Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Last run of 2008

Distance: 1 mile
Time: 7m24s

Oweee, it's cold today. After a hour's yoga to warm up and stretch fully, I set off out for my last quick mile of the year. Not as fast as last week, but then it's really cold today! That completes my 62nd mile this month (this compares with 42 miles during December 2007).

Roll on 2009, just 3 months 25 days, 17 hours and 56 minutes until the big day...

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

60+ mile month

Distance: 3 miles
Time: 26m38s
Mile 1 - 9m00s
Mile 2 - 8m56s
Mile 3 - 8m42s

Another three miles today, and each one in a 9-minute-mile pace or less. In fact the first mile took me exactly 9m00s00ms... This brings my total mileage for the month to 61 miles, and tomorrow's mile will give me an average of 2 miles per day for the whole of December.

Monday, 29 December 2008

I've swum a mile!!

Distance: 1 mile - 1625 metres
Crawl: 65 lengths

I went for a swim in Abingdon today. I was planning to do at least 40 lengths, hopefully 50 and maybe, just maybe, I could do 64 lengths which is near enough a mile (0.994 miles).

I managed the first 20 lengths quite easily, but felt perhaps another 44 would be beyond me.
Once I'd completed 30 lengths I knew I could quite happily make it beyond 40, and was thinking perhaps I'd manage 50.
40 lengths down, and I started to believe that I might just make it to 64 after all.
50 lengths in, and it would have been ok so stop then, having swum 25% further than I ever have before, quite an achievement in itself. However I knew that I was close to swimming a mile, all I had to do was swim another couple of lengths, then another, then another, and so on.

When I'd reached 56, I knew I could do it. There was no point stopping then, I could make it to 60. Then when I'd made it to 60, it was only a little more effort to get to 64. Then I remembered that a mile is just over 64.... so I finished on 65 lengths to make sure I'd swum a full mile!

All in all it took me a little over an hour.

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Magnificent seven

Distance: 7 miles
Time: 1h8m57s
Mile 1 - 9m40s
Mile 2 - 9m59s
Mile 3 - 9m51s
Mile 4 - 9m56s
Mile 5 - 10m08s
Mile 6 - 9m46s
Mile 7 - 9m37s

Well I'm back up to seven miles again, this time in under 69 minutes (it was 75 minutes when I first ran seven miles back in January). So that's pretty good, especially since it was very cold today, and that meant it was quite hard work. Off for a big bowl of brown pasta now, and a very hot bath to relax my leg muscles...

Friday, 26 December 2008

Cool runnings

Distance: 3 miles
Time: 28m36s
Mile 1 - 9m44s
Mile 2 - 9m38s
Mile 3 - 9m14s

An early run today, I was up and out of the house by 9.30am for a gentle three mile jog. It felt like I was flying round on the first lap, but that was just because it was cold, and it was a bit of a shock to the system I think to be up early and out running in the chill breeze. At 9am lying in bed I was thinking that perhaps I should have a day off today, but soon decided that that's not the spirit, and I want to keep the Christmas pounds from sneaking their way on when I'm not looking! So it was worth it to get out and run, in spite of the cold weather today.

Thursday, 25 December 2008

Merry Christmas!!

Distance: 2 miles
Time: 16m49s
Mile 1 - 8m33s
Mile 2 - 8m16s

A brisk two-miler today. I was trying to take it easy, but surprised myself that the first "easy" mile was so quick! I thought I was running about a 9-minute-mile pace. I pushed myself a bit harder on the second lap, which has certainly blown the cobwebs away...

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

A new PB for a mile

Distance: 1 mile
Time: 7m14s

I've run a new fastest time for a "mile" lap of the village. Having spent an hour warming up and stretching with a yoga DVD, I set off out for my usual Wednesday fast lap. Now the "mile" I run round Stanford in the Vale is actually about 1.1 miles, and the "mile" I run at lunchtime at work is about 1.03 miles. So today's lap in 7m14s would have been the equivalent of a 6m46s lap at Milton Park!

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Takin it easy....

