking stops, we crossed the line together in 1:06:54. It wasn't quick but it was certainly respectable considering the lack of training and the first event at that distance and when I asked her whether she enjoyed it, her words were 'more than I thought I would' which is a massive improvement on the words after my first ever event, which were something along the lines of 'that was effing awful and you're never going to see me near a pair of trainers again'. Last night she even agreed that for the one in November, she'll be aiming to go under an hour. I'm very proud of her effort. She did fantastically well!

The one bad thing I can say about the event is the lack of toilets as there were only a few in the leisure centre but to be fair, it only cost £11 to take part which I feel is a bargain and I've paid a lot more for a lot worse in the past. It just means a little bit of queueing!

I think I heard the tannoy say there were around 950 people taking part and the results list said 920 finishers which is probably about right in that heat. There were a couple of pavement eaters but they were quickly helped by the marshalls and St John's ambulance cyclists. We (nos. 56 and 57) came in 800th & 801st so LG can be very pleased. Will I be taking part next year? WITHOUT A DOUBT!! Sign me up! Event wise, this was my favourite 10k so far!

My injury seemed all good. No problems during the race and obviously aches a little now but I think that if I just keep stretching and exercising then it will be fine in the long run.

The day was complete by driving straight to a friends house near High Wycombe (where we had kind of invited ourselves) who let us use the shower and then cooked us the most amazingly gorgeous 3 course lunch. We didn't move from the table from about 1pm until around 5.30/6pm. Well and truly stuffed!!! It was a great day.

One final point, the weather man hasn't been more wrong about a day's weather since a certain October 1987 event. Overcast? Grey? Rain? WHERE??? Another race, another sun burnt head. Thank fudge for Banana Boat!

Thursday, 25 June 2009

3 days and counting

I get to run on Sunday and I honestly can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to it! I haven't put on my trainers for a full 3 weeks in an effort to sort the ongoing saga of the left hand side of my body and now I think it's as good as it's going to get and I need to do some proper exercise. I'm always amazed with how much I miss it when I can't run for a little while.

Sunday at the Thame 10k will be LG's longest ever run which I've kind of pushed her into so I'm hoping she enjoys at least some of it although I assume it will only be the finish that makes her smile. Our training hasn't exactly been fantastic with niggling injuries for both but it's just about getting round. I'll be running with her all the way to encourage/abuse/bribe her to the finish and then we have a friend cooking us lunch as she lives near by and for me, that's a pretty good incentive to get to the end.

I'm hoping she enjoys it anyway as after checking my bank statement, I can see we've both been entered into the Willow 10k on the 22nd Nov. I'm looking forward to this as it's just 2 days after my 30th birthday and also the morning after the celebrations of my 30th. It's strange that the thing I wanted to do most was run a 10k with LG and eatingtrees but I reckon it'll help with the hangover and after begging them both to get up and run with me, they both (reluctantly in the case of LG) agreed.

Sunday's weather looks like a little bit of rain which is good and will make it easier but roll on Sunday. I've got some miles to make up and I can't wait!!!

Monday, 22 June 2009

PB for 11,500 feet!

Now I don't know the exact time as I was a little busy bricking it at the time but I do know I've never gone that fast before without the use of an engine of some sort and therefore must have smashed by PB. Mind you, it's not that surprising when you consider that I did have the distinct advantage of gravity helping me out as it was 2.18 miles straight down!!

Now that's a bit of a rush isn't it. I now know why iliketocount chooses to fling himself out of planes for 'fun'. It's a strange feeling when you do it for the first time. Free falling through a cloud with a bloke strapped to your back just feels like it's going against everything your body should be doing but I can understand why it would become addictive. If only I didn't live in an area seemingly devoid of any sort of skydiving school then I might of even considered doing the training and doing it on a regular basis but the 1-2hr drive each way puts me off if I'm honest.

Minor, minor twinge on my left ankle as I put my heel down about half a second before I finished sliding along the floor which stretched it a little but it's fine. It's my own fault as I was trying to take the pressure off my hip so I didn't do any more damage to that.


Speaking of the hip, it is feeling better but still aches occasionally but not as much as it did. I think this was helped more by the beating I once again took from my Osteopath on Saturday morning. If I'm going to avoid any more issues, I think I'm going to have to start Yoga in a bid to make me more flexible and avoid more of these types of injuries so that will probably start this week before mine and LG's 10k on Sunday. Oh and I have the wear these strange little pads under the balls of my feet to spread my toes and relieve the pressure there from as well. My new theory about curing injuries is now... try everything!

Right, I'm off to get quietly annoyed at the people who clog up Wimbledon Village for 2 weeks every year in the name of Tennis!

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Ever increasing circles

Well I went to visit my Osteopath yesterday evening and to be honest, the first words when you stand up in front of him and take your top off should not be. 'Bloody Hell, you're all over the place'.

