Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Uphill work

Distance: 2.4m
Time: 13m54s
Avg speed: 10.5mph
Max speed: 28.9mph

Came home via Steventon hill this evening. And I saved a whopping 5 minutes by going the direct route instead of the flat 4½ miles via Milton village and Drayton. To be honest I think I'd rather go the long way round! Still it was fun to hit almost 29mph into Steventon. A bit more effort and I can break the speed limit, something I haven't done since I was about 18 cycling down Cumnor Hill into Botley. Bit of a change of plan this week, I think I'll run tomorrow and Thursday then cycle again on Friday.

Have you tried rebooting it, sir?

Distance: 4.7m
Time: 19m20s
Avg speed: 14.6mph
Max speed: 21mph

I took the battery out of my Raleigh cycle computer this morning, and that seemed to do the trick, although I'm not sure if I set the wheel diameter to the correct number. Hence today's 4.5 miles seemed to be 4.7 instead. Well, I'm not doing any time trials, and not too fussed about being 100% accurate in this blog (after all my regular 1 mile run round the village is nearer 1.1 miles). But at least I can measure my journeys now, until the thing decides to stop working again at least. Today's rain was quite refreshing, and I didn't get too wet.

Monday, 29 September 2008

2009 FLM officially on - I'm signed up

Distance: 1.5 miles
Time: 14m33s

I'm sure this time that today's 1½ miler will be the last time my long run will be so short! Next week I'll be starting to increase it to 2 miles for a while, then 3 and 4 and .... 10 and 16 and 20 until the big one on Sunday 26th April 2009.

Today I officially filled in my golden bond application form, so I'm now signed up. Bring it on...

15 lengths without drinking any chlorine

Distance: 375m
Breaststroke: 3
Crawl: 12

Didn't make it out for my "long" run yesterday, as spent the afternoon walking around the flight of 16 locks at Caen Hill, Devizes. Will head out for my weekly longer run later.

Back in the pool at lunchtime and upped my distance by 50% from last week. It wasn't quite so tiring today, and the new nose-clip makes a huge difference as I'm not getting water up my nose now.

Saturday, 27 September 2008

A run of two halves

Distance: 1 mile
Time: 9m11s

Took a day off yesterday as I'm not really up to full training yet. I've managed a 3rd week in a row with 4 runs though, which is still good. Today's mile took me 4m35s for the first half, and 4m36s for the second half. Out for a "long" one tomorrow. I think I'll stick to 1.5m this week, and up it to 2 next week.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Goddess on a Highway

Distance: 1 mile
Time: 7m52s

Spurred on by a facebook comment that yesterday's 8½ minute mile was walking pace (I'd like to see you walk at 7 miles an hour Jonathan, even if you are 7 feet tall!), I upped the ante today, and pushed myself out faster than I've ever gone before. Averaging 7.6mph, I broke the 8-minute-mile. Woohoo. I daren't push myself any more just yet, I daren't overdo things and risk an injury. So back to a slow steady one tomorrow.

I'm ready to set myself a target I think, so I'll be looking for a 5k fun run to do in the next month or two. Then onto a 10k. I found out yesterday that this year's
great gorilla run is this Saturday. A bit late for me to train for that. Next year perhaps!

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

It's not a flugelbinder

Distance: 1 mile
Time: 8m29s

I bumped into a friend at lunch, just off for a 5k run. He's doing the Abingdon marathon next month, so is in some serious training. He did a 5 mile run last week at a 7-minute-mile pace. Well above my best! Still he spurred me on to head out for a fast mile (fast for me anyway...)

A zippy 8½ minutes, and afterwards I'm not even tired out. A good sign.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Broken aglet, cut thumb and generally aarrgghh!!!

Distance: 4.5m
Time: 20m12s
Avg speed: 13.4mph
Max speed: ??mph

I can't get the hang of my quick release wheel. Loosening the axle nuts off so that the wheel can quickly be taken off and put on again means that the lever to tighten the wheel in place does not go tight. Tightening up the nuts so that the lever is firm and the wheel safely in place means it's really difficult to get on and off... I must get some lessons on how to do it properly!

Then I was struggling to get my Kryptolok off its own holder on the frame, when it came free I banged my hand on the crossbar, with my thumb against the brake wire resulting in a small cut. Not at all painful, but annoying...

Then I finally set off for the car, at a half decent pace, but it still took me over 20 minutes to do a journey I've done in 19. Ok, so it's only a minute slower, but it felt like I'd ridden faster. Oh well, Rome wasn't burnt in a day.

Then half way back I caught my laces in the chain, and snapped an aglet in half. So that lace will probably start fraying soon.

All these niggles make me wonder why I've taken up cycling. I've saved 10 miles in petrol so far, which is about a quid? It'll be worth it in the long run, I'm sure.

No run today, back out on the road tomorrow.

Resistance is useless

Distance: 4.5m
Time: 21m44s
Avg speed: 12.4mph
Max speed: ??mph

Still haven't worked out how to get the front wheel to line up correctly, so managed today's morning cycle into work rubbing against the front brake again. And I still haven't solved the non-working-ness of the computer. I dunno, it's not rocket science, but then that's a good thing because I'm not a rocket scientist. I'll try a complete reboot this afternoon (taking the battery out), and see if that helps. And when I take my bike in for its 1-month service I'll get the bike shop to show me the knack of getting the wheel on easily and correctly!

