Thursday, 23 July 2009

If the aching's anything to go by

So along with a few others, I've done myself a training plan for the Royal Parks Half in Oct. I found one on a website, then destroyed it and rebuilt it taking into account things such as Hard as Snails, Surrey Badger and Rat Race as well as moving house and going for a long weekend in Devon. You can see why I couldn't follow it to the letter.

It gives me 2 full rest days a week and one 3 mile easy run day so in essence, 4 days of hard work a week which I think I can do. It's only a 9 week plan so I don't actually have to start yet but I thought I'd give one of these 'interval' sessions a go and therefore copied the plan of what will be my first day of training come 11th Aug. The entire thing only involves 2.2 miles of running and a mile of walking. How that's going to help run 13.1 miles in under 1:50:00 come October, I have no idea.

I know that there's some logic to it but I have to see it doing some good first I think. Now, if doing some good means more aching in the calves than I've had since starting to run last year, then it's definitely doing some good!! Following my schedule I ran at a pace of just under 8 min/miles which was OK. The pain arrived after the 4 x 200m sprints at the end.

I'm going to do a few more of these sessions leading up to my training start date in the hope that I'll still be able to use stairs come August 11th! Wish me luck.

By the way, for the coolest thing I've seen today, check out the link above for Hard as Snails. It's a 3D fly through of the route. Oh dear. They could have made it a bit flatter!!!

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Urgent Request

Please.... Stop running and start drinking people. This is not a good thing to read!

UK 'is losing 52 pubs each week'


Tuesday, 21 July 2009

A good weekend all round!

My weekend was goooood!! 2 runs, some partying, seeing a flat we love and not crying in pain through injury! Rock on!!!

I headed out for my 4.6 mile Putney/Hammersmith bridge loop with eatingtrees on Saturday as he was in the neighbourhood and despite a couple of stop and stretch sessions due to him having been on the bike too long and us both nearly dying after the 200m sprint across Hammersmith bridge, it was all good. I have to stretch before and after sessions now because of the back/hip thing but it appears to work with only slight aching now rather than actual pain. It was way off a good time but we purposely didn't even take a watch. Mostly just chatted (not proper, more like word, breath, word, breath, word, breath) and dawdled along. Then we headed off to a leaving party for a friend who's heading back to NZ. Jealous. Hell yeah!

Obviously drank too much and had a hangover come Sunday morning but nothing a sausage sarnie and espresso doesn't sort. Really good to chat to someone who's doing her first ever Sprint triathlon in a couple of weeks though and seeing how she was getting on with training. There was a definite group split with the people talking about exercise and then the rest of the normal people and our group was a lot smaller. We know our place in the grand scheme of things!

Then Sunday myself and LG continued our flat searching, for a place that will be good for us. I got a call in the afternoon to say we could go for a viewing if we fancied. I'd seen the pics and wanted to see it but wasn't that excited. Anyway, we'd decided to run on Sunday anyway so by killing 2 birds with 1 stone and thus ensuring that after, the rest of my afternoon could be spent sitting on my arse watching The Open on BBC and listening to the cricket commentary on TMS, we chose to run to and from the viewing. Only a mile and a bit away but going there, it's ALL uphill!! Plus we ran back on a longer loop ensuring we weren't too lazy and I think completed around 3.5miles in total. I think we had extra adrenalin because despite the photos, the place was lovely!! High ceilings, LOADS of natural light, large balcony plus a communal garden and most importantly, space for this!

This will be my new toy. YAY!!! Doing it through the Ride 2 Work scheme which means I'll be able to cycle 6 miles every day which will keep my joints loose and only pay about 50% of the cost due to the government tax break and I'll have a gorgeous bike!

This morning (after looking at the flat again last night), we've agreed to take it which means it's all good and LG can start planning the entire layout including beds, new furniture, bookcases, TV, cooking stuff and all manner of bits and pieces while I drool over a picture of a bike and organise a van! Nice!

Friday, 17 July 2009

Dropping out like a dropping out thing from dropping out-ville

I'm pulling out of the Thames Towpath HM. This really annoys me but the fact is, the maximum distance I've run in the last 3 months is 10k a couple of times and as I've been taking it easy due to these stupid re-occurring hip/back/hamstring problems and even though I might be able to walk/run my way through the miles in a very slow time, I just don't think I'll enjoy it if I can't push.

I think my time would be better spent building up to the Hard As Snails 10k in August and then the Surrey Badger HM at the beginning of Sept ultimately leading the the Royal Parks HM in Oct. This makes a lot more sense to me rather than accidentally causing more injuries while trying to haul my carcass around 13.1 miles when not fit enough. I want to enjoy my running, not endure it.

It's a shame as it looks like an awesome event as it's a point to point run but I just can't do it. It's a sold out event so if someone wants to run it in my place, get in contact via e-mail and I'll try and dig out the details from home.

