Category Archives: Uncategorized

An unusually spontaneous run

June 5, 2013

Having decided yesterday that today would be sprints, I felt like I a cheat by deciding to do a long run instead. The weather was so great, so how could I resist?  As I haven’t got a long run target till next year, I’m being more relaxed about my routes and enjoying the freedom of running where I fancy till I’ve covered the distance I’d had in mind.

Usually, I’m not so spontaneous about a long run, and always carry my bus pass so I don’t end up doing 24 when I’d only meant to do 12. Today though, no pass, still, I headed for a run I’d not done since Feb 9th. Boy was it nicer today! Ok, the clear blue sky and the sun shining do help to forgive the broken buildings and the piles of dumped stuff, but there were also banks of wild flowers in full bloom, and I’m a sucker for a wild poppy!

Only saw about six other runners today too, which is a lot fewer than in recent weeks. Don’t know whether the good weather has put people off or if there is a post-marathon (I’m thinking London and Brighton really) lull. Still, I like the solitude of running, so I’m not complaining.

I’ll admit to being a bit anxious before setting out, I’ve been focusing on my speed lately in an attempt to finish a 10k in under 50mins. I’ve been doing some sprint work and then focusing on the 10k distance. My pace has really improved, I know I need to be aiming at 8:02 mins per mile and I’m getting pretty close, but maintaining it over 10k is one thing, I couldn’t do it on the long run.

Thank goodness for my garmin, I definitely started out too quickly, and needed to get used to taking it a little slower, aiming for a comfortable 8:40 – 8:45 mins per mile. I ended up with an average of 8:31 min per mile which was about right.

All in all, a totally uplifting morning run. I just hope the weather holds so that I can keep exploring.

Today’s stats: 11miles, 1:33:44

Finally shedding the winter layers

June 4th, 2013

The sun was still shining, the kids were back at school, I had a new route in my head – no out and back for me today – so all set for an exhilarating 10k.

Following my last run, made sure I had some water with me today. Well, I took along 50p, only to discover that it had gone up to a massive 60p. I had to call on the good nature of the shopkeeper and promise to set him straight later, must remember to do that.

So, all ready to go, I dared to do something that I haven’t been brave enough for yet this year, I took off my outer layer before I’d even taken a step. Yes, this is not like me at all! It usually takes me at least a mile before it gets too much, summer must really be here.

It’s funny isn’t it, that even though I’ve only done one run in the last 10 days, and it was hot, and I was on an slightly unfamiliar route, I still felt able to run at my new, improved pace. It was reassuring to think that the work I’ve been putting in, must be paying off.

Today’s run has spurred me on again, and I’ve got my hills planned out for tomorrow now and some sprint work for Thursday, leaving a longer, more leisurely run for Friday.

Today’s stats: 6.2miles, 51:52mins

Running below par

May 23, 2013

Today, admittedly nurturing a slightly fuzzy head, on a Thursday, I know, I realised I had been neglecting my distance running since deciding to set myself the target of completing a 10k race in under 50 mins. (Not going too badly, thank you for asking.) So, I decided to postpone the planned speed session, drop the pace and burst out from my 6.2 mile limit.

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve done more than 10k so I was quite excited at the prospect of just running for the fun of it without a particular goal in mind. As I set off, the sun was shining and the sky was blue, perfect!

Sadly, it didn’t last long, within half an hour, the sun had disappeared behind a cloud and I was being pelted with hailstones. Ah, the joys of running.

A call of nature caught me out about four miles in, which, me being me, was fine as I have a mental note of where all the local facilities are, but it gave me the chance to think about how far I really wanted to go – I refer back to the fuzzy head mentioned earlier!

I decided to go for eight miles, noting that along the route there were at least three, possibly five sensible places I could duck out and jump on a bus the rest of the way instead. Again, being me, I’d made sure I’d tucked my bus pass in my pocket, just in case.

So, call answered, water bottle replenished, I set off again, with renewed determination.

And, would you believe it, I made it to eight miles – my reluctance to be a quitter coming in handy – then duly rewarded myself with a large cup of coffee and a small but perfectly hangover-reducing piece of flapjack.

Introducing my new blog…

I was never a runner. At secondary school, I volunteered to run the mile on sports day, only because no one else would. I came last, by a long way, and that was it for me and running.

In my 20s, I took up swimming and had a few lessons, finding I really enjoyed it, swimming a mile most days. Then, a colleague at work suggested I do a triathlon, he assured me that if I could swim, that was the hardest part licked and I’d breeze the rest. Bear in mind, that I didn’t own a bike at this point and hadn’t attempted to run since that fateful day, about twenty years earlier.

So I bought a bike, some running shoes and set about training, only to discover that I really enjoyed the running, much more than I’d dare dream! It was only a 5k run but it was enough to plant a seed in me.

Having completed the sprint distance in a not too shabby 1:39:40, I pledged to run a marathon before I was 40. I didn’t get a chance to over the next few years as the kids arrived, then it was my final opportunity. In April 2009, I completed my first marathon, just eight months shy of my 40th birthday.

That was it, I was totally hooked. I have run a two further marathons since then and a few 10ks and still love it, setting myself new targets all the time.