Monday, 22 September 2008

Eating an hour before swimming

Distance: 250m
Breaststroke: 2
Crawl: 8

Apparently the old adage that you shouldn't swim for at least an hour after eating is apocryphal.
There is no solid basis in medical advice that the stomach is busy digesting your food, thus diverting much needed blood supply from the rest of your body, meaning you're likely to drown. It's possible this myth was made up by parents who felt disinclined to supervise their children at the beach after a picnic without having an hour's rest to themselves first.

However, since I breakfasted late today (only a couple of hours before I went for my swim), I didn't feel as energetic as I perhaps would have done had I not forgotten to get any milk and had to delay my bran flakes until I could buy some. Today's first lunchtime swim (since my holiday) was pretty hard going - each length seemed to tire me. And I kept getting water up my nose (not for much longer as I've bought a Speedo universal nose clip!), but at least I've made a start back in the pool. Which is good as I have 8 sessions left that I've already paid for, to be used by the end of the year.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

I fought the lawn and the lawn won

Distance: 1.5 miles
Time: 15m19s

I decided to mow the lawn this weekend, long overdue but the first free dry weekend since I got back from hols. I've a hand-powered mower as a) it's cheaper to run b) it's environmentally friendly c) it's good exercise and d) it's normally quicker than a flymo. Unless the grass is long, and despite the good weather still slightly damp. I tussled with it for a while, but had to give up when darkness was drawing in as the blades were just slipping and refusing to cut the last two strips. Oh well, should be easy enough to finish tomorrow, assuming it stays dry. It was very good exercise though!

Then off for my first "long" run since my return too. Only 1.5 miles at this stage, maybe I'll increase that to two next week.

Off for a swim tomorrow. Cycling Tuesday.

Saturday, 20 September 2008

9 minute mile

Distance: 1 mile
Time: 9m05s

Following a well earned day off after 20 miles of exercise in 4 days this week, back out for a run this evening, and I was keen enough to put in a quick time. A bit more fitness and a bit more stamina and I should be able to keep up 9 minute miles in training, which will stand me in good stead for the longer runs when I build up to them soon.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Ouch ... tired legs

Distance: 1 mile
Time: 9m23s

I didn't realise how tired I was from the extra exercise I've done this week, but after today's run my legs are complaining that they've had enough. I think tomorrow they may go on strike and insist on an early night instead of another run. But we'll see. I'm eating pasta now until it's coming out of my ears in order to carbo load my muscles, and on Saturday I plan to buy a sack of horse carrots and juice them all up to increase my healthy food intake.

If you see me with a pint or a Big Mac this month, you have permission to slap me...

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Computer says 0

Distance: 4.5m
Time: 20m42s
Avg speed: 13.0mph
Max speed: ??mph

Well the computer didn't right itself, nor did a hard reset make any difference. I checked the obvious (the magnet alignment with the sensor), but still no joy.

Well that's my first day's commute done on my new bike. Only 9 miles today, but I'll be increasing that over the coming months.

Blimmin technology

Distance: 4.5m
Time: 19m02s
Avg speed: 14.2mph
Max speed: ??mph

Got up, got dressed in cycling gear, got breakfasted, put change of clothes for work and lunch in my pannier, got the bike in the car, drove to Steventon.

Got the bike out, put the quick release front wheel back on the bike the wrong way round (again!), took quick release wheel off and put it back on again the right way round. It's a shame that a quick release wheel doesn't seem so quick to put back on again. Car locked, set off for work and .... I'm doing 0mph, taking 0m0s to go anywhere and am travelling 0m. Hmm, the computer is playing up. Now last time this happened I put it down to my own stupidity, but now I'm thinking I may have a duff computer which seems to cease to work on its own whim. Despite several button pressing combinations in vain, it obstinately refused to work. No time to investigate properly as I need to get to work, so I set my stopwatch going and headed off. Annoyingly I can't check my speed or distance along the way.

I wonder if it will work on the return journey this afternoon?

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Now that's better

Distance: 8.041m
Time: 34m55s
Avg speed: 13.8mph
Max speed: 26.5mph

Having taken my front wheel off and put it back on to realign it correctly in the centre, I set off on the 8 mile lap from Stanford to Charney and back. By a third of the way round, I'd already hit a 15mph average and a top speed of over 25mph. Much better than last week!

Tomorrow I'll be doing my first commute into work.

Plan to get fit

Distance: 1 mile
Time: 9m46s

Right, time to start getting fit again. I need to plan my cross training, and improve my diet. Out goes the chocolate, cake, biscuits and alcohol. In comes pasta, juice, fruit and water. From next week I think I'll try to get some order to my training. Something like:
Monday - swim / row (no running)
Tuesday - cycle to work, lunchtime run
Wednesday - lunchtime run
Thursday - cycle to work, lunchtime run
Friday - evening run
Saturday - morning run, afternoon stepping
Sunday - "long" run

Monday, 15 September 2008

Another slow one

Distance: 1 mile
Time: 11m01s

After a busy weekend with little time to squeeze a run in, I got back out today and took a gentle jog round the village. Another run tomorrow, and then a bike ride to follow on Wednesday when I start cycling to work.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

How long does it take to get fit?