Distance: 3 miles
Time: 31m05s
Mile 1 - 10m21s
Mile 2 - 10m34s
Mile 3 - 10m10s

A slow steady jog this evening. Nothing too strenuous. Apart from anything else running in the dark is hard, especially along the main road when sight of the footpath temporarily disappears in the moving shadows thrown by the headlights from passing cars... Luckily now the winter solstice has been and gone, the days will start to get longer again. Spring will soon be here. As will the Marathon. My 16-week training plan starts in earnest on 5th Jan.

Monday, 22 December 2008

Last lunchtime swim of the year

Distance: 750m
Crawl: 30 lengths

Last swim of the year in Didcot, and I managed another 30 lengths today. Next week during the hols I think I may attempt another 1k in Abingdon (the pool is much nicer there!), but will have to see how things pan out over the festive period.

Given that I'm now down to 12st12lb I really do want to keep up my routine of exercise 6 or 7 times a week!

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Six of the best

Distance: 6 miles
Time: 57m02s
Mile 1 - 9m25s
Mile 1 - 9m33s
Mile 1 - 9m35s
Mile 1 - 9m35s
Mile 1 - 9m33s
Mile 1 - 9m21s

Brrr. It was quite blustery today. Even so, I managed a very consistent pace across all six miles of my run. I'm really looking forward to getting out on the open road in a few weeks for my first 8 mile run, instead of the repetitive laps of the village.

I'm quite chuffed I've managed six miles in a fraction over 9.5 minutes per mile...

Saturday, 20 December 2008

2nd 14-mile-week

Distance: 2 miles
Time: 20m22s
Mile 1 - 10m07s
Mile 2 - 10m15s

A relaxing jog this evening to finish this week (my running week starts on a Sunday as the run logger I use has this as the first day of the week). This is the second week in a row I've run 14 miles (it was 13 the week before that). Off for another long one tomorrow.

Friday, 19 December 2008

Finding the zone

Distance: 3 miles
Time: 28m50s
Mile 1 - 9m35s
Mile 2 - 9m49s
Mile 3 - 9m26s

After a rare day off any exercise yesterday (too busy to get out for a run, but I don't make a habit of that!), it was a slight struggle to convince myself to go for a run this evening. It's amazing that taking just one day out of my routine would affect my positive attitude to running. Still it was only a very minor waver, and after a couple of minutes I was out in the dark and the wind for a relaxing three mile jog.

Once again it was a bit odd, the first lap seemed to take ages, but shortly into my second lap I must have found myself in the zone, and before I knew it I was on the last third of the third lap.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

A slower fast one

Distance: 1 mile
Time: 7m20s

It's Wednesday, so back to running a fast mile. Not quite so fast today, but then the pavement was a touch slippery in places, as was the short stretch of grass that I normally try to avoid, but had to use today as there was a bus coming the other way.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Phew-ee it just gets better and better

Distance: 2 miles
Time: 16m57s
Mile 1 - 8m38s
Mile 2 - 8m19s

Having spent over an hour practising a yoga DVD (following a recommendation from work), I felt suitably relaxed and loosened up to head out for a quick 2 mile jog. I was aiming to do both miles in under 9 minutes if possible, but wanted to pace myself so I didn't go too fast on the first one, to tire me out before completing the second. Having made the first in a little over 8.5 minutes, I thought perhaps I'd set off a bit too fast. Nonetheless I kept up the pace on the next mile, aiming to at least match it if I could, and made it round even quicker.

Touch wood I feel my fitness has reached a new level, where I seem to be running faster, and longer, and my swimming is improving too. I hope to get a bike ride in later in the week so it'll be good to see if that feels any easier as well. All of this combined with having lost nearly 2 stone in weight means that everything is improving. I just hope the winter stays mild enough for me to get out and keep the long runs up.

Monday, 15 December 2008

A kilometre swim!

Distance: 1000m
Crawl: 40 lengths

After almost finishing my Christmas shopping today, I went out for my Monday swim this evening in Abingdon. I wanted to do 32 lengths (about half a mile), but realised fairly soon that I was up for more than that. So I took advantage of the extra time, and carried on a couple of lengths at a time until I'd made 40 in total. Last week when I swam 30 lengths I wondered if I'd ever want to attempt swimming a mile (64 lengths). Now I've made it to 40, that doesn't seem so far out of my league after all!

