fairweatherrunner

running blog


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Extreme weather?

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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.


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parkrun

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I nearly didn’t make parkrun today. I snoozed my alarm many times and while I lay there semi conscious I was convincing myself that my body ached too much from BMF yesterday (no mention of the wine I drank last night of course) and I was sure I could hear it was raining outside.

At 8am, the point of no return, I got up and looked out the window. Dry cold and sunny. One of those lovely mornings that I would regret not getting out there. Two cups of tea, run kit, 2 nurofen, a bit of toast and 40 minutes later I was wrapped up and dragging my bike out the door.

Thank god for my local parkrun at Wormwood Scrubs for being less than 10 mins away by bike and being, in the winter at least, reliably wet, boggy, ice and mud filled to make it not really matter (for the likes of me) what state of hydration, fuelled or hungover I turn up in, it doesn’t really affect my overall pace.

Bike and warm layers deposited at the finish I was off to the start and wondering what I was up for today and what bits of me really did ache after yesterday.

It was very soggy under foot, wet soggy grass and puddles covered in a crusty ice surface hiding the lovely mud underneath. I started trying to avoid the worst of the puddles and mud but once one foot had plunged completely into an ice bath most of us just ploughed straight through it all.

My legs didn’t ache too much but my hamstrings convinced my head that any attempt at pace was out. In the end I finished not too much over my recent ‘muddy times’ and went to enjoy a post run cuppa and flapjack. A lovely bright, cold, blue-sky morning to be out. I was really glad I made the effort. A bit of mud is always fun!

Afterwards I realised that some parts of my glute muscles got more of a work out during Friday’s tuck jumps and jump squats than I realised. Time to stretch and think about the foam roller.

It took longer to soak the mud out my feet and legs than run parkrun and my socks and shoes (once yellow) needed special treatment.

Janathon day 24. 29th parkrun done.

5K run, 3.4 miles cycled


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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.


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JFDI

Fitflo and Plustenner in their blogs this week have set good examples of getting on with their Janathon / marathon training runs despite having had long days, not feeling like it and having a full list of excellent excuses.

If they could get out there and JFDI well so can I. So after a day of maybe later, after this, after that, can’t until… This evening I threw my kit on as quickly as possible and stepped out the door before my brain could work out what was happening.

Both Carla and Alma reported having good runs once they got going and it worked for me too. Once down the road and into my ‘Janathon Loop’ I was happy to be running and felt good.

Janathon day 22

3.1 miles run.


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More of the same

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Janathon day 21.
More lycra laundry, more cycling to BMF, more running, more squats, more press ups, dips, burpees…
And then more hot chocolate and cycling home with very very cold finger tips.

No more achey winging legs, the contracting out yesterday was a good idea.

10 days to go.

5.1 miles cycled, 3.2 miles run.


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Contracting out

We are getting a bit dependant these days on younger son who loves to cook. He helps makes supper most days, chopping veg and discussing options with me and takes over at weekends to cook up a very good curry. Recently we have been bereft when he’s been out with his mates to eat and seriously worried about allowing him to go away on a school trip for a week. How would we cope?

Today I was going to rest from running but go out at midday for a cycle. I then got stuck into some work which I needed to finish so before I knew it, it was 6pm and my opportunity gone. I explained to younger son when he got home about my lack of Janathon activity.

He’d had double PE (not the favourite of an un sporty year 11) and suggested that seeing as I was able to contract out most of the cooking maybe I could do the same for exercise. He informed me that he ran around for a good 20 minutes at quite a pace for warm up and then played indoor tennis very badly.

I finished my work and let him prepare half of supper. Nice work Ed.

Janathon day 20.
Joker played.
Activity (and cooking) contracted out to 15 yr old son.


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Old friends

The result of me being friends again with running and my mileage slowly creeping up and running more days per week, is it’s time for me to reacquaint myself with a couple of old friends. My foam rollers.

I realised it was time at BMF today when my knees moaned during jump squats, my calfs felt like rock running backwards and my hamstrings winged during the 100 burpee challenge.

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Well my legs did ask for it. Think I’ll start with with the nicer friend first.

Janathon day 19.

1 hour BMF class with 2.8 miles running. 5.8 miles cycling.


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Getting the hang of it

After 18 days I’m finally getting the hang of Janathon this year. This afternoon I went out for another non parkrun or BMF, solo run. It felt right and I enjoyed it. Only 5K but it’s finally feeling routine to do at least that each day. I think this is the most I’ve run in a week since I ran the Ealing half at the end of September and before that at Thunder Run in July.

Five days in a row and I think I can say I finally like running again.

Janathon day 18.

3.3 miles run.


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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.