Distance: 1 mile
Time: 9m08s

Off out tonight, so to save time I ran my mile at lunchtime again. It seemed pretty hard work whilst I was doing it, and I was wondering how long I have to put up with the struggle before running gets easier again. Perhaps it doesn't, perhaps I just get used to it. Nevertheless I persevered and kept on running. No pain no gain and all that. When I got to the mile, I was pleasantly surprised to see how quickly I'd done it. I think I need to find a way to run at a more relaxed pace. A 9 minute mile is a very good marathon pace, but it's still early days. Perhaps my pace will naturally slacken off when I up my mileage in a month or so.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Riding against too much resistance

Distance: 8.041m
Time: 41m11s
Avg speed: 11.7mph
Max speed: 22.4mph

Having got today's run out of the way at lunchtime, I took my new bike out for a proper spin this evening. After resetting the cycle computer correctly and checked it was working, I set off on the 8-mile route that I've cycled many many times before, a few times in training and the route I've even run a couple of times too. On my fast new bike I was hoping for an ambitious time of about half an hour. Alas the wind was against me, and after a while I realised the bike was against me too. When I'd taken the front wheel off yesterday to get the bike into the back of the Ka, I must have put it back on slightly to one side so it was rubbing occasionally against either the brake or the mudguard. So I'd set myself up at a disadvantage before I set off into the wind. It was quite disappointing that the fastest I managed this evening was 22mph along the flat with the wind behind me, rather than downhill where I've managed over 27mph before. I was really hoping to hit 30mph there...

Still a good workout, and plenty more to come when I start cycling to work next week!

Slippery when wet

Distance: 1 mile
Time: 9m41s

Off out in the wind and rain round Milton Park at lunch. I extended the lap I used to run for 0.7 miles up to the full mile, and took it steady as the pavement is a bit greasy and treacherous in parts thanks to the light drizzle today. Especially the patches under trees where stuff has fallen to leave a residue making slippery sections... My training is going really well so far, slow and steady. The last thing I need now is a sprained ankle to set me back to square one again.

Off for a bike ride tonight, it's supposed to be sunny later (yeah right!).

Monday, 8 September 2008

The nights are drawing in already

Distance: 1 mile
Time: 10m34s

When did it start getting dark at 8pm? Where did the summer go? I dunno, I go abroad for most of August and suddenly summer is over and I didn't notice. After an aborted bike ride, as somehow I managed to reset the cycle computer so I couldn't measure my distance or speed (d'oh!!), I decided to get a run in. I probably wouldn't have managed both. Not so fast tonight, as it's weird running in the dark again. My pace may pick up as I get used to the evenings again, or I may switch to lunchtime running. Especially later in the week where my social calendar gets a bit hectic!

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Ouch ...

Distance: 1 mile
Time: 9m20s

Feeling guilty for not running for a few days, I set off this evening at a fairly scorching rate (for me!), covering the first half mile in 4m25s. The second half was slower but still under 5 minutes. My legs felt great at the end, and could easily have gone on longer, but I was too out of breath. Now that I'm getting fitter (well building up muscles in my legs again), I think I need to work on my diet. Cycling regularly, which I start next week, will also help improve my cardiovascular fitness which is obviously lacking at the moment! I also need to get back to swimming again.

No "long" run this week, so several "short" ones (a mile each) for now, until I get back into to my normal routine.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

This week's "long" run

Distance: 2.4km
Time: 16m19s

Since I missed my "long" run on Sunday, I decided to get it in today, knowing I'll be having a couple of days off on the long drive home to Blighty. Part of me is looking forward to the colder UK climate to run in ... part of me would be happy to stay here and run alongside vinyards every day...

Monday, 1 September 2008

A swim and a run today

Distance: 1.6km
Time: 9m32s

Today we went back to the piscine for une heure and I swam 20 lengths of the 25m pool. 15 crawl and 5 breaststroke.

Then out for a run again this evening. I'd covered the first half mile in 5 minutes, so decided to up my pace a little to ensure I didn't drop off on the second half of the run as I wanted to do it in 10 minutes. I managed the 2nd section even quicker, and recorded a good time for a mile at this (still relatively early) stage of my training. So I'm happy with that...

Running 13.1 miles in memory of Carl

I ran the Silverstone Half Marathon on 15th March 2009. I managed the 13.1 mile course in 2 hours and 4 minutes. Not a bad effort for my first Half Marathon! I returned in 2010 to run it in 1 hour 54 minutes, and plan to do it again in 2011. I decided to run this in aid of The PSC Trust and PSC Support in memory of my brother Carl, who died from liver failure in November 1997. If you'd like to sponsor me for this - please email me at pscrun@ulen.me.uk PSC Trust
PSC Support Or visit my Justgiving page for PSC Support at PSC Support - Justgiving
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