OK then, I am. Those little circles I've been running in were getting smaller and smaller. I have no idea which bit has caused what but my left hip/pelvis and my left shoulder are around a couple of inches higher than my right side and all the muscles down the left hand side are solid with not a lot of movement in them at all. That has either caused or is the result of all the problems down my left leg. Therefore, he beat me up good. Cracked every part of my body and gave me an extremely hard massage on my back. It hurt like hell during some bits but I'm already feeling a little better this morning.

Still not great though so another session of torture and pain is booked in for Saturday. Hopefully this will sort it and allow the circle size to increase. It better do anyway, I NEED TO RUN!!!!! It's the summer (kind of) and I can't get out to do anything. Still trying to do a bit of walking to stretch it all out a little but I just want to stick my trainers on and feel the wind on my scalp?!?!?

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Popping pills, cracking backs and a sore arse!

Hello there. Long time no blog. Well a week anyway and I apologise for it. To be honest, the injury got the better of me and started to get disillusioned with the whole exercise thing. An update for you anyway.

On the injury front, it still hurts but I went to the doctor on Friday night and he did the now pretty standard thing of covering most bases. It could be the hip and it could also be the lower back. That wasn't really news to me as I told him when I walked in that it could be the hip of the back but never mind. He's given me a leaflet on back stretches, plus a 2 week prescription of anti-inflammatories for the hip joint. I have to take them 3 times a day, only with food or they will do some weird stuff to my insides and absolutely no alcohol. Huh!! No fair! I've just taken my first one and no change yet. How long to you reckon it takes??? Anyway along with the pills I reckon I'm going to pay a visit to my osteopath this week. £40 to get beaten and man handled all in the name of reducing pain. Let me have my wine back and I'll kill the pain myself but I'm hoping that
'The hip pain's connected to the hamstring pain
The hamstring pain's connected to the knee pain
The knee pain's connected to the foot pain
And if all of the above doesn't work I'm screwed!'

So onto more pleasant things. Well it was to start with anyway. I went to visit eatingtrees yesterday to do a planned joint Juneathon but was obviously unable to take part in any running. Therefore we were left with 2 choices. Sit and smoke shisha and talk about exercise or get on the bikes and go for a little ride. We chose the wrong option and got on the bikes. Something to note at this point, I haven't been on a bike for somewhere between 4-5 years. It was a wobbly start but I was still alive and eatingtrees sensibly kept me away from any main roads for any length of time. He did however put me near a river which could have proved equally as disastrous. We cycled just over 8 miles, found a pub (for lunch and OJ and lemonade) and then cycled back. Not too bad. I felt I'd got away without any major problems then. HELL NO I DIDN'T!!!!!! I can hardly sit down, LG is having fun laughing at my expense and I have no idea how I'm gong to spend all day sitting at a desk tomorrow. Cyclists. Strange a sadistic people I'm sure of it!!

Final note, with the Thame 10k only 2 weeks away and me thinking I'll be OK for it (fingers crossed), LG went out this morning on her first training run for a while. 3.42 miles (5.51km) which is over half the distance which is bloody good going so well done to her. I can hear her talking at me at the moment though and I have a feeling she wants to do some Bikram yoga or something. I better listen now before I end up agreeing to something like I did yesterday with the bikes and end up in even more pain.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

LOST: Ability to move without causing pain in left hand side of my body

If found, Please return to:

Hauling My Carcass
South West London
Near the River

Today was a lazy day to continue my lazy week. Myself and LG did have to go up to the storage place and get a few boxes though so I decided to run there and meet LG, load the car up and then run back. It was very short and not so sweet. Everything has started to ache and I'm at a bit of a loss at what to do now. Resting for a couple of weeks didn't seem to help and I can usually run between 4 and 6 miles without too much of an issue but after that and the next day, walking is more difficult than it should be for a 29 year old. Maybe it's time for a trip to the doctors.

Stats for day 7 of Juneathon:
Out: 1.04 miles at 7:40 (7:22 pace)
Back: 0.67 miles at 5:12 (7.45 pace)

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Juneathon. FAILURE

Yep, I have failed. Yesterday I just ran out of time to do anything. I honestly had nothing between getting up at 6.55am and going to bed at 11.15pm. Between travelling, working, cooking, meeting friends I haven't seen for ages and getting ready for a trip to the cricket today, I just ran out of time. No real excuse except poor planning I guess. I'm a bit pissed off.

I'm not going to stop though, I will continue and just have to accept y shortcomings.

