Saturday, 11 June 2011

That's the year completed

Just a run round the block for today's Juneathon and a first little foray into my speed increase theory.

Really happy. I've now found and entered to 2 missing races (Aug and Nov) so that's my minimum one race a month for the year complete. August will be the Arundel Castle 10k (with maybe a little camping thrown in as it's the bank holiday weekend) and thanks to a friend of eatingtrees, November's race will be the Mens Health Survival of the Fittest in London. What have I let myself in for?!?!

November's race actually falls on my first wedding anniversary so I suspect it's going to cost me long term. I suspect a meal out is the very minimum I'll have to pay for asking my wife to stand around Battersea Power Station and watch my get tired, wet and muddy!

Friday, 10 June 2011

Crisis Sq Mile Race Report

Ignoring the fact that due to an number of excuses reasons including VERY late running trains, evening meetings and Mrs HMC's classes, I have missed Juneathon days 6,7 and 8, so Day 9 meant it was time for my first foray into the world of the Crisis Sq Mile.

An event that has been championed by numerous people as fun and a little different, it seemed too good an opportunity to miss plus I'd get to tick off June's race too.

I met up in Paternoster Square behind St Pauls with Cathy, Grant and Shaun and after donning the red shirt t-shirt and laying down for a bit for a photo opp, we started (surprisingly it seems) at 7pm sharp! I knew nothing of this race except that the roads weren't closed, we'd probably scare a few commuters and we'd cover many a sight of London. Distance... unknown. The only info I had was that last year (and bear in mind it changes every year), it was 7.3km.

So I continued my BUPA theme of pacing myself. That being say 'Sod it' and run as fast as is acceptable for as long as I could. The route (this year) took us from St Paul's, along Embankment, across Blackfriars bridge, looped round past the Millennium Eye, along the South Bank, back over Blackfriars, along Embankment in the other direction to, and across Southwark Bridge and then a loop round to finish after crossing the Millennium Bridge. It's lucky I'm a bit of a bridge geek really.

It's a great sight to see somewhere between 1000 and 2000 runners in red t-shirts hitting the streets Flash Mob style. It's an event I really enjoyed and I'd like to think I'll be back next year.

I finished the 6.71km (according to 2 Garmins) route in 31:26. That's an average pace of 'bloody quick for me' per mile.

And as it was this was another quick run (last 3 runs all under 8 m/m (5m/km) and Crisis at 7:32 m/m (4:42m/km) I now want to know how fast I can go. Every other time I've tried to speed up, I've picked up an injury but after recent conversations with both Grant and Shaun, a thought hit me while sitting on a stationary train for a long time last night (thanks SouthWest trains, twice in a week... nice). I'm not going to share my thoughts with you at this moment and not because of any secret 'build up the tension thing' or even 'I want no-one else to know thing'. It's purely that it could all turn out to be a load of crap so I want to test my theory first. It's not going to be a quick process but if I start to see an improvement soon, I'll let you know my thoughts. I'm going to be my own guinea pig!

Monday, 6 June 2011

Time for a change

I didn't mention it at the time but there was a strange smell on the second half of the BUPA 10k that wasn't all that pleasant. It took a while for the penny to drop that it was actually my t-shirt and after 2 years and numerous races and numerous training runs had come to the end of it's smell free life. Time to go shopping!

I wanted a couple of replacements and found myself heading over to to check out what they had. Quite a simple and straight forward website meant that I was able to find the mens tops quite quickly and once I'd checked out the size guide and selected the size I was after, I was given a large selection of tops from some very well known brands to choose from.

Prices ranged from the very high (maybe it's just me) to much more in my price range so I found 3 I liked that were at the lower end of the scale, in colours that mean I'll never be missed on the course again and headed to the checkout.

Delivery had 3 options which were standard, express and next day and I have to say, I'm not a fan of paying for standard delivery and generally go elsewhere but I felt £2.99 was a small price to pay for the 3 tops I'd chosen. I could even pay by Paypal which saves the whole card details and address input thing but maybe it was having a bad day as it wouldn't let me use my account. Pah! I ordered Tuesday and delivered on Saturday (just after I got back from a run typically) so not as quick as some sites but if I had been desperate for it, I could have paid more I guess.

Overall, a good site with loads of stock from some good brands at pretty good prices. Give them a go next time you smell a funny smell while running. It may be you.

Juneathon has continued with a little running and a little cycling but nothing interesting has happened so I don't want to bore you all. My stats, as with all the others are on that running free site.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

After the fizzle, here comes the pop

Well after Monday's blistering BUPA 10k, I was ill all night and lost pretty much most of the fluid in body. Not the best thing for muscle recovery and diluting the lactic acid in my legs. Tuesday, I couldn't physically move. Wednesday was only slightly better so day 1 of Juneathon was a mighty 1.43 mile bike ride around the block to check the creaking in my cranks. I'm pretty sure that if I was at school, the report card would have said 'can do better'.

This morning I did. At 5:30am, I headed out on the route that WAS Juneathon 2010. Last year, out of the 22 days I ran, 19 days were run on this route and the majority of those at 5:30am. The fastest I had ever run this route was 25:02 and I remember it being tough. Today, with VERY heavy legs and a head that only a 5:20am alarm can bring, I headed off again. The legs hurt but it didn't feel too tough so I fail to understand how I smashed my best time again. 24:36!!

That's 4.47 KM pace (or a frankly ridiculous for me, 7:43 m/mile). This is someone who struggled to creep under the 9 minute mile barrier 3 years ago.

And yet more news, for the first time in at least 6 years and probably more, my weight has dipped (just) below 13 stone! I've been 13 stone something and once or twice hit 14 for so long, I was resigned to being that weight forever. Now, my weight starts with a 12 and I'm a happy boy. This combined with the last year running in the Surrey Hills and the numerous miles on the bike are obviously paying off with my times.