running blog



The dog ate my homework!

I have lots of equally good excuses why I didn’t get up early this morning and go to a cold frosty parkrun nor go out and do my long run.  Instead I slept until 10am and didn’t get dressed until after noon.  It wasn’t really because I was feeling lazy and a little fuzzy from an excess of vino last night.  No I (also) have sensible excuses such as my quads were sore from enjoying a good sprint yesterday and I’m getting a few aches in my left hip flexor which was the source of my injury problems last summer which made me have a lazy day.

However it’s Janathon so I still had to run (even if I’d now better ease off the speed work and take care on pushing my mileage) so by 4pm I was feeling guilty, warmer and less achy so I hung my garmin on the kitchen window to get a signal, grabbed my flourescent yellow long sleeve top, hat and gloves and went out for an easy plod.

As usual once out and moving I enjoyed it.  I went out to run 3 miles but extended my loop as I went.   It was just still daylight and the lights were coming on everywhere as the sun had set and London seemed to be waking up and coming out for the evening. A crisp cold evening after a sunny day.  It must have been cold because my hat stayed on and my gloves lasted 25 minutes! I  ran a few new roads and my Bee Gees soundtrack was perfect to go with the shop and street lights at dusk and the busy streets as I strutted my stuff to Nights on Broadway and Night Fever down Gloucester Road!

4.62 miles in 45.42 mins

2 weeks of Janathon completed  56 miles.


Time for Janathon!

It’s OK singing the blog title to the Teletubbies theme tune is not compulsory (and my apologies if you’ve now got that tune stuck in your head).

Janathon 2012 is open for entry and I have duly signed up again. So only 18 days for me to limber up my lower limbs and typing fingers ready to jog, log and blog everyday in January. Hello to ‘Athoner friends returning to Janathon or from Juneathon and welcome new-commers to the journey! I’m looking forward to reading your blogs

Janathon is great. It was responsible last year for shifting my running to the next level and I met a great bunch of running and blogging buddies. I went from BMFer (British Military Fitness) who ran occasionally and entered the odd race, to runner planning a race each month in 2012 and running/BMF at least 4/5 days a week. That alone is enough to bring me back again in 2012 even without the added benefit of joining a great supportive community. I hope Janathon helps me start 2012 with a good mileage base to help me chase some PBs during the year.

Now that Janathon is on the way I have to warn my regular reader(s) of what is on the horizon. Janathon requires me to blog every day… Now I know from experience in June and last January that this can get a little tedious if I simply write ‘ I ran 2/3 miles around the block and it was cold /wet / rainy / dark and I felt #*%$ ‘ I will be using my Lego mini figure army (any excuse to have a Lego advent calendar) to add some illustrations. (All suggestions welcome! In June I was challenged to write a post by travelling hopefully that included Dragons, Pirates and a Badger!)

It is also necessary for me as a responsible blogger to give a serious health warning for my January blogs. Those of you of a delicate disposition might like to take note that whilst running everyday I will be listening to a lot of music and hours out with my iPod will mean that I will return home to blog still riding high on a wave of ’80s music euphoria and write about it. I apologise in advance for my ‘eclectic’ taste in music but consecutive days running, blogging and run-kit laundry-ing do strange things to the mind. I will not however apologise for regularly referring to running to the Bee Gees and for the odd quote of lyrics that might creep in. I became completely hooked during Juneathon and it has not since worn off.

You have been warned!

Now I realy must get on… I’ve got 56km to run to reach 1000km in 2011!


To Half Marathon or not to Half Marathon

This morning I warmed up for my run with a boogie round the kitchen to ‘Night Fever’ (its OK, the boys had gone to school so did not suffer the embarrassment of witnessing my full disco routine!).  The forecast for hot weather today focussed my mind to get my run done early and I was also keen to run and see how my hip is recovering and coping with increasing length runs.  So I was revved up and ready to go.  Basically it depends on how today and another longer run of 8 or 10 miles at the weekend go as to whether I can go the distance in the Royal Parks Half Marathon in 10 days time.

Last week I was exuberant to be running again and had a busy week doing 2 BMF classes, a 1km swim, a gym session, including 20 mins on the dreadmill, plus an outside run.  I found the run (my first decent run outside for 2 months)  hard work but after a tough couple of miles at the start things got easier and I was pleased to manage 4 miles.  I stretched well and was delighted to find my hip felt fine the next day and therefore bounced off to BMF where I got stuck in and enjoyed a bit too much sprinting! (You just can’t jog a race…  Well I can’t!)

The result was that by Saturday when I ran to the park my hip flexors were tight again and by the time I got there I was limping. On Monday after a day off I was frustrated to find running painful and limped through my BMF class.

