fairweatherrunner

running blog


3 Comments

Juneathon 12/30 and a cyclist rant. 

Juneathon day 12. 

A BMF  class, 2.8 miles run, plus 5.3 miles cycling there and back  including a close encounter with a 52 bus that didn’t respect the  priority  of a ‘vehicle’ (me) already on the roundabout!  This mini roundabout is on a so called back street but I have decided it is the most dangerous part of my regular route. I’ve had a few other near misses here but this was the closest and potentially most dangerous to date.  I think it’s time for a re-route. 

Londin cyclist rant over. 

Other than that I intended to take some photographs today for my blog because many other Juneathon bloggers have taken some beautiful photographs of their runs, walks and rides and mine feels a bit bland. 

I meant to stop andtake some   pictures on my route across Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, but when I dashed back home for my forgotten sunglasses I dropped my bike and my chain came off which made me  late plus I had rather black greasy paws. 

Next time.  


1 Comment

Extreme weather?

2015/01/img_3770.jpg

Sandwiched between Kensington and Shepherds Bush is the pocket sized microclimate of Holland Park! I walked through it today, taking my chances, after seeing this sign at the entrance, thinking I’d have an adventure.

Blizzard? Ice trekking? Biblical flood to cross? A hurricane to sprint away from? But all was calm and quiet and reassuringly urban. The only adaptation I had to make for the weather conditions was to remove my scarf because it was rather mild.

I was going to run today but didn’t fancy it much. Then walking home from dropping my bike off for its service I noticed how bad the traffic was and hatched a plan. Rather than squeezing in a short run before getting changed and driving to meet people at lunch time I would bin the run, leave early for my meet up and walk there.

Janathon day 26.

5.9 miles walked.
2.4 miles cycled.

1 Bike serviced.
Squeaky brakes (which they told me was quite normal) now cured.


3 Comments

Leg blast

Today I had good intentions of writing my blog early and catching up with reading Janathon blogs, my emails and the rest of my life generally. But then I cycled off to BMF on the coldest morning yet.

I got there fine, apart from my missing finger tips which joined me 5 minutes later. (Wind proof thermal cycle gloves only ok to -1, apparently).

I did notice at the start if the class that there were an awful lot of greens (advanced). All BMF classes follow much the same format with the variety from the instructor. The make up of the group also makes a big difference. Today there were 12 of us and with half greens it meant one thing. A hard fast class. Eek! Then the mention of ‘leg blast’ class turned my legs to jelly before we even started. My small portion of porridge for breakfast suddenly felt a bit inadequate.

Fortunately I survived the running, gun drills, squat jumps, tuck jumps until our legs screamed. Plus a bit more running to make it to arms and abs and we were into the sprints to finish. A good class where I knew I had worked hard.

I cycled home before I cooled down too much and discovered that it is possible to change gear and brake on a road bike wearing sheepskin mittens and they are far better at maintaining feeling in my fingers than fancy cycle gloves.

After all that hard work and fresh air, a hot shower, food and coffee I sat on the sofa and my ability to do much else left me.

I’ll have to catch up tomorrow.

Janathon day 23.

Cold 5.3 miles cycled
1 hour tough BMF class, 3.2 miles run.


7 Comments

PB hunting.

I do like cycling to parkrun. It’s the best time to cycle in London and the bright fresh feeling of being out on my bike at that time of the morning, especially as the parkrun gods usually send a glorious morning, is well worth crawling out of bed for. I also arrive at parkrun fully awake and warmed up.

Today I was off PB hunting. I went to Fulham Palace parkrun which is the nearest fast flat and on tarmac parkrun because today was one of their regular paced runs (odd numbers this week). I arrived just in time after a cautious cycle (I didn’t want to slide off round a corner on ice). The main gathering area was worryingly icy but as we walked to the start the course looked a lot better. It was a record turn out of 300. Too many other pacer following PB hunters or refugees from muddy winter parkruns!

I had planned to get the 23 min pacer in my sights and follow (at a suitable distance) for as long as I could. My goal is a sub 24 so I thought i’d try 23 pace for a mile at a time as a bit of training and maybe sneak a pb while I was at it.

The start was rather busy. I inched
in front of the 31 and 29 pacers but couldn’t get sight of any others. The first half mile I was dodging and over taking and trying to get past dogs and small children. I finally managed to get past the 27 and 25 minute pace makers but the 23 pacer was long gone. Oh well, next time. I tucked in and settled to a steady pace, got my head down and planned to keep going at best effort but not be silly and embarrass myself by falling over at the couple of icy patches on the course.

I finished in 24.38 and was well pleased with that despite worrying that things didn’t go as I wanted at the start. I’d knocked 12 seconds off my Fulham time, scored a 2015 PB, inched back towards my overall PB and made another step towards my long term goal. I even cycled home and bought milk, papers and was drinking coffee before the rain arrived.

My good day was topped off this afternoon when I went with Alma to cheer Louise to the finish of the 45 mile Country to Capital Ultra race. She finished in 8 hours 18. Amazing. Congratulations to her, and all the other runners. They looked so good at the end they make me feel ashamed of the fuss I make of aches and pains after a fraction of the distance!

