fairweatherrunner

running blog


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Just another day…

Yesterday was the last day of Janathon.

Time to round up my running mileage from 99 to 100? Or  110 as suggested by @abradypus!  And what do I round up my 61 miles cycled to?

But this isn’t the end for me. Far from it. I’ve got 2 more months of marathon training so will be carrying on exactly the same.  Plus some, as I get into the peak of my training and on to very long runs .

I will still blog on a regular basis but won’t be blogging everyday, which is the hardest bit of Janathon.   It will actually be good to spend less time trying to think of something to write, getting it down on screen, corrected, re written and have more time to read other people’s blogs.  I have a big backlog of Janathon blogs to start with.

So yesterday, it not really being the end,  but just another Friday I did the same as I usually do on Fridays.  I pedalled to Hyde Park where I did a BMF class.  It was a normal BMF class (as far as any BMF class can be normal)  with rather too many burpees, a lot of squats and many laps running around a triangle (a big one, it was about 400m,), all finished off with a couple of sprint races  My team won both,  I’m good a chosing fast team mates! Then I cycled home with a very cold wet bottom (blooming V sits) and freezing hands (press-ups and planks in a puddle which soaked my gloves).

It was also another typical Friday because I failed to blog. Last week I was feeling blah and fell asleep.  Yesterday I spent a lovely afternoon visiting a friend in hospital with two other friends but by the time I got home (horrible dark cold wet evening and slooooow tube trains), cooked and ate dinner and sat down with a film and glass of wine it was already late and my mind was even blanker than usual.

Janathon day 31.  5 miles cycled, 1 BMF class (3 miles running)

Janathon 2014.  102 miles run, 67 miles cycled.


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Coldest Wettest

Run yet…

Plan A was to run first thing and then get on with work all invigorated and smug having got my run over with.  But it was raining and cold this morning so I moved on to Plan B.  According to my iPhone weather app the rain would clear or ease by mid day so I would work until then and have a lunchtime run.  It continued to rain and I did get some work done but started to get  thoughts about plan C, to run this evening. However the thought of dark and wet run didn’t appeal one bit so I ended up with plan D.  I went out when there was just enough daylight left for my planned 8 miles.

It was raining when I got out the door, it rained all through my run and it was still raining when I got home.  It was cold, the rain stung.  Any target pace or need to do a couple of intervals in the middle of my run fell by the wayside.  I pressed go on my Garmin, put my head down and just got on with it at whatever pace my legs would do (give or take up hills. slow pedestrians and down hills).  It wasn’t one of those nice “I didn’t look at my pace but it turned out pretty good” runs but it wasn’t too shoddy either.

I followed the same route as a previous run (8.21 miles) but must have cut a half mile corner somewhere or other because I got home at 7.73 miles. Today was not a round-up sort day. Once in sight of my door I was heading straight in for a hot drink and to get warm and dry!  Unfortunately that shortcut was at a price –  I assumed today I would reach 100 miles for the month but once logged it for Janathon I have had to settle on a nice round 99!

Janathon day 29   7.73 miles run

Janathon totals; 99 miles run, 61 miles cycled.


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A good long run

I was rather late getting out for my long run today.  It probably had something to do with the box of empties which I put out for recycling this morning!

When I did get out I had a really good enjoyable run and was thankful for many things today…

  • My delayed run meant the rain was easing when I left home
  • The cool light drizzle during the first half hour washed away the last of my thick head
  • A group of youths cycling on the pavement actually apologised that I had to detour to avoid them!
  • The peace and quiet of 4 (more empty than normal) London Parks on a wet Sunday
  • Only being asked directions by 2 sets of tourists
  • The loo attendant letting me in at 2 mins past 4pm when she was about to lock up
  • A good feeling run on what ended up being a beautiful afternoon when the rain cleared.
  • Getting to my door and my Garmin reading 12.01 miles!  Job done.

Janathon day 26.  12 miles run

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A dark one

Today’s run was a dark one.  I couldn’t run first(ish) thing (after waking up, drinking tea, chaffering pampered teenagers to school) because I had some deliveries scheduled for today.

