Thursday, 28 April 2011

Hydration. I got a D

I worked from home yesterday. This meant a few things:

a)I had a fridge full of chocolate
b)I had a boy to look after as Mrs HMC had to pop into work for a meeting
c)I had lots of spelling errors on my emails from an excited boy hitting the keys
d)I had time for a run

Now seeing as this blog is loosely about running, point 'd' seems to be the most relevant.

I needed to take the boy to one of his nursery settling in sessions and had planned to stay in town, take my kindle, buy a coffee and kill some time. However, in a moment of inspiration, 10 mins before I was due to leave, I realised I could drive in, drop him off, drive back, get changed, go for a run, have a shower, drive back in and pick him up again just as he finished if I was organised.

I was. Now after my last run where I found an old route I'd done a while before and spanked the time out of the park, I decided on that theory again and promptly found a 9.11km route that I'd last run on the 24th July 2010. It had taken me 47:56 and I assume it was hot. It certainly was yesterday. Perfect blue sky, sunshine beating down (to give the tops of my cheeks their scarlet glow) and absolutely no water in my body. Yup, stupidly forgot to drink much during the day so when at 3pm, I headed out into the bright light, I could already feel that my lips were dry after about 500m of running. Arse.

The ups and downs ticked themselves off as I battled with the school eviction time and the mums in their ridiculous Chelsea tractors double parked everywhere but all got better once I got off the roads the through the common. I'd wrongly read the time I had to beat and was pushing to finish in under 47:11 which I thought was the time I'd set so when I came in at 46:58, I thought job well done. Then I checked the computer and realised I'd taken nearly a minute off. Result. Imagine what I could achieve with the power of water.

Long weekend number 2 is on the horizon and I'm hoping this one doesn't see me have to cancel any planned bike rides or spend any nights on the loo but hey, you just never know. If the plans don't get interrupted, they'll be a 37km bike ride on Yolkey, a bit of a run or 2, some tinkering on Mrs HMC's new bike and lots of play time with the boy. It all starts tonight though with dinner with eatingtrees and the listening to of stories regarding his Vibrams and his absolutely destroyed feet.

Friday, 22 April 2011

London Olympics Accommodation

I see that the application date to get your tickets for the Olympics closes in a couple of day's time. Have I submitted any applications? No. Is this because I don't want the Olympics in London? Hell no. Simple reason is that some of the events are very expensive and the ones that I'm really interested in like the road running and road cycling are free. In fact, the road cycling passes at point less than a mile from my house so I'll be there.

Many people from all over the world will be coming to London and I really hope we can actually put on a show that we can be proud of. Despite East London having to put up with a lot of disruption, I do believe that it will leave a lasting legacy that will benefit future generations if funding is kept and the government don't cut yet more projects that can help and benefit people.

For the people visiting London during this time, you have my sympathy. I've stayed in a few Hotels in London in my time and would probably recommend around 20% of them. £100 per night does not get you a lot and if you're over here for a while to enjoy a number of events, it's going to cost you. I was therefore intrigued when I was recently told about It's not something I'd heard of before but looking into it further, it seems like a pretty good deal.

Basically you rent other people's property on short term deals through an easy to use and secure website. This could be just a room, an apartment or a house so you can adapt your search to what you specifically need and to your own budget, pretty much anywhere in the world. A quick search for London has already bought up a studio apartment in Shoreditch for £90 a night or £550 for the week. I'd love to see the tiny room you get given in a central London if you found someone only charging £90!! And you get a whole apartment!

There are loads of photos of each property so you can find the perfect place for you to stay and depending on the city, there are various perks to take advantage of. Again, for London, you get discounts on using Fonmigo which is a service that gives you cheap smart phone and data usage while away and also a voucher for using Streetcar UK if you want to get out of the city and these are included in you rental rates. All this with 24hr customer care seems like a deal too good to miss. As it's free to sign up, I may have to pop along now so I'll be ready next time I take a trip.

Monday, 18 April 2011

As quick as 2 opposite pole magnets coming together!

On Thursday afternoon, I developed an annoying pain in my left knee. It was a pain like it needed to crack (which mine do regularly) but I just couldn't. Slightly bemused as I couldn't remember a twist, jolt, bang or anything that could have caused it so just put it down to a bad day and hoped with a day's rest, it would sort itself out and allow my to run a little 9.91km route back near my parents as we were visiting this weekend.

I could still feel it a little on Saturday morning but felt fine to run on so I headed out. I've only done this whole route once before and my stats tell me that this took 53:06 in Feb 2010. After last weeks Hertford 10k, I felt I should be able to beat this but with the knee pain yet to be diagnosed, I took a phone with me in case I had to make a call. Is it was, I didn't it was fine during the run and I was able to come in in 50:08!!! For me, that's monumentally quick. The only times I've run at that pace, it's been less than 6km. It felt good and means I'm looking forward to the BUPA 10k even more now. There could be a possible PB on the cards as it's so flat!

Those thoughts were slightly curtailed come Saturday night when bouncing/rocking the boy to sleep and the knee nearly giving way. Hmmmm. Come Sunday, all seemed fine again so I've got no idea what's going on there!!

