Thursday, 31 May 2012

Decisions, decisions.....

Well, after my fairly uninspiring performances racing recently I really need to get back on track and start training for a specific race. My problem is I can't decide which one !

I want to target a half marathon either late September / October time. This should give me enough time to train properly and look to improve my times... It should also act as good training for a particularly difficult 10 mile race that I have booked for November.

I've started running hills again ( I stopped on the lead up to the marathon ) and I'm certainly feeling it in my legs.

All I need to do is put together a coherent training plan and get started :)

Sunday, 27 May 2012

That was a hot one !

I have to be honest I really struggled at times during today's race. It was in central London in 28 degrees. Last week it was still winter here; too cold to sit outside in the evenings, then, within a week, it is like the height of summer !

I knew quite early on that I wasn't going to get a PB or even match last years time so I just settled down to enjoy the race :)

This meant that I got to spot some of the London landmarks that I missed last year, like Nelsons column, Mansion House and the Bank of England.... It also meant that as I was running back down the Mall towards the finish I was joining in the with arm movements to YMCA that was blaring out of the speakers ! So, time wise it was my worst 10k for about 18 months (official times not available yet but my watch said 60 mins) but I enjoyed myself :)

It was also great seeing Mo Farah as he ran past in the opposite direction, those guys are FAST !

I really must put together a training plan for the next few months to improve my 10k time, I would like to get it under 50 mins by the end of this year...

Anyway, this is me after I had cooled down a bit (honest !) and Buckingham Palace in the sunshine... Seems like a world away from where I live, not sure that I could ever get used to the crowds....

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, 25 May 2012

And for my next trick !

It is strange all the things that you have never done in life, quite often because someone has always done them for you. So, yesterday, I got my bike out of the shed where it has stood unused for the last 15 years and changed the tyres. Believe it or not I have never changed the tyre on a bike before.

A few things that I learnt:

1. After 15 years everything seizes up....
2. There is a right way and wrong way to fit tyres...
3. You shouldn't inflate the tyre fully until it is back on the bike..

So, what I thought was going to be a quick task took a bit longer but it is now done. Phill also gave me a hand greasing the bearings inside the wheels (I didn't even know they were there !)

All that is left to do is to sort the brakes and gears and I will have a working Bike again :)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Sun, sea, sand......... And cake !

Well, last night was a lovely race, I don't know my time yet because I did my normal trick of forgetting to stop my Garmin when I finished. It was an out and back route along Littlehampton beach.... Luckily the tide was out but there were still some ankle deep bits and some very soft sinking sand to run through.... As well as the up and down the shingle sections.

The heat certainly makes a difference. Two weeks ago it was only 8 or 9 degrees, last night it was about 20 degrees and I'm certainly not used to it !

The best bit has to be the homemade cake at the finish :) there is something really lovely about the smaller local races, you get to meet and start to know the other runners from the local clubs and it is always a really friendly atmosphere.

On Sunday I'm racing in London..... I can honestly say that I doubt that I will be as fast as last year, I just haven't trained properly for it, I'm also running again tonight so a proper taper is out the window. I'm just planning on going along and enjoying it, after all that is why I run !

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Beware of the pigs !

On Sunday I went for lovely 13.3 "gentle" run that included some whopping great hills. This is the furthest that I have run since the marathon and if I'm honest I was a bit nervous about it, I wasn't sure quite how much fitness I have lost in the last 6 weeks of "recovery" running.... The last time I ran anything similar was last October and despite stopping to take some photos and admire the views from the top of the hills (aka feeling like you just can't breath anymore !) I was less than a minute slower than last time...

One thing that has changed has been the introduction of free range pigs..... These pigs are big, but gorgeous and they looked so chilled sleeping in the sun on top of the straw.... It certainly makes a change from the cows, sheep and occasional rather large bull !

So, eating wise.. I have found it hard work cutting down, I hate that hungry feeling but know that it will pass in a couple of weeks. Cutting down on the alcohol really hasn't been a problem and I feel so much better for it.

Glasses of wine since last post : 4 (this really is a reduction on the previous few weeks !)
Big iced buns since last post : 0 - result !

Anyway, this is another photo from last Sundays run :)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, 18 May 2012

The scales don't lie....

Well, after my time away and generally having taken it easy after the marathon I thought it was about time I stood on the scales..... Funny, but breathing in doesn't make you weigh less ! Neither does trying to pull everything in or blame it on the mouthful of coffee just before standing on the scales.

The truth is I have put on weight. I don't know why that was a surprise, it really shouldn't have been. I have been "recovering" from the marathon on a diet that consisted of buns mid morning.... And a bit more with a meal to "make up" for the energy lost during the marathon. Throw in to the mix a lack of running and I think you can see as well as I can where the extra weight has come from.