The best thing about today's 1k swim was that I didn't rest quite so long between lengths and I also wasn't too tired afterwards. I could have carried on for more, but decided getting home for dinner at a reasonable time was a sensible move.

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Ouch, I must cut my toenails!

Distance: 6 miles
Time: 58m47s
Mile 1 - 9m42s
Mile 2 - 10m02s
Mile 3 - 9m59s
Mile 4 - 10m00s
Mile 5 - 9m44s
Mile 6 - 9m20s

When I ran my first 6 mile run on December 31st last year, it took me 71 minutes.
This year I am 2 weeks ahead of that schedule, and today managed it over 2 minutes per mile faster. I just hope I can keep up this pace over the Christmas period, and not let myself get too full of mince pies and chocolate!

After a bowl of brown pasta, and a long hot bath, I clipped my nails and will have to make sure I remember to keep them short now, to avoid causing blisters when I go for long runs. One of my toes was definitely digging into another today, and that's not something I want to make a habit of.

Saturday, 13 December 2008


Distance: 2 miles
Time: 19m33s
Mile 1 - 9m51s
Mile 2 - 9m42s

A gentle jog today to end the week, taking my total for the last 7 days up to 14 miles. No need to push it today, as I'm off out for a long run tomorrow.

Friday, 12 December 2008

Another run bites the dusk

Distance: 3 miles
Time: 28m28s
Mile 1 - 9m33s
Mile 2 - 9m44s
Mile 3 - 9m11s

I set out for a relaxing three mile run in the dusk, and it was dark by the time I finished.

It's odd how I feel good about running three miles during the first half mile, then the second half mile seems to drag, and then before I know it I'm finishing the third mile and have to think twice to double check I've actually done three miles, and not just two!

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Running cold

Distance: 2 miles
Time: 16m19s
Mile 1 (out) - 8m19s
Mile 2 (back) - 8m00s

I seem to be getting good at setting a good pace on the mile out to Sutton Courtenay at lunch, and then running back in a faster time. All I need to do is multiply this effort by 13.1 over the course of the next 4 months 14 days 19 hours...

Time to get my 16-week training plan sorted I think.

Was it this cold last winter? I can't say it's much fun running on cold days like today, but I've got myself into a good pattern now of running at least 4 or 5 times a week, so it's become a habit to get out and get running, even if I don't much feel like it.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Another sub-7-minute-mile

Distance: 1 mile
Time: 6m58s

I think I overcooked it a bit on the first half of today's fast run, and didn't leave myself quite enough left for the second half to beat my personal best. Oh well, not bad though considering I was a little weary of the shady patches of pavement, just in case they were still slippy after this morning's frost.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Another 30 lengths

Distance: 750m
Crawl: 30 lengths

A Tuesday swim for a change, and I managed another 30 lengths today. I've even starting to rest less in between them, though not quite up to no rest at all... yet.

Monday, 8 December 2008

Passed the 300 mile er... milestone

Distance: 4 miles
Time: 36m30s
Mile 1 - 9m11s
Mile 2 - 9m24s
Mile 3 - 8m58s
Mile 4 - 8m57s

Having missed out on my "long" run yesterday due to the Santa Fun Run, I went out for a 4-miler at lunch today.I was planning to get a long run in yesterday evening, but it was too cold, and there was no way I was running on icy pavements in the dark.So a bit of a change round this week. Today a run, tomorrow a swim, cycling perhaps Thursday (again weather permitting!).

I headed out of Milton Park today, north to Sutton Courtenay, west to Milton village, and then south and east back into Milton Park for another mile round the block. A pretty good pace too. And I've now run over 300 miles since I began running last year.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Santa Fun Run

Distance: 2 miles
Time: 23m42s

On a cold a frosty morning, Lauren & I went to Oxford to run in the Santa Fun Run again. We improved our time from last year's run, knocking about 5 minutes off the time. Next year we may even run it in under 20 minutes? Hmmm. We'll see!

