Category Archives: Uncategorized

Distraction, distraction, distraction

June 26, 2013

Repeated some of the hill run from yesterday, then added a different ending to the route. My mind was wandering when I did the climb and didn’t really notice that I was ascending, reached the top before I knew it. I definitely think I’ll be using this tactic from now own.

My slowest mile today was 8:45, and that was the hill mile, so wasn’t too disappointed. My last mile and a half were in good time and well on target for my 10k in under 50 minute aim.

 Today’s stats: 6.2 miles, 52:46 

Race, what race?

June 25, 2013

Oh dear, oh dear. I was on my way to meet some friends on Saturday evening, about 5.30pm, when I saw a few women in the familiar pink race for life t-shirts. ‘Oh,’ I thought to myself, ‘Is there another 10k on today somewhere?’ I was surprised, as my race for life was on the Sunday and thought it was unusual to have two, so close together.

Then, I checked online and of course, I’d made a really stupid mistake and had missed my run. I was so cross with myself and confessed to my friends who both sympathised and laughed at the same time.

On the plus side, it meant that I didn’t say no to a glass of wine with my pasta and it meant I double checked when my next race is, and low and behold, I’d got the date wrong for that one too.

So, no running Saturday – I’d gone for a swim instead to take it easy ahead of the race – or Sunday. I was back out today, and didn’t really push it too much. I did a one hill route, didn’t manage to get my speed up above an 8:30 minute mile. Still, the sun was shining, I had my shades on and enough water.

The first couple of miles were a bit tough, I’m always sluggish after not running for a couple of days, so it was good to get back and loosen up again. Back to the speed work this week, need to try to bring my times back down again.

 Today’s stats: 6.2 miles, 53:46 

Blame it on the blood

June 21, 2013

I don’t really like doing sprints so was quite pleased that I decided to ditch them and do some hill runs instead. To be honest, I’m not a big fan of hills either, so it still wasn’t going to be my run of the week.

My times were rubbish, compared to recent runs, down to 9 minute miles all round. Even the last mile on the flat was a disappointing 9:08, but I’m ok with it, I think.

I gave blood yesterday and I’m using this bit of reduced capacity to partly explain my underperformance. I’m not going to check on the internet to see if this is anywhere near true, and blowing my excuse!

Still, on the up side, I did make it up four hills and had a fairly reasonable recovery time. Other than that, skipped the sunglasses again, but still have the Kirby grips working their magic, best of all, calves stood up to the test of the repeated hill work.

So that’s it now, last run before Sunday completed. Rest and hydration – and I don’t mean lots of wine – is the order of the day for tomorrow. Still keeping my fingers crossed for no rain. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Today’s stats: 6 miles, 54:09, 4 hills

Learning to look around

June 20, 2013

A friend asked me what route I was going to run today, and when I told her, she suggested that I look out for some artwork on the side of a school, which came from a project that she did.

It was the third time I’d run this route so I was surprised to think there was something I hadn’t noticed, but there it was, seven miles in, a fabulous seamonster, made out of what looked like stained glass panels.

My lesson from today was to look around a bit more, I tend to zone out when I’m running, which I enjoy, but it wouldn’t hurt to take my surroundings in a bit more now and then!

Having remembered to try my sunglasses with a sportsband attached on yesterday’s run, and being surprisingly happy with them, I promptly forgot them today and spent several miles squinting into the sun.

Still, I was happy with my performance today, kept reminding myself to keep it steady, it was about the distance not the speed, managed an average speed of 8:30 mins per mile, and went for it during the last two, completing miles 11 and 12 in 8:15 and 8:05 respectively.

I was really pleased with this, if after ten miles I can step it up like that for the last two, doing half this distance at a higher speed should be doable. I do think that my body sees that first few miles as part of the warm up before kicking in at the later stages.

This means that either I need to run to the park for the 10k on Sunday or get there early and do lots of warming up.

I’m going concentrate on some hill work tomorrow, lose the sprints for a week (I’m quietly cheering inside), then rest on Saturday – or maybe go for a swim, we’ll see.

 Today’s stats: 12 miles, 1:42:04

Dancing in heels is not good training

June 18, 2013

It took me a while to warm up my legs today, they were pretty stiff after dancing in heels at a wedding on Saturday night. The muscles were aching in ways that I’m not really used to so I was a bit anxious. The last thing I wanted was to aggravate something ahead of my attempt to run 10k in under 50 minutes on Sunday.

Even after lots of stretching and resting, I’m still carrying a niggle in my calf, it was the hill that got me again, still my sticking point.

The distance was fine, and once the hill was out of the way, I was pleased with my times, the last two miles were 7:57 and then 7:56, which felt comfortable. I also ran a bit later than I normally would, so it was a little hotter, (I know, finally) but actually, that seems like good preparation for Sunday, with a 10.30am start.

My fastest recorded 10k, during training, was 51:01. There are a couple of big differences on race day, which leave me feeling hopeful that I can do it. Firstly, you don’t need to stop, even briefly, to cross any roads, and secondly, everyone is going the same way so there’s no negotiating over the pavement.

Of course there is a down side, if there are lots of people taking part and filling the pavement, it can be hard to pass people to allow you to run at your own pace, which reminds me of the importance of getting to the right starting place. Not with the elites, as I’ll just be in their way, but ahead of the walkers and joggers.

