fairweatherrunner

running blog


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New Years Day

Thanks to my family for getting out the house an hour earlier (and for sitting around in the car for half an hour or so) and to Gladstone parkrun for holding a New Years day event at the right time which enabled me to run a parkrun this morning and make it up the M1 in time for New Years day in Leicestershire with family.

Parkrun event number 26 at my 13th venue done and my first for 2015. 24 to go and it would be nice to get another 12 venues along the way.

I started off regretting only short sleeves as I shivered at the start, I chatted to a few others but as they were new park runners I was non the wiser on the course details. We started and I followed along and soon stopped worrying about what the course was. I was feeling good after lots of running at BMF yesterday so went with my initial pace towards the front and tried to stick at it. The undulating (bloody big hills) course was a little leg sapping and my hamstrings were shouting after yesterdays efforts but some long downs helped me along a bit. At least it was mostly tarmac so apart from one very big puddle my new running shoes were saved the worst of the mud.

5K run for Janathon day 1.

The rest of my Janathon efforts of the day involved a breif lap of a dark field with a Black Lab (the dog ran (we assume) we trudged) or were wine bottle related…

Happy New Year.

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Starting Over

Dusting down my long neglected blog for Janathon.

I lost my way with running after the London Marathon this year. To be honest I found I didn’t enjoy my runs anymore so didn’t want to get out there. I didn’t turn up for my favourite 10K race, I half heartedly participated in Juneathon trying to find my mojo and walked myself round the Ealing Half Marathon in record slow time because I just didn’t have the motivation for mind over matter to keep running when my legs ached a little. And not feeling like running meant not feeling like blogging or particularly having anything worthwhile to say.

But deep down I missed running.  And missed it not only because of the green eyed envy reading others’ success and joy with running but for something else. Something that’s hard to describe. I was cycling loads and getting my fix of fresh air and of course still going to British Military Fitness ((where a fair bit of running happens) albeit many times hiding in the slower group) but every so often at a good session where I was on form, did lots of running or had a really good hard sprint I got a bit of that old feeling back and thought about running some more.

So in November I quietly decided to start again from the beginning. I thought about the sort of runs that I had enjoyed before and decided to concentrate on those. I would start with shorter distances and ignite my love of a bit of speed, I would dust off my barcode and get back to parkrun, get social, meet a few buddies and chase a few PBs. I would concentrate first on just adding 5K a week to my BMF classes and cycling by going to parkrun every Saturday that month.

That’s where I’m at. I ran 5 parkruns in November (and one in Dec) to reach 25 at 12 venues. My goal is to earn my 50 shirt, get around more venues in 2015 and maybe grab a 5K PB. Slowly I will add an occasional 10K race and get myself back to running club. I might even get out on my own for a Long Slow Run one day. But one day at a time.

So Janathon is the start of my journey to get back my love of running in 2015.


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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.


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Osterley parkrun

I made it to my first parkrun of the year this morning. I went to Osterley to meet Louise. Osterley is the last London parkrun which Louise hasn’t run and, being just under half an hour from me (I don’t do 5am commutes like some amazing parkrun tourists!), within my ‘I ought to give it try range’. (Having written that I realise there are others I have yet to get to within range. Sounds like I have set myself a challenge).

Louise’s parkrun today was the first part of a her long run and I decided to tag along for a chat at her easy pace and save my legs for tomorrows 10K. The course is 3 laps on hard trail, grass and through a wooded patch. Not surprisingly there were some huge puddles to tiptoe around, jump over or splash through and lots of slippery gooey mud! Not best conditions for PB hunters so I was more than happy with an easy run, in fact our pace was plenty fast enough!

It was my slowest ever parkrun! Something to celebrate. The more parkruns I go to the more I relax and stop expecting myself to run it faster than last time (which has maybe stopped me going sometimes if I’m feeling tired or very hungover). Now I discover they are far more enjoyable at an easy pace and much more comfortable when I’m not gasping for breath, regretting last nights red wine or going bleary eyed!

Today I had a great, sociable run in the fresh air at a beautiful location. I think I will run some more easy parkruns as well as fast ones!

Janathon day 18  parkrun, 3.1 miles run.


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On the 4th day of Janathon

On the 4th day of Janathon Fairweatherrunner decided enough was enough. I HAVE to run. The first few weeks of my marathon training have gone so well but this week has been non existent.

So she got up early and put on her run kit. She laced up her trail shoes deciding that a rice muddy lung busting blast around Medina parkrun was just what she needed. But after 30 minutes drive she got there to find it was cancelled. Like the roads and the trails the park was under a few inches of water.

She threw her toys out the pram and is now packing to go back to the big smoke.

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CBA

I am pleased to report that I am on the road to recovery following a recent bout of ‘Can’t Be Arsed to Run’ disease. After 16 days of no exercise whatsoever I started my recovery by dragging myself to Medina (IOW) parkrun on Saturday morning. Well it was my birthday and I had to prove I’m not completely over the hill (yet) although I am obviously getting into that really annoying middle-aged ‘can’t work out technology’ stage because I failed to press ‘Go’ on my garmin.

Just as well really because I’m not in a big hurry to see my split times after an ‘interesting’ run. The combination of fresh legs, feel-good effect of running again mixed with what 16 days inactivity had done to my cardiovascular fitness left me red-faced, huffing and puffing after a rather optimistic fast start. After a mile or so I was feeling somewhat breathless, light-headed and queasy. I carried on at a more appropriate pace and recovered to have a few chats with overtaking runners and finish in a respectable enough time, not quite my slowest parkrun.

CBA disease affects me once or twice a year. Usually in school holidays at Christmas or in the Summer, when I am out of my normal routine, there are friends or family to hang out with and drink wine with or too many teenagers moping around causing chaos. It’s normally when we are staying on the Isle of Wight and symptoms include much winging, whining, moaning and gnashing of teeth accompanied with complaints about not wanting to run on too busy twisting country roads, the wrong sort of weather or lack of nearby BMF classes.

The decent summer weather in the UK made it particularly bad this year and although I hung out on the beach and even went in the sea the few moments when my feet were not touching the bottom can probably not be classed as exercise or swimming!

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Kingsbury Water parkrun

It was great to find a new parkrun event within commuting distance of Thunder Run. So on Saturday morning 4 of us made the half hour drive south from our camp site for the second Kingsbury Water parkrun.

A great one lap, flat parkrun course which was scenic, run on hard trails and a bit of tarmac. It was narrow in places but by then the 117 runners had spread well out so overtaking wasn’t a problem and it made the course interesting and attractive.

As a warm up for what was to come over the weekend (2 or 3 tough 10K trail runs) all 4 of us were adamant that we were going to take it easy and run a nice slow pace starting out at the back. But, a nice flat course with new changing scenery and my legs felt like they wanted to run. One of the good things about a field of 100 plus runners is that there are many people running at whatever pace you go for so it feels easier keeping up with the crowd than running on your own and before I knew it I was half way round maintaining pace just a bit slower than 8 min mile pace. It didn’t feel too hard so I kept it up finishing in 25.12. The others also came home a good couple of minutes faster than they intended!

A good parkrun venue with toilets and a café plus playground, miniature railway and other activities for families and if you show your barcode you can get into the car park free.

kingsbury water parkrun