Remember that you can still sponsor Lauren at:

Friday, 5 December 2008

Slow and steady

Distance: 3 miles
Time: 30m43s


A deliberately slow run this evening. Partly because it was dark, so difficult to see where I'm running at times. Partly as this was just a relaxing run where I wanted to up the distance slightly (for a "short" run), but not push myself too far. There will be many runs like this over the coming weeks, where distance is more important than speed. Time on my feet. Half an hour running is good.

The extra distance today earns me a day off tomorrow. The it's the Santa Fun Run on Sunday.

Still time to sponsor me at:

or Lauren at:

And now I shall leave with the words of relaxation that I learnt at yoga this week:

May I have loving kindness
May I be well
May I be peaceful and content
May I be happy

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Santa time approaches...

Distance: 2 miles
Time: 17m12s
Mile 1 (out) - 8m35s
Mile 2 (back) - 8m37s

Another two-miler today, just five seconds slower than Tuesday. It feels good when I manage the same runs in such consistent times!

Sunday sees me off on another two mile run, this time the sponsored
Santa Fun Run.

You can sponsor me here:

Any sponsorship, however small, will be most appreciated!!

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Another 7-minute-mile

Distance: 1 mile
Time: 7m06s

Another quick one today. Perhaps if I hadn't have been overcautious of the pavement conditions, I might have done it in under 7 minutes again, but I'm still happy that I can now consistently run a fast mile in around 7 minutes. This equates to a marathon pace of about 9 minutes (a 4-hour finish time). This is much better than I would have hoped for in my first 26-miler. And even if I don't manage that in April, at least it gives me the confidence now that I will be able to run a good race, regardless of how long it actually takes me on the day.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Brrrrrrrrr.......... (part two)

Distance: 7.2m
Time: 34m34s
Avg speed: ??mph
Max speed: ??mph

The computer failed to start again this evening. So instead of wasting time taking the battery out and resetting it again in the cold, I just set off. Not a bad cycle back, but I think I got back to the car in just the right time. My fingertips were starting to feel the effects of the cold, as were my ears.
If the weather doesn't get any warmer, I may want to think about skipping cycling until it does.
I know cycling is good for me, but really - I should still be able to enjoy the exercise I'm doing!!

Slimy, yet satisfying

Distance: 2 miles
Time: 17m07s
Mile 1 (out) - 8m35s
Mile 2 (back) - 8m32s

The roads and pavements were damp today, and the curb in Sutton Courtenay was a bit slimy. I need to be careful, the last thing I want now is to slip and sprain an ankle. Still the sunny weather was pleasant, the breeze not too strong nor too cold. So another satisfying 2 mile run. Oh, but the winter sun shone fiercely on the wet pavement, so I was blinded on the way back. There should be a law against that. Remind me to take my sunglasses next time!


Distance: 7.2m
Time: 30m30s
Avg speed: 14.1mph
Max speed: ??mph (37.7mph)

I tried a new battery in my computer this morning, and it seemed to be measuring my trip accurately. However weaving in and out of the traffic down Milton Hill, I noticed that it had registered a speed in excess of 30mph :(
In spite of the cold this morning, the cycle in was quite pleasant really. All apart from the traffic... especially the school bus in Hanney. It pulled out just as I was getting close to it, so I slowed to fall in behind it, but then it completely failed to accelerate away from me, so I had to brake fairly sharply to avoid splatting into the back of it!

Monday, 1 December 2008

Back up to 30 lengths

Distance: 750m
Crawl: 30 lengths

Today I took it easy in the pool, and had soon clocked up 20 lengths. Then I think I lost count, so may have actually swum 32 lengths in total. But I'm only going to count it as 30 as I wasn't sure... It's gradually getting easier. My next improvement would be to swim continuous lengths back and forth, not stopping for a breather between each one like I do now!

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
Have you signed up to the national donor register? If you haven't yet done so, please think about it, and let your family know your wishes.
Give the gift of life.
Join the NHS Organ Donor Register
Organ Donor Line 0845 60 60 400