Only two more runs before the big day now, I don’t think there’s too much more I can do to improve before then, I’m going to concentrate on keeping myself hydrated and crossing my fingers and hoping that it’s dry.

 Today’s stats: 10k, 53:06

Cheering me on, I think

June 12, 2013

I had a weird experience on my run today, I was clapped by a group of primary school children on an outing as I ran past them. This has never happened to me before, I’ve only ever had one comment whilst running, a couple of years ago, a bloke shouted, ‘Are you training for the Olympics?’ to which I just replied, ‘I wish’.

Perhaps, as I’m not sure how sophisticated primary aged children’s sense of sarcasm is, I should just accept their encouragement with good grace and not as a total mickey take.

Other than that, all went well today, Kirby grips doing a good job, my decision not to bother with shades hadn’t left me squinting in the sun and I’d ensured that my Garmin was fully charged and ready to go.

I’m really glad of my Garmin on the longer runs these days as my efforts to get a faster 10k time have really impacted on the way I run. I have to make a conscious effort to slow down sometimes, as I don’t think I could maintain that faster time over the longer distance. Looking over my mile times, the majority were all 8:30 per mile or less. The longer ones were my water stops, I like to walk through a drink break, but still the slowest was 9:03.

I find this amazing, when I started running my aim was to run a marathon in under four hours, and I strove for a nine-minute mile pace. That took a lot of hard work to achieve and I was really happy. Setting new targets, be it distance or pace, and organising the training to make it happen, definitely helps to keep me motivated and improving. It still amazes me what my body can do.

Today’s stats: 12miles, 1:42:58

You buy new sunglasses, then it’s cloudy…

June 12, 2013

At the weekend, I finally popped into my local opticians to get some sunglasses to run in, only to find that they don’t stock them and sold me a sports band instead. Basically, a piece of elastic that you fix on to your sunglasses, holding them in place and rather than spend anything from £30 to £150 as I’d been looking at, this cost only £5.

Sadly it was cloudy and horrible today so I didn’t bother with them and tomorrow I’ve got my long run, so don’t want to wear them in case it is annoying after two miles and I’ve still got ten to go.

I’m getting my eyes tested on Monday, so my other fear is I discover I need glasses and then we’re looking at prescription sunglasses. I think I might be over complicating things.

Back to the running, was a bit disappointed today, my pace felt fine in the main, but again I was stymied by the hill, it took me a bit too long to recover for my liking. I really need to do some hill work, so one little hill doesn’t throw me off track, but, to be honest, I’m still a bit anxious as it always seems to be the hills that leave me with an injury, usually some calf thing. Still, maybe that’s why I need to do more, so my calves get used to it and so are less likely to be shocked and damaged.

Sounds like I’ve managed to talk myself into that one then. Great, sprints and hill work this week. Combine the two or is that just asking for trouble?

Today’s stats: 6.2miles, 52:39

Grumpy in the morning

June 11, 2013

After my disappointing failure to run on Friday, Saturday went well. Set out for a pleasant 10k, it was one of my favourite type of running days, sun shining, clear blue sky with a gentle breeze to take the heat out.

Unfortunately, I’m not really a morning person and it does take me a few miles to relax and properly enjoy the run. So, when I got to Finsbury Park, only 1.5 miles in, I had a big moan about the huge fences that were up after the gig the night before.

Ok, it’s not the glorious open countryside of the Lake District but I do like to look across the park and pretend I’m not in the middle of urban London. The prospect of just getting to stare at hoardings was a bit disappointing, so I had a little out load moan, not a shout, just a miserable mumble and set off.

I was cheered up pretty quickly as it was only a small bit of the park that was covered up, so I felt a bit guilty for moaning, apologised to the Stone Roses and set about cheering up.

I felt a bit more cheered after leaving the park, but became vexed by the second issue of the day. My hair, fringe now too long to be a fringe but just not long enough to tuck, I’m going to have to root out the Kirby grips.

Well, after all that, Saturday’s run wasn’t too bad, timing a fair bit over the 50 minute mark, but that was mostly waiting to cross a few roads – and of course the wasted moments stood in the park with my hands on my hips. I shouldn’t come up against these things on a race.

Saturday’s stats: 6.2miles, 53:14

Today’s stats: 6.2miles, 52:39

Some days, it just doesn’t happen

June 7, 2013

Didn’t go very well today, got tied up with things at school and even though I’d put my kit on to leave the house, ended up coming home and getting changed instead of my run.

Felt a bit down hearted but gave my nod to exercise by making myself walk to the shops and back, a round trip of about two miles, and getting some jobs done that have been hanging over me for a bit.

I consoled myself with the prospect of a run in the morning and tried not too be hard on myself.

Today’s stats: A half-hearted 2 mile walk

The dreaded sprint session…

June 7, 2013

So, sprints today, still not a big fan but they’re definitely having a positive impact on my ‘normal’ running.

I think I realised today, during the rest periods, how much I don’t normally see or notice when I’m running, my mind zones out and my eyes glaze over. Everyone runs so differently, I found it fascinating watching gait and some habits and loved the wobbly bums in lycra. Brilliant, commit, buy the gear and just do it, I think casual park runners are fantastic.

I’ve been reading about Juneathon, and who is taking part and reading more blogs, suddenly, I feel part of a community, admittedly, one that probably doesn’t quite know that I’m hoping to belong to it.

Today’s stats: 6 x 200 metres, average pace 6.15 mins per mile