Deliveries received, big piece of work finally completed, I had a pretty productive day. But then it was dark and I was feeling cold from sitting still all day. I have to admit all I wanted to do was collapse on the sofa with a glass of wine. But I rested yesterday, I knew I had to run for marathon training, Jantastic and Janathon so I pulled on a second layer and my long skins tights and forced myself out the door.

I went out thinking I’d dash off a ‘minimum’ 3 miler but as I started it wasn’t too bad although I had limited time. I knew I should really be running more like 5 or 6 miles with some intervals at 5K pace so compromised on 4 miles at HM pace (ish) in my (by then) over heated state.  To extend my loop I headed to the park but realised only when I got there that it was closed because it was dark and I would not be able to use that route for my turning right loop.  I carried on and then turned left for a different loop.  It was good to run new streets.  A few were a bit quiet and dark which sped me up but some were over busy and slowed me down with groups of people standing outside restaurants, bus queues and idiots walking along looking at their mobile phones.  At one stage I even had to hurdle a couple of rubbish bags!

Janathon day 21.  4.01  miles run.

I saw this on twitter today and laughed.  Tonight I got home at 3.94 miles, and yes, I ran past my door 3 times and got funny looks from passers-by running past them 3 times!

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A duathlon of sorts

 

I was up and out early again this morning (wah! I want my lie in!) to cycle to Hyde Park to meet Alma (@plustenner)  (but unfortunately not Carla (@-fit-flo), we missed you!) for the Hyde Park 10K.

 

HP10K

 

With no train or parking issues (which we had at Regents Park last month), we collected our race numbers and negotiated the loo queue well before the start.  A two lapped course on very familiar paths around the Serpentine.  I started well on target pace but struggled to get into it today and enjoy it.  There was a cold wind and I’d taken off my second layer to avoid over heating so I felt the cold for the first mile or so. I warmed up, but was then wishing it was only a 5K because my stomach was growling with hunger, bits of my legs ached and my mind was weakening.

My marathon plan gives me targets for each 4 week period.  This month it was to complete a sub 54 minute 10K.  No problem I thought, I ran 52.49 at Regents Park in December.  But finding it tough going between 4 and 6K today I was doubting being able to run under 55 minutes and had to grit my teeth and battle on.

I was eventually very happy to cross the line in 53.00. Job done, target achieved. It obviously wasn’t so bad a run as it felt at the time!

Alma and I were then met my Louise (@abradypus), after another long run for her, and we all went off for an essential part of marathon/ultra training…  Brunch.  Eggs, coffee etc and a catch up before I cycled home.  In fact as brunch was such an important part of the morning I think it should be seen as a training discipline in its own right and therefore my Janathon effort today was probably a triathlon not a duathlon!

Janathon day 19.   3.25 miles cycled, 10K run,  Brunch eaten, 3 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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New shoes

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The nice thing about marathon training is ‘having’ to get another pair of shoes so that I have two pairs to alternate and don’t get to marathon day and find my only wearable pair of running shoes are worn out.  When I noticed one of my current pairs, which I rotate for road running, was falling apart I took the opportunity of the Sales to get some new ones. (Yes, I know I’ve got many other pairs in the hallway – but only this model is right at the moment. As many of you will understand!)

I’ve worn them for short walks and cycling to wear them in this week but needed a suitable opportunity to run in them for the first time.  My midweek runs are beginning to increase in distance to make sure I get the miles in because I’m using BMF classes for 2 or 3 of my ‘runs’ each week. BMF is great for leg  strength (with all those squats lunges and burpees etc)  and for getting in some  flat-out sprints and fast paced short runs but the overall miles covered (about 3 miles a class on average) doesn’t give me excessive time on my feet in the marathon bank.

So today I bravely  went for an 8 mile run in my new shoes,  They were absolutely fine. They just felt a bit more cushioned and springy (can’t be a bad thing) but otherwise similar to my old pair which are pretty much the same model.

What I was worried about was forgetting to pick up my water bottle on the way out.  I needn’t have worried because plenty fell from the sky! (and the water fountains worked.)  At least running in the rain made me run at a good constant pace without really noticing.  I am now asking very nicely of the weather gods,  if they have any significant weather in mind for marathon day please can it be rain and not a heat wave!

