Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Falling apart

So, I made it to the track but I really wasn't ready. My legs felt OK - but then we began...

Jerry was there with Kokob and her brother but they were running a different session to us likely lads - that's Rick and Sean, since slightly unlikely. Anyway, Rick and I ran 300's to pace Sean round 1800m. That meant we ran the 300m with a 100m jog back down the track to meet up with Sean as he continued his laps. We aimed for 54s so that Sean was hitting 72s for each lap but he struggled in the cold and damp - and it was right bloomin' damp and flipping cold and he slipped out a few seconds.

After the 1800m - where I'd run three 300's - the groin, the hamstrings and - well, just about every other part of my body - gave out. It would have been fool hardy to continue so I picked up my kit, bid Rick and Sean farewell and headed off into the distance...

... ready to attack it next week. Guess these old bones of mine aren't what they once were - or mayhap it's the fact that I'm doing sod all training.

Thought for the day: Sticks and stones may hurt my bones - but running will bloody kill me!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A frosty reception

For once I have never been more glad of walking like a cripple. It was mighty chilly around the Urals - ooh er. So I took my chance to play the 'I'm too stiff - stop it - and achy to run' card - that worked a treat and after setting up the generator and light I lent a hand at the finish.

By the time the last competitor had made it back I was frozen. My hands were right to drop off - but they didn't. So, I packed up my bits and pieces, loaded it back into the car and f#*$ed off home for supper.

Now I probably could have made it around the course tonight but it would have been a bit slow and to be honest I would rather give it another day before I have a proper run out - why, that'll be just in time for the track session tomorrow night.

Thought for the day:Never lose the opportunity to give sunshine to the day of a person who needs a few encouraging words.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

And so it came to pass

that I did, on the occasion of the Stroud Half Marathon, get my ass well and truly kicked by H. She was less than five minutes ahead at the finish though - which, considering my lack of training, is almost like a victory for me. More important than that though, I broke the hour and a half barrier - and I really didn't think I would.

My finishing time of 1:28:27 was a gruellingly hard fought battle. I was going well until 10k but then I fell apart. It's not like I've even run 13 miles of late so I was in a race where just finishing was an achievement and my time - although a bit sad - was satisfying none the less.

So, with my legs stiff. My feet aching and my knee pained it's time for a well earned sit down. Now all I need to do is set my self a running goal for the coming year. Something to give me a reason to train...

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The night before

It is the the night before the race. With the wind howling and the rain - well, just doing its thing - it was no day to be cycling. For cycling I was going to have done. Not a hard, push yourself to the limit sort of session. No, more a pootle through the tulips - if, indeed, there are any tulips lieing around on the roads at this time of year - which, as we fast approach winter, I suspect is extremely unlikely - unless, of course, the implausible event of a lorry from East Timor carrying a cargo of Timorian Tulips had happened to pass by this part of the world and, by way of increasing the implausibility, had also shed said load all over the carriageway, thus enabling me to have pootled through those tulips. All of which brings me to a suitably apt point to... get my coat.

Goodnight for now, for tomorrow we die - in a running sense...

Thought for the day: Don't panic!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Actually doing it

So I really did move from the thinking phase to the doing but was any fun? Well yes it was. It was hard but fun. Knowing what a lazy ass I've become it might well be my last run before Stroud but it was a good session to end on.

There was only Sean, Rick and me present from our little group - although Jerry was there training Kokob - so we'll let him off. To mix things up we ran with Dave B's group and ran an interesting session. Three sets of downward pyramids with 60 seconds recovery and 2-3 minutes between sets. 600m, 500m, 400m then 500m, 400m, 300m and finally 400m, 300m, 200m. Pacewise I was pretty good. Not my fastest but a good way faster than my slowest - boy, I'm getting dizzy, it was an odd session. My lap pacing was 78, 76, 72 for the first set. Then 76, 74, 70.5 for the second and 75, 70.5, 62 for the third and final.

Off now to put my feet up...

Thought for the day: We forfeit three-fourths of ourselves in order to be like other people.

Thinking about it

Well the last couple of days were a no show - I didn't manage to get any training. I'm still struggling to get a routine together. When ever I manage to strap a few days training together it all goes south a day or two later. I have pretty much decided to simply paddle water until the new year and then make a plan and bloody well stick to it. By then I should have stabilised my work, rest and play - well I flaming hope I will have.

Anyway, with the Stroud Half Marathon fast approaching - when I say fast approaching what I really mean is Sunday [gulp]. I feel highly confident of a really terribly slow performance. I'm not sure I will even manage to break 1:30. It's going to be the pits - but I hasten to add, nothing more than I deserve. I have yet to work out my race plan but no doubt it will be along the lines of run as quick as I can for as long as I can and then crawl to the finish.

