Wednesday, 20 October 2010

An Ashtead Running Group virgin

Well last night I went for my first run with the Ashtead Running Group. Very nice people but mother-of-crap that hurt!! I think I've realised just how much of a slacker I can be when I run (or not) on my own.

Typically, the night I want to go out is the day I get held up at work and by the time i got home, I had approximately 4 minutes to get changed and out of the house to get to the pub where everyone meets. I made it. Just. Only after I ran. Which just caused more pain later I reckon.

After standing around in the cold for a few minutes with the others, someone stated that the medium group would be doing a particular route. I saw it. 10.77km. That was pushing the boundaries of my max distance over the last few months but after finding out my Ashtead 10k time, they all said the medium group was best so off I went, part of a group of 4.

The starting pace was pretty quick and I really had to concentrate on not falling behind but eventually, I settled in to it OK. Someone then mentioned that if we headed in to Epsom first and then continued, we could make it a little longer. OK I said while I silently wept inside.

Then came Chalk Lane hill.... That would be the bit between 3-5km on the elevation chart below then. There are a couple of things in my favour here. Firstly, I'd never seen this hill before so was only going on reputation and secondly, it was pitch black with tree cover, no street lighting and everything was done by the light of 2 head torches. That meant I couldn't see the top, the incline or my own feet. I think this helped a lot! We all made it up without walking although it was touch-and-go near the top for me but once there, we walked a little bit to get our breathe back. I'm not sure if they usually stop or whether they were just being kind but thank you anyway!

Some further decline and inclines followed and the pace was generally dependant on the the terrain but I pushed on and eventually finished the 10.92km route in 1:02:38. Hang on! This really doesn't do it justice. It works out at 5:45 min/km which is a lot slower than the 10k I did on Saturday! That was 5:15 min/km but without doubt, last night's run was the better and harder workout and much better for my long-term training. For the first time in a long time, my muscles were screaming at me by the time I got home and still ache a little this morning. I think that means I've pushed a little!

Eatingtrees recently mentioned that he had a goal of running the 10k in under 55 mins. I think he could do a lot worse than meet up with a running group, run with people who are all fitter and faster, along a route he doesn't know and therefore could get lost and left on his own. It certainly ups the motivation to keep the pace up! I'm looking forward to returning next week but this time with a head torch and something to eat! I've seriously over-estimated my own fitness level and now I need to up my game!

Saturday, 16 October 2010

It has it's ups and downs

I really do have to lose some weight at the moment and as LG is putting me to shame with her running group, I yesterday, vowed to do a 10k this morning to blow some cobwebs away and get back into it.

I knew the course I had to run. Well when I say I knew the course, I knew the roads I had to run on but couldn't decide on the order in which to run them. Do I do this one with a fast downhill start and a punishing second half...

or do I do this one which is more undulating throughout?

I went for option 2 in the end. I decided there was no point in having a fast start if i was just going to be in a world of pain later on.

It was however, a thoroughly enjoyable run. 10.04km around the streets of Ashtead and Leatherhead in 52:44. I could feel my stress levels drop the more i ran. I just need to do it more often now.

Going forward, Ashtead has a running group that meet every Tuesday night which is meant to be very social and also my favourite price... free, so it looks like my Tuesday nights will now be spent running around in the dark with some other local people which suits me just fine and may be just the thing i need to increase my mileage. This is something i certainly need to do pre Grim as the less time i have to spend running around in the puddles and mud, the better!

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Beanz Meanz Stitch

7 weeks to the day after giving birth to George, Lovely Girlfriend went on her first run yesterday. This was the first time since we found out she was pregnant back at the beginning of December '09. LG was just starting to get in to her running at the end of last year and numerous times during her pregnancy, she would tell me that she missed it and would love to get back out again.

Well now she can and through a local Ashtead running shop, she has joined a beginners running group with a few other people. This works perfectly as she doesn't have to run alone in the dark at night once I get home and can get her fitness back. £30 for 10 sessions which includes a training diary and 'homework' seems great value to me.

The only downside is that George pretty much whinged/screamed/cried from the moment she left until 30 seconds before LG's return. Picture the scene as LG walks in to a wide awake inquisitive baby lying on the bed with me looking like butter wouldn't melt and then picture my face which looks like I need a large glass of wine and some quiet time. He's a clever little bugger!!

Anyway, deciding that wine wasn't a good option (never said that before) and being slightly jealous the LG has enjoyed her run, I decided that I should get my butt out too. I'd eaten just over an hour a go so this should be fine right??

I decided to resurrect my Juneathon 5.14km route to get the legs moving. 10 mins gone, MUST STOP. The stitch I had was excruciating so a bit of a walk was demanded which doesn't happen very often. Apparently, beans on toast with grated cheese (I eat like a King) is not the best fuel for a quick 5km round the block.

Anyway, I managed to get moving again and loved running past the quite frankly, eeire Ashtead Common. The mist was just rolling across it. It could have been a horror movie! Past the church and up the poorly lit road saw me only looking down and trying not to trip up on the raised and cracked pavement. I made it back to the main road still without having fallen on my arse and then set in for the home stretch. No more walking after that first time but it certainly wasn't pretty. 5.14km in 28:03. My second slowest time ever on that route. Room for improvement then and maybe a little prior dinner planning will do me some good next time!!