Sunday, 30 November 2008

38 mile month

Distance: 5 miles
Time: 47m58s
Mile 1 - 9m29s
Mile 2 - 9m48s
Mile 3 - 9m46s
Mile 4 - 9m28s
Mile 5 - 9m27s

Brrr. Another five miler today. A bit damp when I set out, but I seemed to warm up ok after a few minutes. However by the third lap, there was a chill wind, which made my arms a bit cold. Not to be deterred however, I took it deliberately steady, with a view to increasing my pace on the second half of the run. I want to try and get into a steady pace, and not try too hard too soon, and then get too tired on later miles. It's going to be a key part of the marathon, that I can keep a steady pace, but keep plenty back for the later miles when it really gets tough. And most especially those last 385 yards!

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Brrr, it's cold out today

Distance: 1 mile
Time: 9m13s

Another gentle run this morning. A bit cold to set off, but warmed up quite quickly. I wonder if we're in for a cold winter?

Friday, 28 November 2008

New batteries required?

Distance: 7.3m
Time: 34m21s
Avg speed: 13.1mph
Max speed: ??mph

This evening the cycle computer gave up the ghost altogether (again). Having recorded a distance of 0.6 miles and 34mph before I'd even put it on the bike (!!) I reset it, and then it recorded 0mph and 0 miles for about 5 minutes until it switched itself off. I may try a new battery first, before taking the blimmin thing back to the bike shop and trading it in for a wired version as this wireless one seems to have a mind of its own.

Grrrr I give up....

Distance: 7.3m (10.2m)
Time: 31m51s
Avg speed: 13.8mph (19.3mph)
Max speed: ??mph (37.6mph)

I really think it's time to take the cycle computer back to the shop and get a wired replacement. As soon as I set off this morning it was registering between 20mph and 30mph. Then it "settled down" to display 14mph / 20mph / 17mph / 14mph, flitting between the numbers within a matter of seconds. The numbers in brackets are the numbers it recorded for the 7 mile journey. It was especially annoying as I would have liked to know how fast I was cycling when I got to Milton park, I put a spurt on and raced a beamer from the railway bridge to the info centre. Obviously the car won, but I wasn't far behind it!

I've taken up yoga!

Upon a recommendation from a friend, who's a personal trainer, I've decided to take up yoga in order to increase my flexibility and fitness, to avoid aches and pains caused by running and generally improve my overall well being. In preparation for starting a full 12-week course in January I popped along to a Beginners Hatha Yoga session. Despite not really knowing what I was doing (having never attempted yoga before), I really enjoyed it and found most of it fairly straightforward. I know I wasn't great at it right away (that will come with practice), but I felt I was able to get more out of it than I was initially expecting for a first session. I came away feeling really invigorated and relaxed at the same time. My whole body felt limber. This is great stuff! Back next week for another taster session, then I'm really looking forward to starting a slightly more intense yoga flow course in the new year!

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Ten miles so far this week

Distance: 2 miles
Time: 16m46s
Mile 1 (out) - 8m28s
Mile 2 (back) - 8m18s

Another two miles today, work to Sutton Courtenay and back again. Pretty consistent with my times for the same run on Tuesday, and again I managed to pace myself well on the first mile to leave enough energy to run the return leg a little faster.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Slow, slow, quick, slow, slow

Distance: 1 mile
Time: 7m03s

Another quick one today. Not another record time, but consistently around the 7-minute-mile mark. It would be very difficult to keep improving my time week after week, and of course running the fastest mile I can is not my overall aim. Running 26 miles 385 yards is. Back to a slower run (8+minute-miles) tomorrow.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Faster return leg

Distance: 2 miles
Time: 16m34s
Mile 1 (out) - 8m18s
Mile 2 (back) - 8m16s

Today I headed out of Milton Park again. Oddly a mile seems further running out along the road between work and Sutton Courtenay than it does running the same distance around the block. There was a cold northerly wind against me on the way, making me think I should have brought more than a t-shirt & shorts to run in. Not quite arctic conditions yet, so I'll leave the leggings, long-sleeved top and hat until the bleak midwinter, if I can. The return leg was a bit easier without the wind on my face.