A return to the Physio found that my hip flexors were slightly inflamed again, although not as bad and luckily the associated muscles are now OK.  On reviewing my weeks exercise we worked out that it is probably overdoing it and bursts of speed at BMF that are the culprit and if I want to get back to running half marathons I need to concentrate on strengthening and building up my running distance at an easy pace.  So no more sprinting 😦:(   (for a while).

The Physio stretched and loosened my hip out and the plan was to keep it slow and try another outside run, up to 5 miles, before my next visit to see how things are going.

Which brings me back to this mornings run.  All fired up with the Bee Gees I strutted my stuff out the door… I kept it slow, however the first 3 miles were horrible.  Really tough going, I just couldn’t get into a rhythm at a pace that didn’t strain my hip plus all the other bits of both legs were grumbling and aching after recent under use.  It didn’t help listening to ‘Tragedy’… “When the feelings gone, And you can’t go on its Tragedy…”   “With no-one beside you, Your goin’ nowhere”  Yes it was that bad! By 3 miles I had resigned myself to the fact that me running a Half Marathon in 10 days was impossible. I don’t know why   fortnightflo and plustenner  think I’ll need to go at a faster pace than them because on the basis of those 3 slow awkward miles I will have quite a struggle to maintain their pace!

The breakthrough came around 4 miles.  I upped my pace (It wasn’t sprinting, honest!), to clear a pedestrian crossing before the lights changed, which felt much more fluid and natural although I could feel a slight strain on my hip flexor.  I adjusted my stride and reduced my pace to slow again but then found that my running felt more natural and finally comfortable and enjoyable at the easy pace.  Typical!  I start enjoying my run just as I approach home, so I added an extra loop to savour the good running feeling and optimism about 13.1 miles in 10 days!

I started my run with ‘Tragedy’, but  finished on a high with my ‘Spirits Having Flown’! My favourite Bee Gees track.

“I am your hurricane, your fire in the sun.
How long must I live in the air?
You are my paradise, my angel on the run.
How long must I wait?
It’s the dawn of the feeling that starts
From the moment you’re there.
I’d like to take you where my spirit flies,
Through the empty skies we go alone,
Never before having flown.”

I reigned it in after 5 1/2 miles as promised making myself walk the half mile home to cool down.

5.6 miles,  64 mins,  average pace 11.30.

So the jury is still out on whether I’ll make my Half Marathon.  I’m going back to the Physio tomorrow and then will have to see how I cope with a longer run on Sunday or Monday.


Staying alive…

Juneathon Day 6.  I wasn’t too sad that I wouldn’t make BMF this morning given the  cold and rainy start! I was instead going to a ‘Cronies Coffee Morning’. (A once a month or so meet up with Mums from my sons year in primary school.  Cronies because the kids have long  since left primary School!).  I then had some work to get finished so planned to do my Juneathon effort later in the day.

I got a little distracted reading emails and twitter and volunteering to go and photograph last years Royal Parks Half Marathon race shirt for  Jogblog who wanted it for her blog and then finally got stuck into my work.  I also had to go to the shops (if anyone was getting fed tonight in my house) so decided to run to Tesco (half a mile) and walk home with the bags as my exercise.  I thought it would be good to ease off on the ankle for a day or so… Monday is obviously Tesco run day because travellinghopefully said she was running home from Tesco (not with the bags I hope) but her route is 3 miles and then jogblog said ‘its not good enough’ and even though she was just kidding (well that’s what she said). I felt a bit guilty because half a mile is hardly worth getting changed for. helsbels then asked if I felt surrounded by hardcore Juneathon people to which I answered Yes!  It was OK for Janathon whenI was a newbie -athoner and all bouncy and keen but now I’m back to my own lazy ways.

I ended up driving to Tesco, not because I couldn’t walk and be environmentally friendly but because by then it was 4pm and I had to be home when my sons got home from school to welcome them (interrogate the teenager about how his exams went today and the pre-teen over his exam results).

Anyway by 5 O’clock and realising that neither of them was going to say much more than ‘ugg’  and being assured that the teenager would do some revision ‘in a minute’, I went and got changed for my run.  I put on the lovely bright orange  RPHM race top that I’d photographed for jogblog and hadn’t worn for a while. It obviously gave me a new ‘zing’ because that and some Volterol on my Achilles got me bouncing out the door.  It was a good run.  I started in a completely different direction to break my monotonous routine and ended up running down roads I lived on as a student.  I was primarily focussed on deciding which way to turn as my route evolved and not on any aching parts of my lower limbs or being tired.

I also was listening to The Bee Gees which was very energizing and uplifting (literally).  I’m sure it had me strutting my stuff down the pavement  I certainly ran with my head up and shoulders back.  I do however promise that I did my upmost to keep my hips still (swagger free zone). I wouldn’t  like you to think I totally embarrassed myself!

Juneathon rule 4. Try going for a run when you don’t feel like it.  You might enjoy it!

3 miles.   28.03 mins