So, I'm now getting back in to a routine of running 4 times a week, cutting out the mid morning buns.... cutting down on the alcohol and eating a bit more healthily.

So, two photos for this blog post.... The first is my favourite sort of bun (yes, you can see where the weight gain has come from !)

And the second from a lovely evening run over the South Downs....

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, 14 May 2012

Cardiac screening...

Well, this year has really highlighted how exercise can highlight underlying heart problems. It looks like Micah True died from a heart condition as did Claire Squires during the London Marathon.

If you are aged 18-35 then you may be able to get free cardiac screening, click on this link for more info from UK Athletics.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Perfect Preparation Prevents....

I think we all have things in our lives that we plan for.... and then we have those things that we pop in the diary and conveniently forget about because something bigger/better/more exciting is happening...

This weekend has been one of those "pop in the diary and forget about" moments. I have been racing both days this weekend. Yesterday was a lovely 10k trail race through a forest, I had booked it before the marathon to give myself a reason to keep on running. It is a race I have run before, quite hilly and all off road :) what I hadn't taken in to consideration was quite what a marathon would take out of me.... My marathon training had all been geared to distance rather than speed and with my knee problems I had slowed right down... Then, if you put in to the mix a week on the road with work (and a few glasses of wine more than normal) followed by a few days in Devon staying with some very good friends, sampling some of the great food at the Victoria Inn, Salcombe, and some wonderful home cooking all with plenty of wine to accompany it then you start to get the picture regarding my race training for this weekend !

Oh, and did I mention the Devon cream teas ??

As you can see, absolutely delicious but not too sure that they are part of Paula Radcliffes diet !

So, after a muddy, hilly trail 10k race yesterday I had entered a 5 mile cross country run over the South Downs today..

I think it is fair to say that maybe I should have known better than to have a couple of glasses of wine last night but hey, I knew I wouldn't be breaking any records today...

Today's race seemed to be uphill for an awful long time, one good thing was that this weekend, for the first time for a long time, it was sunny so the view from the top of the South Downs were stunning.

This weekend has seen me breaking any PBs but I was only a few seconds slower on Saturday than last year and it was a lot muddier this year... I could carry on making excuses but the reality is that I didn't train for these races and it showed. So, I have 2 weeks to get my butt in to gear before my next 10k race; I have a feeling that I won't be getting a PB but hopefully my time will be a tadge better than last year, if it isn't I won't be broken hearted, as I said near the start of this post I didn't realise quite what running the marathon would take out of me....

I have a target 10k towards the end of this year that I am working towards so apart from the odd half marathon my training is going to be geared to improving my PB in that :)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Optimal training paces..

Well, now I've just about recovered from the Marathon I want to look at improving my 10K time so I have been looking at my optimal training paces. I put everything in to a pace calculator and came up with this..

Your Optimal Training Paces

Endurance Workouts Pace/Mi
Recovery Jogs 10:54 to 11:24
Long Runs 9:54 to 10:54
Easy Runs 9:54 to 10:24
Stamina Workouts Pace/Mi
Steady-State Runs 8:55 to 9:10
Tempo Runs 8:32 to 8:55
Tempo Intervals 8:25 to 8:43

Now, I don't have a problem with the endurance workouts, that seems to fit my pace quite well... BUT the stamina workouts ??? Not sure that I have consistently run at these speeds for quite a while (if ever) so the next stage is to put all this data in and come up with a very cunning training plan.... so watch this space !

Mud, mud.... and more mud !

Well, after being away with work for most of last week and not having any time to run (on my feet for 8 hrs a day though !) it was good to get back and fit in a couple of runs over the South Downs with Holly.

We went out the Sunday before I went away in torrential rain and almost gale force winds for an 8 mile run across the Downs in a circular route from her house. I think that has to be the wettest run I have done so far and I certainly haven't seen that much water on the Downs before.

This week was a bit better, it didn't start raining until half way round and the wind wasn't quite as strong. Also, a lot of what had just been running water had now turned to mud.....

On the plus side my new trail trainers have been well and truly broken in and certainly don't look new any more !

I will be racing at the weekend (I'm away again for most of this week with work) I haven't tried running "fast" for quite a while.. all my training so far this year has been geared at distance. I have also been taking it easy for the last few weeks to give my body a chance to recover from the marathon so I guess now is the time to start to step it up a gear :)

This photo is the very nice Lincolnshire fire brigade that turned up when out hotel was evacuated at 3:30am one morning last week.... not running related but finding your clothes in the dark and getting out quick must be good training for something !

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