Monday, 24 November 2008

Last swim ... until next week

Distance: 700m
Crawl: 28

Today I finished my "swim card" prepaid swimming sessions, so will be signing up again next week for another 10-for-the-price-of-9 (or is it 11-for-the-price-of-10? I can't remember).

The pool was busy again today. I almost went for 30 lengths, but decided that stopping at 28 gives me room for improvement next time!

Sunday, 23 November 2008

5 in under 50

Distance: 5 miles
Time: 48m43s
Mile 1 - 9m34s
Mile 2 - 9m47s
Mile 3 - 9m58s
Mile 4 - 9m48s
Mile 5 - 9m36s

The forecast was for snow this morning, clearing by the afternoon. When I awoke there was no snow, just a miserable rain. Not the best weather to attempt my first five mile run since I started training again. But by the time I got out there the weather had cleared up, and brightened up considerably. When I ran my first five mile run last December it took 54 minutes. This year I'm three weeks earlier in reaching this milestone, and I managed it on average a minute quicker per mile. Things, dare I say it, are looking good.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Silent running

Distance: 1 mile
Time: 9m49s

A slow one this evening. It was cold and dark. I just wanted to limber up and loosen up my muscles ready for tomorrow's long run. I took it deliberately easy this evening, and barely broke into a sweat as I jogged through the quiet night alone. Thursday's exertions on the bike meant I was a bit stiff yesterday, so all I wanted to do today was ease myself back into it gently.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Cycling a marathon distance

Distance: 12.3m
Time: 44m35s
Avg speed: 16.6mph
Max speed: 29.8mph

Distance: 12.8m
Time: 57m36s
Avg speed: 13.4mph
Max speed: ??mph

Today I cycled to Abingdon and back. I wanted to look at the GPS "personal training devices" at Fit2Run. I'm thinking that I'd really like to know my mileage and pace when I'm out on long runs, rather than having to try to plot the run beforehand and remember the mile points.

It was a little windy today, noticeably behind me on the way there. Especially on the stretch between Gainfield and Charney Bassett. I managed the whole section barely dropping below 20mph. When I turned the corner into Garford, I got a blast of wind across me. This I knew would be against me on the way back...

I stopped off for lunch, then cycled the extra couple of miles to the running shop. They only had a few items, so I think I'll need to do a bit more research first. I bought a thin pair of gloves, and then headed back. The computer played up a bit again, recording a top speed of over 60mph.

Still, overall over 26 miles today. A good workout.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

I've broken the 7-minute-mile

Distance: 1 mile
Time: 6m56s

Another fast one today. The fastest yet. A mere 55 days ago I was very chuffed that I'd run a mile in under 8 minutes. Today I've slashed that by running the same mile in under 7 minutes, at an average pace of 8.7mph. If I can maintain a "fast" mile pace around the 7 minute mark, then I could possibly run a full marathon in under 4 hours (9-minute-miles). Hmmm. We'll see. I was this confident this time last year, and come the new year when I was running 8, 9 and 10 mile runs my pace slackened off considerably, especially when my knee started playing up. So I'm not counting any chickens just yet, just basking in my personal glory of a new personal best.

Do you think I can break the 6-minute-mile by mid January? No - neither do I!!

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

6 miles last week. 6 miles already this week.

Distance: 2 miles
Time: 16m52s
Mile 1 - 8m23s
Mile 2 - 8m29s

Last week I ran 6 miles in 4 runs (compared to 8 miles the week before in 6 runs); this week I have already run 6 miles in just 2 runs. Today's run was supposed to be slow. However I made a mile out (from work to Sutton Courtenay) and the same mile back again, both under 8½ minutes. Not bad for a couple of slow miles!

Monday, 17 November 2008

Zig zag; zag zig

Distance: 650m
Crawl: 24
Breaststroke: 2

More lane swapping today. It wasn't hugely busy in the pool, yet people kept coming and going and moving across the lanes. Still, I got there in the end.
8 crawl. 1 breaststroke. 8 crawl. 1 breaststroke. 8 crawl.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Drowning like a rat

Distance: 4 miles
Time: 37m53s

Mile 1 - 9m09s
Mile 2 - 9m23s
Mile 3 - 9m24s
Mile 4 - 9m57s

Today I tried to pace myself evenly for a four mile run, and thought I'd set off at a slow comfortable pace. I was a bit surprised that just over 9 minutes felt so easy. However it rained towards the end of the mile, and then chucked it down for much of the 2nd. By the 4th mile I was flagging, wet through and a bit cold. Nothing that a hot shower and a plate of brown pasta wouldn't sort out!