I've just got back from a day at the cricket and it was great fun watching the Aussies get stuffed. However, before I went this morning, I did the following:

Sit Ups (crunches):
Set 1: 24
Set 2: 30
Set 3: 23
Set 4: 23
Set 5: 30

Press Ups:
Set 1: 10
Set 2: 12
Set 3: 8
Set 4: 8
Set 5: 15

Shoddy HMC... Shoddy

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Day 4. Running at an angle

WTF is wrong with the left hand side of my body!!! Hip was giving me jip a couple of weeks ago and still aches. Left knee started hurting a few weeks ago when I started compensating for the hip. Yesterday (after day 2's great run) the outer part of the front of my left foot started hurting and then I got back from a run today to find a blister on my (yep you guessed it) left foot. On the bottom of the ball part. Now I'm not stupid (not intelligent either but that really is beside the point) but I reckon all these things have to be connected in some way! It really won't be long until my running route consists of me running in tiny circles outside my front door as my left leg just gets dragged behind while the right one does all the work.

Anyway, day 4 running stats are:
Distance: 4 Miles (6.43k)
Time: 32:38
Pace: 8:07 p/m (5:02 p/k)

Not bad for another morning workout due to some leaving drinks this evening. Quickly realising I do my best work in the evenings and not at stupid o'clock in the morning. Either way, I really don't know how much I can push this hip at the mo with an HM coming at the end of July so just going to continue to keep the mileage down and see how it goes. Happy with the time again though.

Oh and my new toy's arrived and no it's not a Garmin. After the car purchase and the hideous amounts of camping gear I've bought recently, I really don't have money to spend on a Garmin. Mind you, this one appears to do everything I need except the GPS and to be honest, at the moment, I like my old fashioned pace bands. I will invest one day but not while I'm running in tiny circles!

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Morning Exercise. Day 3

Pah. It's rubbish. Why would I actually get out of bed earlier than normal in order to put myself through some physical pain! WHY WOULD ANYONE DO THAT!?!?! Oh yes, because I agreed to abide by the rules on Juneathon and I was planning on going for a drink tonight and therefore wouldn't be in any a state to do any form of exercise later.

So it was my first proper day of 100 sit-up/200 press-up challenge and this was my task:

Press Ups (rest of 60 seconds between each set)
Set 1: 10
Set 2: 12
Set 3: 7
Set 4: 7
Set 5: 9

My shoulders not only ached but i very nearly smacked my nose on the floor. Plus my shoulders crack very loudly while doing them at that time in the morning. It was not a pretty sight!

Sits Ups (rest of 60 seconds between each set)
Set 1: 21
Set 2: 27
Set 3: 21
Set 4: 21
Set 5: 30

Ouuuuuch! FFS. I appear to have no stomach muscles at all. This really hurt! A lot!! I can't wait until tomorrow morning, I can go for a run instead and not have to do any of this crappy core strength stuff.

Also, an annoying point, my running watch appears to have died. Maybe it couldn't cope with yesterday's amazing (ahhem) speed but as of this morning, it's dead. Actually, weirdly the light's still on but there's no display. Take it to the menders or buy a new watch? Decisions, decisions!

Have a good day 3 everybody!

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Juneathon. And there's the bang I wanted

There's the bang I wanted. Let me explain.

I was planning on running home from work today on a little 3 mile route but due to a change of plan, I wasn't at work a the end of the day and I must say, I was effing delighted. It was ridiculously hot out there!! So instead, I made some pasta for lunch tomorrow and then at 8.15, I put on my trainers and headed out.

Pretty quickly for me I may add. I didn't know my mile markers but it felt quick so I just carried on. It bloody hurt though!

Anyway, I'm back with the following....

Time: 36:05
Distance: 4.57 miles (7.35km)
Pace: 7:54 p/m (4:54 p/k)

Hold Up!!! Does that say 7:54 p/m pace. That is the fastest timed run I've ever done and the first time EVER below 8 minute pace. Now that's a better Juneathon day!

Monday, 1 June 2009

Juneathon. Off with a fizzle!

It's Day 1 in the HMC Juneathon house and as I work for a living, dealt with a Tesco delivery when I got home, designed a badge for my Ma's study week and am not currently sitting on my arse on a Greek island, I've only just got round to doing the whole exercise thing.

Apparently, I'm not very fit, toned or very strong and this has just been proven in big letters with my attempt at sit ups and press ups to start my 20o and 100 consecutive challenge.

Today was the 'initial test' to see how god damn awful I was going to be. Answer: I'm average. I've never felt so happy at being average... ever... It's a good starting point. If I actually keep this up, I may get rid of this beautiful beer belly that has been bought and paid for since I was 18 (ish).

Anyway. Test results:
Press Ups: 17 consecutive. Before the mocking starts, you try lifting 14 stone.
Sit Ups: 47 consecutive. My belly went inwards on one of them I'm sure!!

I will continue with these on Wed but luckily, I'm just going to do it the easy way tomorrow and run home from work which is a nice 3 miles. Sounds like a good opportunity for some speed work.

Well done to everyone who's made a start today. Good on you!