On the injury front, things are getting better with a lot of stretching and walking while on Skye so it's looking like it's doing some good so just keeping by fingers crossed at the moment and trying to build some fitness back up. Incidentally, Skye's bloody amazing. Absolutely beautiful place (when you get lucky with the weather) and some great places to do some long walks.

On another note, I'm in a bit of a bind at the moment. I have a great landlord and he's currently completely renovating a lovely flat for myself and LG but there is one sticking point. Due to the law about escape access, he won't allow a bike ANYWHERE on the property. This is a real pain as I really want to get myself a single speed mountain bike to cycle to work and back every day. It'll save me money and get me fitter but we just can't work out whether to stick with the landlord and not have a bike or go elsewhere in a place that feels less like home and get the bike. I just can't work out the best option and it's becoming a real pain. The place the is being readied for us is great. Some quality items like NEFF ovens etc so it will be wonderful but no bike is a tough call!! I don't want to have to leave it on the path permanently even if it is locked up. I just can't work it out!

Anyway, sorry for the dullness of today's blog, maybe I should be sponsored by NightNurse. I promise the next one to be full of fun, laughter and joy!

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Reaching for the Skye

Today's admission is bought to you by Hauling My Carcass.

There is tiny possibility that I'm a little bit of a train geek.

I don't mean notepad and rain mac stylee but if I have the chance to travel on trains (especially sleepers) instead of any other transport which includes running, then I will do. And anywhere in the world too.

Travelling round Southern India with my Dad in February '08 by pretty much just train travel was without doubt one of the best trips ever, right along side seeing Laos, Vietnam and Malaysia in April this year with Lovely Girlfriend. Both trips were full of breathtaking scenery, amazing routes and great company. But the things I remember the most about these trips was the train travel. Ask LG and she'll tell you that whenever we were feeling tired from the heat or jet lagged, the thing that put a smile on my face was getting on the next train. Being rocked to sleep and then waking up in a completely different part of the country is a wonderful thing!

TO be honest, that's despite some of the places and times where trains dump you. A 4am start in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam rings a bell as does waiting for 4 hours between 1am and 5am in Coimbatore in India. Despite these things, it's a fantastic experience. It's the little victories that make it I reckon. Imagine spending those 4 hours trying to avoid getting eaten by mossies in quite a few layers of clothing but still very warm and trying to stay awake so you can keep an eye on everything. Now imagine the shear and utter joy that comes when you find, open, at 3am on an almost empty platform, a stall selling straight black coffee! There is nothing like it.

Now from reading some of the above, you may be expecting something about running, getting the minor victories and overcoming the bad moments but nope, not from me. I just want to talk about my next holiday.

I have never been to Scotland. Some of it's meant to be truly breathtaking but in 29 and a half years, I've never been north of the border. So after our polluting long haul flight to Asia in April, it was time to do something closer to home. So we picked Skye. Reasons? Well it just looks too beautiful not to really. Oh and hang on, you can get the Caledonian Sleeper up to Fort William and travel on one of the worlds most scenic routes and therefore do a little good, see some awesome scenery, tick my holiday 'geek' box and get rained on lots all in one holiday. Bonus! OK the last part isn't great but it'll still be fun.

They'll be no room for the running trainers but there will be some long hikes around various parts of Skye on most days so it's not like I'm going to be inactive. The train leave Euston station tomorrow night and I won't be back in London until Tuesday morning. And as it's camping, it means no laptops and no TVs or DVD players. I will however have a LW radio with me. After all, a certain cricket match starts tomorrow and we have some Aussie butt to kick! Hopefully.

Friday, 3 July 2009

Back in to the training

Realising I have Thames Towpath HM 3 weeks on Sunday and have only run once in the last 4 weeks, I thought I better go for a bit of a run last night. As a bit of a non scientific experiment (and because it was too bloody hot to run any further), I thought I'd run exactly the same route as I'd run exactly one month a go when Juneathon went so well and compare where I am now, to where I was then........ Oh. The stats speak for themselves..

2nd June 2009

Distance: 4.57 miles
Time: 36:05
Pace: 7.54 m/m

2nd July 2009
Distance: 4.57 miles
Time: 39:52
Pace: 8.43 m/m

So that's 49 secs per mile longer then. Not quite the progression I was after really. Plus I looked even more of a state than I usually do after a run. I found it really, really tough. I think I'd deluded myself into thinking that having to take that injury time off, wouldn't affect me too much but I was wrong, wrong, wrong!

I can certainly argue that some of it was down to the heat but the Thames Towpath might be in this heat so I can't use that as an excuse. I can hardly stand up with my head held high and then make excuses about things that everyone else has to deal with too. Nope, I'm just going to have to suck it up, do my trainers back up and head out on Sunday and try for an 8 miler with the emphasis on completion rather than time!