Right, it's almost time to get back to work and not a minute too soon as my boss - that's GC - has just mumbled something about he hopes he won't make me feel guilty about being a lazy git as he heads out to Ashton Court for a run in the sun...

Sunday, October 19, 2008

All clywed up

Yes, I was on support duty again up in North Wales on the Clywdian Hills at the site of the ancient battle between the forces the royal fra Legions and the might of Rome - no hang on, I'm getting confused with that film Gladiator which I watched last night. No it was the battle of the elves and the pixies, no the faerie, nope, I think I've lost it.

Right, must snap back to reality, oh there goes gravity. Well, I managed about an hours running (1,400 feet of ascent) as I ran back and forth shouting on Helen and the rest of my Calder Valley crew. It was quite funny really, a few of the Valleyians that I've not met before asked, 'Who do you run for?' - 'uh, you!' was my reply. All in all it was a good training run and during all the cross country dashing, me and Brown Dog had time to bond - which was nice. As Bruce would say, she's my favourite.

After two days running in a row I need a lie down in a dark room. Tootle pip.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Cat flap

I haven't managed to get out for any training during the past two days - work and the drive home left me distinctly un-enthused - but I did today. Nothing long - or fast - but a run is a run in my book - at least at the moment. Nor was it the best run I've ever down but it was scenic.

I ran along life's highways and byways - well, it was more like Gloucestershire's highways and byways, but whose counting? I was out for about an hour and 800 feet of ascent. So for once, in Gods hilly county, it was almost a flat run.

So after installing the cat flap, the run and then a coffee and a peruse of the news papers on the decking it's now time to turn my thoughts towards the drive to Wales and the FRA Fell Relays - and before you ask, no I haven't been selected to run. It's strictly support for me tomorrow but I will be trying to get in a ten miler all the same - with Mrs B, of course. Just need to keep an eye out for sheep...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A world of pain

Well, with the worlds economies on the point of implosion can things get any worse? What the heck are you looking at me for? As Bart would say, 'I didn't do it!'

I got out for training and you know what? It wasn't too bad. The rain held off and the wind was mild - so mustn't grumble.

Anyway, Sean and Dan were on the money with me and Rick pacing for sections - by pacing, I mean the Irish version, you know, the one where the slowies - that's me - run round and the fasties - that's Sean and Dan try to keep 'down' - that's the opposite of keep up, read, force themselves to run like sloths. Notice I haven't mentioned Jerry. He was down at the track but he doesn't like to mix it with the riff raff anymore, now that he's become a sort of coach type person, as he helps coach the young Eritrean now.

So Sean and Dan ran five 800's with a 200m jog recovery in 75s for lap one and then speeding to 70s on lap two. I did my job well - if I say so myself - on the first lap by running slow enough - and even paced - to keep them easy but have to admit I did speed up a bit towards 74s as I tired - if that makes no sense I shall explain. As I started to get tired I had to put in more effort to keep the pace at 75 but that inevitably meant losing the ability to gauge the pace which crept up slightly. I digress - haven't ever done that before.

Well after the 800's, Sean and Dan ran some quick 200's to finish while I carried on with three more 400's to complete a set of eight in times ranging from 76s for the first one, decreasing over the reps to a final 72s.

Now I know I had long recoveries while S &D ran their extra lap but I'm still pleased that I can still get down to 72's. If only I could get myself back into the training routine - I'd almost be able to call myself a runner...

Thought for the day: Can the economy really get any worse?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A walk in the country

I spent the morning supporting Helen in her first ever Duathlon - she came second. After a great first run (she was inside the top ten overall) she dropped back a bit on the bike before holding her own on the final run in. She now understands what I mean about jelly legs on the final run - it's impossible how to describe how your legs feel after the bike section except to say that it doesn't feel like they belong to you! Still, she finished in 16th overall - so that can't be bad.

I didn't run today - except for all the to-and-froing while supporting - I ran four 400m intervals across the playing fields as I supported - and yes, I really did run them hard so they almost count as proper training. Although, a piece of me wished I'd competed in the duathlon - I might have come last but it looked bloody good fun. Next year I think I will have a bash in what is, after all, our local duathlon.

Anyway, in the hazy afternoon summer sun - scratch that - in the hazy afternoon autumnal sun we went for an hour and an 'aff minute walk in the woods and to be truthful I felt a bit knackered doing that.

Thought for the day: Great beginnings are not as important as the way one finishes.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

A little more of the 'ol Tae-Stik-Wak

I went for a 9 1/2 mile run this afternoon. Up over the hills are far away - but then back home for tea.

