Monday, 19 September 2011

3 weeks and counting

Well, it is now just under 3 weeks until my next half marathon.

I am beginning to think that I may have been a bit over optimistic with my target of 2:15 based on the size of the hills involved in this one !

Someone very kindly sent me a link to the route and to me this looks hilly without any real flat sections at all. I have been doing as much of my training on the Downs as possible, so I have been running up and down hills but I'm not sure how much faster I can push myself on the day.

I completed a long training run of 13.7 mile this morning in 2:38. Yes, I was taking it fairly easy (is is called a long SLOW run for a reason !) but I still felt quite shattered at the end of it. Maybe if I can start getting the early nights that I keep promising myself that will help.... Hopefully the scenery will be quite nice, something to take my mind off how much I think this one might hurt..

Realistically if I can beat my time of 2:26:59 for the Steyning Stinger then I will be happy; I know I am faster now than I was then, in training in March I had been running 13.5 miles in 2:45.... ok, so I'm not THAT much faster...

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Running on the South Downs

Just thought I would post a photo from yesterday's run. The views from the top of the Downs are amazing, especially when you look inland and can see both rain and sun !

Monday, 12 September 2011

Wet & Windy !

Well, I did my long run today after a full on few days with work... It was an exhilarating run at times, with gale force winds and driving rain... running along the top of the South Downs and trying not to get blown over is something that I think everyone should do at least once in their lives ! When I'm running I don't listen to music (I found that I couldn't always hear it above the wind anyway) so I have a lot of time to think. Today I was thinking about the events of 9/11 and where I was ten years ago, not just the location but where I was as a person in my life. A lot has happened in ten years, a career change and taking up running are just two things that have changed. But what has also changed is our society, it seems that working to achieve something is no longer popular. With the advent of immediate celebrity status it seems that you no longer need to have any talent to be an overnight "celebrity" and we are in danger of bringing up a whole generation that thinks having money and possessions are the most important things in life. When the planes hit the twin towers the people that ran for their lives didn't stop to pick up their designer handbags, they weren't worried about their latest "gadget", al of a sudden how much money you had was no longer important. What was important was the people that they loved and one of the most poignent things were the phone calls and answerphone messages left for loved ones. People who didn't know if they were going to live or die wanted the people in their lives to know how much they loved and cared for them. Some events in the world really do change the way that you look at life. This was one of them. I remember where I was that day, watching the events unfold, I knew that the world would never be quite the same again. I doubt that I am the only person that stopped and took a look at my own life, I think that this really did make me reassess what I wanted to achieve in life, I haven't achieved it all yet but I'm getting there.... I appreciate what I have, and my health far more than I have ever done before. It is this that lets me run, lets me see this amazing country that we live in, watch the changing seasons and the sheer beauty and power of nature. I don't mind the wind, rain, sleet or snow; feeling it as I run really is exhilarating and makes me appreciate the dry and warmth of home even more :)

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Bits & Pieces

Well, I have just ordered some new trainers. This time I have ordered them online rather than going to a running shop even though it is a type I have not worn before, I can hear everyone saying that this could be an expensive mistake.... but to be honest no more than following the advice of some running shops. So far each shop I have been to has given me quite different advice, from being a "neutral" runner to over pronating so badly I needed to use orthotics (these gave me the worst blisters to date). So, I have used the Brooks shoe selector, given it a few basic bits of info and looked at what they suggest... I am currently running in Brooks Adrenaline GTS11 trainers, I have run the tread off my current pair at about 500 miles. I am now switching to Brooks Adrenaline ASR8 trainers, they should arrive early next week so I will let you know how they go. To date I still haven't found a pair that I can run in without getting sore spots in the same places each time so really I feel that I have nothing to lose. I'm sure photos of the trainers will be posted here when they arrive :) Other minor points.... to meet my target of a 2:15 HM my average speed needs to be 10:18 min/mile, this will be over a very hilly trail HM To meet my target of a 2hr HM I need to average 9:09 min/miles. Can I do this ? At this point in time I really don't know.... but I know I will give it a good go !

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Fittleworth Flyers 5

Well, today I ran the Fittleworth Flyers 5, a 5 mile primarily trail run in the pouring ran. I hadn't expected it to rain quite as much as it did....

It was a lovely run, a bit hilly in places, but after the hill training I have been doing I did manage to run up all the hills and quite often overtook people going uphill :)

This is the first run in the local fun run league that I have taken part in with the club, I have always felt I would be too slow up to now...

I'm not sure what my official time is yet but I recorded 45:53 on my garmin. My slowest mile was the first one, I started at the back..... But my overall average was 9:09, this is getting close to my target HM speed for November although I am now thinking that may be a bit optimistic but the November race is flat and on roads, this was primarily on trails and hilly. But it dies show that I really need to keep up with the training !

Another thing I learnt today is that when you have run the tread off your trainers they really do lose grip..... A shopping trip is on the cards....

A slightly different gift at the finishing line.... A smallish microfibre towel, certainly not big enough to dry me out after today though !

Friday, 2 September 2011

Catch up.....

I have been a bit slow posting anything recently, there are a few reasons for this, the biggest being a lack of time. It looks like September is going to be a crazy month and it is proving hard to find much time for running. That is one of the down sides of being self employed, when you are busy you need to work more hours out of each 24 in a day, next week I am working 6 evenings out of 7 as well as the normal work during the day... I am also working all weekends between now and mid October so trying to find the time to train properly for my next half marathon is proving challenging. It looks like I may have to set the alarm and start getting up earlier (I'm not an early morning person by nature).

So, back to the running I have been doing..... Last Thursday was a club night that involved hill training, I still find hill training a bit of a killer but this did have the plus side of an amazing sunset over the downs.... I think my face was the same colour as the sky though !

Because I was working all weekend I switched my long run to Monday morning and ran 10.5 miles, trying to push a bit harder up the hills !

Realistically I am hoping this month to maintain my current level of fitness, with the time I have available I really don't think I will see much of an improvement. This then leaves me a month and a bit before the two races I have targeted in November..... I know it may be a bit early to say this but I am thinking that my target times are now looking a bit optimistic...

I guess it will be a case of wait and see.....

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