Thursday, 13 November 2008

I've run a half marathon so far this month

Distance: 1 mile
Time: 8m36s

Another "slow" one today, although 8½ minutes ain't bad for a slow run. In the wet too. This brings my total for November so far up to 14 miles.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

A new PB

Distance: 1 mile
Time: 7m04s

Another quick one today, and I felt I was going for it. When I reached the "half-way" stage (which is actually over half way....) in 3m45s I knew I was on for a fast time. I think the quickest I've reached there before is around the 4-minute mark. Could I break the 7-minute-mile today?

..... no. Close, but no cigar. Still, another new personal best for a mile.

The following may or may not work ... it's a video clip of me running past work during my lunchbreak:

Back to sensible leisurely running again tomorrow.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Brrrr, I must be mad!

Distance: 7.3m
Time: 34m15s
Avg speed: 12.7mph
Max speed: 31.1mph

A clear night. A moonlit night. A cold night! As I said this morning, I was looking forward to cycling today, as the forecast was sunny. The only thing was that cycling in the morning, and worse after dark means you don't get to cycle in the warmth of the sun. I don't know how cold it was this evening, although I could have done had I checked the temperature on my cycle computer, however that would have meant stopping to do so (and which is worse, getting cold because you've stopped cycling but know how cold it is, or keep going to stay warm and ignorant?).

And it's only November. It's not even winter yet. And it's not actually really cold either...

All this exercise is paying off!

Distance: 1 mile
Time: 8m24s

Another easy jog this lunchtime, my 40th run since I got back from holiday in September. And in that time I've lost a stone in weight, and dropped two jeans sizes. As a break from green tea this afternoon, I'm enjoying¹ a cup of Dr Stuart's Detox tea. A cleansing herbal infusion dandelion and burdock, sage, ginger, peppermint and spearmint.

¹ actually I might have to redefine the word "enjoying" here, but I'm sure it's good for me really.....!

Blimmin traffic

Distance: 7.3m
Time: 29m57s
Avg speed: 14.7mph
Max speed: 26.0mph

I was looking forward to this morning's cycle in, as the forecast was sunny. I didn't spot the forecast say it was cold and windy too, but luckily most of the wind was behind me, so I soon found myself zipping along at 18mph and warmed up. Annoyingly the traffic down Steventon hill towards Milton was too heavy to get above 26mph today, but I still broke the half hour for the journey in. I almost feel ready to make the trip in all the way from home, another five miles each way. Maybe in another week or so...

Monday, 10 November 2008

Yes it does (see last Monday's post)

Distance: 575m
Crawl: 23

The pool was surprisingly empty today. No problems then going up and down. Up and down. Up and down. I covered 20 lengths fairly easily in my normal manner. Swim a length. Pause. Swim a length. Pause. Then I decided to do a couple more, without stopping at the end of the first one, but I got my breathing all wrong and ended up swimming most of the length without sticking my head down at all... So not wanting to finish on such a hopeless length, I did another one.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Only 24 weeks to go

Distance: 3 miles
Time: 27m49s

Mile 1 - 9m12s
Mile 2 - 9m17s
Mile 3 - 9m11s

Quite chuffed with today's run. Another good three mile session, and my times were very consistent. Not bad since this is my 7th run in 8 days, and I've run 11 miles in that time.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

6th run of the week

Distance: 1 mile
Time: 9m47s

Another slow one this evening, but hey it was my sixth run of the week. And I'll be off out again tomorrow.

Friday, 7 November 2008

7+ mile week

Distance: 1 mile
Time: 9m42s

I've run 7 miles since Sunday, it'll be 8 tomorrow if I manage to get out for another one. This is all good, as I've been running 5 miles a week for a while now, and now it's time to gradually increase the distances. I still haven't worked out exactly when my "in-full-training" plan comes into effect. Since the 2009 London Marathon is a week later next year than it was this, it could be as late as the first week of January that I need to commence the plan proper. But in order to avoid another injury, I'm gradually easing myself into running the kind of miles I need to - so that 40+ mile weeks come next March won't be too much for me.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Oops, nearly forgot!