Janathon day 17.
My 28th parkrun.
5K run, 6.7 miles cycled.


2 Comments

Exploring

I went out on my bike today. Just me, so I decided to have a bit of an explore of some routes around London I want to work out with no time pressures.
It’s funny how I am so much more confident these days exploring new routes by bike than by car. It’s probably because it’s so easy when you get lost or end up on a dual carriage way to hop off a bike and become a pedestrian for a few metres until you find a cycle friendly way through or consult the map.

I got a bit lost going backward and forward looking for the ‘back street’ route to Regents Park but the signage kept taking me to the canal which is best avoided on a Sunday, unless you want to walk. I made it in the end, only cycling the wrong way up one one-way street. After a part lap of the park I took the faster return route towards Hyde Park and discovered slightly better signage, which doesn’t leave you abandoned in the middle of nowhere, and that ‘the fast’ routes are no more scary than the so called quiet ones. That’s what exploring is all about.

Not the fastest of rides because of navigation issues, some busy routes with tourists and strong cross winds on the few nice quiet stretches of open road I tried to race down.

Janathon day 11.
17.2 miles cycled.


4 Comments

The long way to the shops

If the way to the shops involves cycling past them and a loop of Hyde Park.

I couldn’t decide what to do for my Janathon exercise today.  Excuses and stay in my PJs, walk and do the shopping or go out for a cycle.  My bike easily won because we hadn’t been out together since Wednesday.

I normally avoid Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park at weekends unless it’s very early because there are too many obstacles to cycling at more than walking pace.  (Tourists, people taking selfies in the middle of the path, dogs, small children on scooters, kids with balls, Boris bikes on the wrong side of the road ,to name a few)  Today due to lack of imagination and time to plan an alternative and a lot to do with auto-pilot my bike and I ended up in that direction

It wasn’t too bad.  It was already getting late towards 3pm and had been gloomy and cold all day so few people were out.  Even the last day of Winter Wonderland didn’t make the park as overcrowded as I have seen it in the past and I made good progress.  I enjoyed the  weekend closure of South Carriage Drive and a long stretch of empty road to enjoy my relatively new bike and test out going up and down the gears and a bit of speed as far as I could dressed in skinny jeans. I didn’t see many other non Boris bike  cyclists about,  they had either been and gone early or were sensibly staying away until winter wonderland is dismantled over the next month  Even speakers corner wasn’t a complete jam today. (Why they put the cycle lane straight through it baffles me, but that’s another rant).

After half an hour my poor feet were getting cold.  (Time to upgrade from Converse as my cycling shoes of  choice.) So I headed back towards home and the shops remembering to stop and fill my panniers in Waitrose with something for supper.

Janathon day 4  8.4 miles cycled.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/7b2/17848955/files/2015/01/img_3748-1.jpg


Leave a comment

Adventure to parkrun

I decided to have a bit of a cycle mini adventure on Saturday.

I’d arranged to meet Alma and Giselle at Wimbledon parkrun for a catch up and when working out the route noticed that cycling the 6 – 7 miles there would only be 10 mins slower than driving. It’s on reasonably familiar territory so I decided I could get a longer ride in on Saturday knowing that I wouldn’t be able to cycle on Sunday.

It also gave me the chance to venture further afield than my regular bike routes and take a longer ride on my own which required a bit of navigating. The Citymapper app said the quiet route would take me 44 minutes. I got there in 47 but that included at least 3 complete stops to consult the map closely to find the right roads and a detour back to the road when I realised the Thames Path in Barnes was not suitable for road bike tyres.

It was such a beautiful warm sunny morning to be out on my bike so I didn’t regret getting up early. Wimbledon parkrun benefits from shade under the trees on the common but it was still a warm one. It’s a big parkrun,  the largest parkrun I’ve been to, I’ve certainly never finished in 189th place before! We started from the back so, having not done lots of running recently, I could start slowly and judge how I felt as I went along. It also gave me time to get used to watching my feet as it’s bumpy under the trees with roots, holes and ruts from all the mud on wetter days.

I gradually picked up the pace as the pack of runners thinned out and ran on feel trying to hold a ‘just slower than breathless’ pace and for a first parkrun in 6 months was pleased to finish in about the average time for all my parkruns. I also had nice negative splits!

Wimbledon parkrun is near an excellent café where we sat in the sun with coffee and cake for a catch up. It felt good to be back at parkrun and interesting to run a new venue. I think what makes it worth getting up and out early for (and the only way to get me out of my bed and to parkrun!) is a meet up with friends (and cake) so I am going to do it more often.

Cycling home took a little longer. I detoured off route a bit and followed my nose in the general direction of home. At one point I found myself approaching a busy junction I know but in the wrong place for my turn so I got off and walked to cross the tricky bits. I did end up going along roads I’d tried to avoid on the Thames Path earlier but it was absolutely fine, apart from crossing Hammersmith Bridge, which was horrid.

Juneathon day 21.
First parkrun for 6 months (3.1 miles run) and 14 miles cycled.