Thursday, 21 June 2012

The Dream Team !

Last Sunday I met up with some friends for the Race for Life. This race will always remind me of how far I have come. It was the first race I ever entered and at the time it was my goal just to complete it.

On Sunday I was running just for fun. I had offered to run with my friends youngest granddaughter (the shortest one in the photo) who also had her friend with her. This would be the furthest they had ever run.....

They both did amazingly well and we crossed the finish line in 27:09, a time that most people would be quite happy with.

Luckily the sun was shining and it wasn't too hot so it made it a very pleasant run.....

Anyway, this is the "Dream Team", just in case you are wondering I'm number 6606 :)

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Thursday, 14 June 2012

Our mercurial weather

Well, Sunday was dry and sunny and then it rained.....

It wasn't just a little shower here but constant heavy rain for hours on end. The problem is that when the fields are dry the water just runs off rather than soaks in.

I went for a short run Monday evening along Mouse Lane; this is well known locally because it does end up looking like a river somedays so it was no surprise to be running through ankle deep water and to see people blocking their doorways with sandbags. The South Downs looked wonderful with low cloud and mist....

The following morning I was up early for a slightly longer run; the dilemma was whether to run over the Downs knowing I would have very wet feet from the start or run down towards the river where I know I will have dry feet for the first two miles and then see what it looked like.

Because I was also still recovering from Sundays half marathon I opted for the slightly easier river route. When I got to the river the water level didn't look too bad and the fields nearby looked relatively free from flooding so I carried on, even at the first bridge it still looked fine !

It was only when I left the river banks and headed inland to go home that I started finding the deeper water blocking my path. This is an area that I know well and I am also well aware of the power of fast flowing water, even if it is only relatively shallow so when my path was blocked by flood water I did stop to see if I thought it would be safe to go through or if I should turn round.. I could see the path emerging from the water ahead of me and the water was still rather than flowing so I continued on my way and was soon up to my knees in it (there goes the dry feet !) once out the overside I continued up hill.

There were loads of little baby bunnies, about the size of my hand :) with the rain and warmth everything, including the nettles, had grown up to about waist height so the next section of the run was quite hard work. But, I thought I was through the worst of the water and would soon be on a road heading home...

I joined the road but had forgotten how low lying it is, went round a corner and as far as I could see was water. At this point I had a decision, to go through it or to take a 4 mile detour..... I opted for the "go through it" option :) luckily although the water was more than knee deep it didn't come up to my waist, I stayed in the middle of the road (normally the highest point) and did actually manage to "run" through it. If I'm honest I quite enjoyed it, maybe there is a child in everyone that likes splashing in BIG puddles knowing you won't get told off !

So, I made it home, rather slow and rather soggy but boy what a great run :)

And for tomorrow ?? I have the Downs / River decision to make again.....

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Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Sunday's Half Marathon

Well, what can I say about Sunday.... Luckily the wind had dropped a bit and the sun was shining, but boy it was hilly !

It also looks like the shortest half marathon I have ever run...... chatting to the people I was running with and comparing our Garmin data afterwards it has come up short for everyone; I haven't heard back from the organisers yet but it looks at least half a mile short.... Of course there may be some logical explanation regarding the way Garmins calculate distance with hills but I'm not sure it would make that much difference... We will just have to wait and see.

I think I can honestly say that was the hilliest race I have ever run, the views from the top were amazing but none of it was flat ! One slight down point was the length of time that we had to queue to get through some of the gates and over some of the stiles, especially in the first few miles before people had spread out a bit.

Overall I was quite happy with my time, I had been aiming for between 2 hrs and 2:30 so coming in at 2:20 was ok considering the lack of training I put in for this one !

This is a photo from the start... It doesn't really give justice to the steepness of the hill....

But the medals were good !

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Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Cunning Plan - Stage 1

Well, I have been doing quite a bit of research on different training methods and have opted to use heart rate training to help me improve my running without (hopefully) injuring myself. The first thing to do is to find your max heart rate... I have been reading a very interesting book about this and followed their method of measuring it; this is something that I will need to repeat every few months..

Anyway, I now know my max HR that I will be using for "input" to work out my training zones... All I have left to do is to put together the rest of the training plan !

The next one looks hilly !

Well, next weekend is my next half marathon. This is more for fun than a PB, partly because I haven't been training properly for it but primarily because it looks VERY hilly !

You know it is going to be tough when the race instructions say " the route starts with a difficult climb " normally race instructions describe hills as "undulating"..... To have the start described as a "difficult climb" is slightly worrying because I'm still not very good at running up hills.... I also find I'm not that quick at running down near vertical hills either so all in all it isn't going to be a quick one.

I have, however, been putting together a cunning plan to help me run faster but more on that another day :)
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