Distance: 1 mile
Time: 10m03s

A rather stressy day at work. Trying to look into a problem this morning, that went away on its own after lunch, was then reported as a problem again in the afternoon, but then still wasn't a problem when I double checked it again. Now you see it, now you don't. Difficult to fix something when you can't see it broken. Wasn't going to bother with a run today, as I was a bit fed up. But what better way to clear your head than popping out in the dark and the cold for a relaxing jog? I didn't push it at all this evening, but the important thing is that I got out there, and clocked up another mile. It all adds up. If I'm to put my body through the stress of running 26 miles in a day, then I need to be putting the miles on each week. Week in. Week out. Come rain or shine. If I'm up for it, or not. So I'm glad I didn't just flop out in front of the telly when I got in, but without giving myself the chance to change my mind, got changed as soon as I got home and went straight back out again. Well done me!

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Another fast one

Distance: 1 mile
Time: 7m37s

Today I decided to push it a bit again. Not overdoing it - I don't need to beat my personal best again just yet, but I think once a week it's good to get out and run a mile in under 8 minutes.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Halloween afterthoughts...

Distance: 7.1m
Time: 31m17s
Avg speed: 13.7mph
Max speed: 30.8mph

A bit slow leaving Milton Park. A bit stop start in the traffic. And I couldn't hit my top speed down into Steventon as I was following cars down the hill. It was much warmer tonight than last week, but darker. The verges were eerily in shadow. I had visions of ghouls lying in wait. Funny how the mind plays tricks on you, especially at night.

Gentle jog

Distance: 1 mile
Time: 8m56s

A gentler run out today. I hardly broke into a sweat. And I still did it in under 9 minutes. If you've have told me I would be running miles easily in this time a few months ago, I would not have believed you.

Stop!! I'm not going anywhere...

Distance: 7.3m
Time: 32m13s
Avg speed: 13.6mph
Max speed: 28.9mph

This morning I felt pretty good, the weather was fine and I thought I'd be able to get to work in under half an hour from Hanney. It didn't feel windy today, so there were no hard stretches to overcome. Although maybe the same lack of wind meant there was nothing behind me to push me on either.Then when I hit Milton interchange there was a lot of traffic. Not great. Especially when some daft woman tried to pull out in front of me from the Milton Village turn...

So not a bad cycle in. My cycle computer is still being annoying however. Even stopped it has carried on recording. So now it reads that I've done 9.6 miles in 46 minutes, averaging 12.3mph and topping out at 76.3mph!

Monday, 3 November 2008

Does exercise ever get any easier?

Distance: 500m
Breaststroke: 2
Crawl: 18

The pool was busy again today. To begin with I decided to swim in the roped off section, as there were only 2 people swimming in it, and no complete lanes available in the main section of the pool. I managed six lengths, but still stopping every two for a breather. I'm just not up to swimming back and forth nonstop. It was quite tiring also as I felt obliged to swim at a fairly fast pace, so as not to hinder the other swimmers. After that I had to rejoin the main pool, and find a lane to swim in at a more leisurely pace.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Overtaking backmarkers

Distance: 3 miles
Time: 28m33s

Mile 1 - 8m50s
Mile 2 - 9m50s
Mile 3 - 9m53s

Set off a bit too quickly again today. I need to learn to take it steady on lap one I think.

The closing stage of lap two was a bit frustrating, as there was a slow pedestrian walking along the pavement. There wasn't enough room to overtake them on the road before the parked cars, nor really enough gap to have cut across in front of them anyway as I was just about to turn left up a footpath. So since there were no blue flags about to warn them to give me room to pass, I had to stop to a dead slow walking pace behind them, until I could head off again.

Still, I'm back up to three miles on a Sunday. I need to put together my structured plan ready for next month when the miles start to ramp up.

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 PSC Trust
PSC Support Or visit my Justgiving page for PSC Support at PSC Support - Justgiving
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