A little bit of TLC needed I think to make sure it doesn't develop into something more.On another note, I was sent a Trion:Z bracelet to try so I decided to keep it on for a full week and see what I thought. Now apart from looking quite cool, I'm not entirely sure what these magnetic bracelets actually do. The website says things about why they're so much stronger than competitors magnetic bracelets and has quotes from famous people that wear them like Rory McIlroy (I hope he wasn't wearing it during the Masters last week then) but there doesn't appear to be anything to say a)what it does and b)how and whether it works.

You may look at my quick time on Saturday morning and say well it did something but considering I took it off on Thursday night, that doesn't mean much. I like the idea of alternative therapy and using different methods it's just I don't actually believe many actually do what they say they do.

I suspect, like most of these things, come down to a placebo effect of believing you feel better and hey, if that works for you then brilliant. I also think that if you would like one of these magnetic bracelets, then the Trion:Z website is a great place to look as it has a wealth of options and colours for you to choose from.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Hertford 10k Race Report - A tale of 3 distances

It was time for eatingtrees' home town race so after a Saturday of gardening, walking, and lots of fresh air, we got up early and headed to Hertford early Sunday morning for a 10k. I had a few doubts about this race before I made my way there, like no ability to enter via this new invention called the World Wide Web and having to rely on stamped addressed envelopes. No chip timing was also a minor point but as I tend to go by my watch time, it doesn't bother me. Stories of gates being locked last year and the race being shortened and also being listed as 'approximate 10k distance' didn't fill me with much confidence either to be honest but it would be a nice day out.

However, I really enjoyed it. It was extremely warm so was delighted that I was doing something silly like the Brighton Marathon (Well Done to Adele and Hesbels) but I felt good as the runners gathered at the school to make their way to the start.

The first km was very slow as there are many runners on a narrow path and by the time the first km post arrived, my watch read 5:45. Hmmm. Nevermind. I plodded on with eatingtrees and saw Mrs HMC and The Boy just before the 2km mark which is always lovely and luckily my watch read 11:05 at the next post. A 5:20 K, that's a bit better. I was holding on to eatingtrees' vest at this point though. He was upping the pace and although I was staying with him, I was finding it tougher than expected.

I had been sent some sunglasses to try out from those lovely people at Polaroid and as yet, the only testing I'd managed was by the pool in Egypt. (They're very good for that by the way). However for this race and my last long training run of 15km, I've been trying these out. I have to say, they're awesome. They don't fog up which has happened when I've worn glasses before (hence running in contact lenses), they didn't rub, and they just sat where they were meant to and did their job. The best thing I can say about them though, is when I inevitably sit on these and break them, I'd actually be tempted to part with some hard cash to replace them! They have a massive range so check them out here.

By the time I'd hit 5km, I felt extremely comfortable. In fact, the next 4 KM's were all between 4:59 and 5:07. I was really enjoying it and I knew that if I actually had 1km to go AND I could keep the pace up, I could be close to a PB but with the Hertford 10k map lists it as 10.2km, My more detailed map using listed it as 10.3km and eatingtrees' Garmin told us it was a touch over 10.1km. Basically. Take your pick! That last km took just over 6 minutes so certainly was longing even if you exclude the last bit which is quite a tremendous hill.

The event was fantastically marshaled and at the finish there were loads of bananas, water, Lucozade and cheering. A thoroughly good day and a time of 52:38 to boot. I was going to be happy with under 55 mins so delighted with that! See you next year!

After that, it was round to eatingtrees' house for shower, lunch, sun time and shisha. A perfect end to a bloody good weekend!

Saturday, 2 April 2011

A top run

I had to get myself out for a run today as the weather looked like it could be a good one and I have the little matter of the eatingtrees home town race next week, that being the Hertford 10k.

It was also a chance to test a couple of recent items I'd been sent to review. Today's was a new top. Without a doubt, one of the softest tops I've ever had. It's like running in a cuddle! The only problem is that it was a long sleeve cuddle and we're coming into spring so it was quite warm. It would have been great to try this one about a month ago but beggars can't be choosers. They can just merely comment.

The top is from the people at BAM who produce some quite lovely Bamboo clothing. It's not designed primarily as a running top but something for everything. Running, cycling, skiing and hiking etc which means I'm pretty sure, it's going to get a lot of use and in that way, I'm certainly going to put their 'Non Smelly' claim to the test.

It felt like it was going to absorb a lot of moisture and being dark blue, I suspected that come the end of my run, it would all be a slightly darker colour and soaked. I was wrong. At the end of 14.34km in 1:19:07 and in quite warm temperatures, this was the result!


So all in all, really happy with it and I'd even be tempted to get a short sleeve version for myself apart from one thing, the short sleeve don't seem to have the zipped neck which in keeping the wind out really helps but in letting the air in, would be even better.

The run was a non eventful and quite slow trot around my usual route while listening to an audiobook . There really is nothing else to add but I do love spring. I think it could quite possibly be, my favourite season . Not too warm. Generally dryer and you don't have to wear half your wardrobe to go outside. Bliss

Next week's trip to Hertford will be lovely with promises of 10k runs, bike post removal, shisha and Mrs Eatingtrees' home cooked food to look forward to, how could it not. Right, I have a lawn to mo and boy to entertain. Enjoy your weekend's people!