The route I'd chosen was pretty decent on the main - except the short section which took me nigh on fifteen minutes to get through on account of the stingers - it was a case of the 'ol Tae-Stik-Wak to mash my way through. Although I sustained minor nettle stings I made it through the other side - and I like to think I helped to prevent one of our public footpaths falling into disrepair.

Ascent wise it was about 1,700 feet, so not flat by any means. I was out there a long time but taking all factors into account and seasonally adjusting, I reckon it wasn't a bad little effort...

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

No leaves on me tonight

I managed to get to the track tonight - but not before I was subjected to a test of will which I just about survived.

There was only the three of us again, Rick, Sean and me. We ran five 400's with just 60 seconds recovery which was hard going. I felt sprightly and ran OK for once but by the fifth I was tiring. I managed 75.5, 75.5, 74.5, 75 and ... 75.

Then we changed tack as Sean ran a 2k rep while me and rick supported running 200's. The idea was to get Sean to run 72's for the entire 2k which meant that Rick and I supported with alternate 200's in 36's - the thing we hadn't quite worked out though, was that when we finished our stint we had to leg it across the middle of the track to get back before Sean came round again. You see, you really need three to be able to cycle 200's round the track - doh.

That meant we ended up running 200's in 36 with only 36 recovery but having to run 150 across court. Suffice to say, we ended up modifying a bit and Sean had to run a few bits solo but he made it round and me and Rick ended up having four 200's under our belt off of short recovery.

Well that was as clear as mud...

Thought for the day: Success is getting up one more time.

Monday, October 06, 2008

The mystery of the leaves in the night time...

And so, in the morning, a mystery we did stumble upon. Along the landing lay five or six leaves. Placed almost perfectly in line. How did they get there? Was this an alien visitation? A communication left by a people from a distant galaxy? Perhaps a dormant force of ancient lay-lines and magics from a time forgotten had been awaken by the removal men? Or the elves playing a childlike prank? What could it all mean?

As we struggled for meaning in the complex patterns of leaves the answer suddenly became clear. Blindingly obvious in fact. How could we have missed it? - as Wobbles the cat proudly wobbled (as only she can) up the stairs and onto the landing to deliver another of her gifts of leaf. With the mystery solved, like Holmes and Watson, we retired to the drawing room for morning coffee. With the dogs lounging in front of the roaring log fire, Mrs Hudson served us the richly dark brew and offered up the most sumptuous chocolate brownies for our delectation - no hang on, that was Sherlock...

PS You might be able to tell that I didn't manage any training tonight.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Rambling run

I was a bit put off by the rain today - in truth I wasn't going to run at all but my conscience kicked in later in the afternoon once the sun came out and she shamed me into going for a run. Even then I was only planning a short leg stretcher but in the end it turned into an hours easy run.

I took a quick look at the map and instilled a vague route in my mind but within ten minutes it was even more vague. I ended up losing track of the public footpath I was trying to navigate and then, once emerging from the fields - having dodged the farmers with their shotguns - I decided to run on the road and follow the next footpath I came across and so on and so forth. Eventually, an hour after I'd set off, I made it home. All in all it was a very enjoyable little run - I'm glad my consicence kicked in.

Friday, October 03, 2008

From the crib(yn) to the grave

I took a flexi-half day and travelled over the Bridge - mutter, mutter, fiver, mutter, mutter - to meet up with Helen to recce the best fell race - in the world - ever!

Conditions were good, if a little chilly but once we set off I soon completely didn't warm up. My hands were freezing.

Anyway, we managed to recce the course. I think there are a few places we could optimise the route but as a first attempt it wasn't bad. You see, the Cribyn Race hasn't been run for a good number of years but that's about to change because Helen is bringing it back. It's only a short race - 5.5 miles - but it might be little hilly for one or two, weighing in at tad under 3,000 feet of ascent.

Oh yeah, I should mention the race website will be being updated with all the details as we sort them out. It's one for your diary, 6th June 2009 with the likely kick off at 11am. The website is so get over there and check it out - route, pics and more coming soon...

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

High five

There was only three of us tonight, Rick, Sean and - who was that other one? Oh yeah, me. We were all a bit rubbish but then we had an excuse as to having had raced yesterday.

We ran five 600's with about 90s recovery. It was a bit chilly and blustery tonight and quite honestly we were pants. What a difference a week makes. I ran 2:04, 2:03, 2:02, 2:02 and 2:01 - far slower than last week and there was no way I could go any quicker. After the fourth I told Rick I wouldn't be running any more reps after the fifth and he agreed.

I'm glad I ran tonight and I worked really hard so I'll get some training benefit. I think the 600's were the right distance tonight. Not too fast and not too long.