Janathon day 16  8.21 miles run.


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Long run

My bike ride yesterday made me realise how fortunate we are to live within cycling or running distance of some great sights in the centre of a wonderful city and that I must break out of my usual routes and run more of London’s streets.

I had to run 10-12 miles today so I followed a similar route to which we cycled. My route took me around 4 Royal Parks, from Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park, Green Park and St James’ Park.  I went through Wellington Arch, down Constitution Hill,  ran down the Mall, around past Horse Guards Parade and looped back to Buckingham Palace.

I was going to take some tourist snaps for this blog but realised when I got there I hadn’t brought my phone or camera (I have a new iPhone which I don’t want to ruin getting it damp in my pocket!)  so you’ll have to put up with my garmin map instead.

4parks

The first 3 miles were hard going (as usual) until the aches and niggles worked their way out and I settled into a good run.  As I ran down towards Buckingham palace and along the Mall it felt fantastic to be running a fresh route.  I was at the finish of the Marathon and where the Bupa London 10,000 is run; it was a mild sunny morning and I could almost feel and smell the start of a spring race.  I really felt the buzz, keen to get to the marathon  and motivated to run and run!

I should have run an extra loop of the Mall to make up the miles instead of my loop of the all too familiar Serpentine on the way back which felt a little less enthusiastic.  But all in all a very good run which I finished on a high with a grin!

Janathon day 12.  11.46 miles run.


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On my bike

I realised I was missing cycling yesterday  when I saw Cathy’s Facebook posts of Janathon bike rides.   I’ve not been out on my bike for a few weeks because It was away in the shed over Christmas to get it out the kitchen!  Fortunately it is now free from its shackels and I whizzed out on it to the shops yesterday.  It wasn’t far but it felt good.

I couldn’t face a run first thing this morning. I couldn’t settle down to do any work or chores either.  Only one thing for it, get out on my bike!

It was a great ride, no rain and the sun was shining making me wish I’d worn my sun glasses.  It was a bit windy (the weather not me) so I had an extra workout on some sides on the park battling into the wind. I cycled to Hyde Park and did 2 laps in the Sunshine with a big grin on my face before heading home full of energy.

I continued to feel good for the rest of the day and was (a bit) more productive.  I was still feeling bouncy this evening and as it was not raining for a change I went out to run my tempo run which I wimped out of yesterday.

Janathon day 9.  1 hour cycling (9.7 miles) and   3.15 miles run.

I cut across Holland Park on my route (where I have to get off and walk).  Holland House was looking good silhouetted against the blue sky so I took a photo just to prove what a lovely day it was!

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Look – Blue sky!


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Engage brain!

I swapped BMF for a mid length run today. I need to build my mileage (at BMF classes we run a total of about 3 miles of short fast efforts between exercises) and get my Jantastic runs in but don’t think 6 runs is such a good idea this week after only 3 last week!

I had planned to run to Hyde Park then do two mile laps at 10K pace and started out feeling fine but it was warm and I soon changed my plan into a steady 6 miler when I began to feel weary as I overheated in long sleeves.

So I plodded round the outside of the park and enjoyed the dry day and the sunshine, watching Winter Wonderland being dismantled (Yay!).  It’s so nice to have the place back to normal, free of crowds and be able to run some parts without running into a wall of people.  I did however do my good deed for the day and stopped for a couple of tourists to show them how to get to the tube. (Anything for a brief rest!)

Plodding on, finding it tough going  I looked at my watch and was totally dismayed to see my pace had dropped so dramatically.  Was I running in treacle?  Suddenly the blog post being written in my head completely changed in mood and my wandering thoughts of marathon pace and time became depressing.  I was sure I felt dizzy and hungry.  I had a drink and a talk to myself, mustered my best efforts and forced myself to push on towards home.

Part of the way home is down hill so feeling better and picking up the pace I glanced back at my Garmin.  Amazingly my pace had dramatically improved in a very short distance!  I normally display my average pace for the whole run but then I engaged brain.  I had changed it that morning to show me average lap pace which explained quite a lot!

Oh well lesson learned and a good exercise in overcoming the doldrums mid-run!

Janathon day 8,   6.5 miles run.