Every triangle has three sides

And this post has three runs. This week started on a high after the performance at Silverstone. Still buzzing about it, and there will be a follow-up post with pictures and additional superfluous detail. Proudly displayed my medal to anyone who showed even a flicker of interest, and even those who didn’t.

But back to this week and the running. Monday I actually went out for a short pootle. I could feel the after effects of Sunday’s exertions, lightly in both thighs, but quite noticeably somewhere deep in the bottom of my bum. Several times found myself absent-mindedly massaging that area while stood talking to someone. oops. Work pattens this week meant I didn’t think I’d manage to get out Tuesday, so Monday it was. Just the standard 3.5 mile loop with Janet. The legs got going OK, with not too many complaints – the bum being the most vocal part. As we got back towards work, she did ask if I was going to continue, but the calves had said that enough was enough. Before an early night I did spend quite some time stretching out all the aches, and felt better for it.

Wednesday I was later home than anticipated – I’d had a call from my local running shop (LRS) that my new bra was in. It’s a Shock Absorber Run bra – could they have though of a less attractive name?! They are the most difficult items of clothing to get into – it’s quite some contortion required. But, once in, they hold on to all the bits that might bounce. They’re certainly effective – and I imagine if my car’s shock absorbers ever fail I could simply replace it with one of these! That makes just about the complete kit set for the marathon, and I’ll be wearing it for long runs, just to make sure it’s all comfortable. Being later home meant I only had about an hour’s light, so I switched the week about and did the 5 mile tempo on Wednesday. That went well. Headed out at a good pace, but at the change of pace went too fast – turned round having run over a mile a 9:30 pace! Wow!! That’s pretty fast for me, and proved to be unsustainable. Slowed on the return leg, but still managed sub 10 pace for the 3 miles.

That meant Thursday was midweek long run. 11 miles on the plan, my longest midweek run. Set off and kept below 12:00 for almost the entire run, including the slightly boggy bits round the lake. Ended up having to double back for the very last section in order to find the extra 0.5 mile, otherwise I’d have got to the end of the road, and my usual finish point, too early. Pleased with that, as it felt quite relaxed the whole way. It was getting dark as I got back, by which time I was quite pleased I’d headed out with a long sleeve top, once the sun went down, the temperature dropped and the wind got up.

Facts & Figures: (Mon/Wed/Thurs)
Distance – 3.57/5.4/11.1 miles
Time – 40:58/56:57/ 2:09:36
Average pace – 11:29/10:33/ 11:40

If all goes to plan, there’s just the small matter of a 20 mile race between me and my first 40 mile week. Plan will be to go out for the first 5 easy and then pick up to MP for the remainder. It’s all about practising the race day routine, pacing with that many people around, fueling and taking on water in a race scenario – even if it’s not really an out-and-out race. Guaranteed PB , which will be another one to add to the collection!

So, to finish the week, I’ve had a lovely relaxing Saturday morning, food shopping, hair cut and a cup of coffee with a slice of cake. My hair looks great, sharp at the ends, well finished and lovely. And with a 20 mile race tomorrow guess how long that’s going to last?!

It’s a beautiful new day

This week has mostly been concerned with taking things a little easy, and getting prepared for the Silverstone half marathon this weekend.

After Tuesday’s run got canned, I did go out both Wednesday & Thursday, and both were alright. Nothing too fast, and the niggles in the legs have worked their way out – although the foot still has a tendency to creak a bit. Maybe that’s just age…

Wednesday was a run from home this week, so I took advantage of the lighter evenings to head out for a lap of the sailing club, then a loop round town to finish. After Sunday’s extreme weather, there was at least no rain and the skies were clear, but it was still rather blowy. Cold when you were in the wind, but OK otherwise. 2 layers plus windproof meant that I didn’t suffer like Sunday as well. It was quite surprising how firm the ground was, a few puddles, but I was expecting a lot worse after the amount of rain that fell. but there’s been very little rain recently, so it’s probably just gone straight into the ground. Got round the lake in good time  and was back onto tarmac before the light failed completely. That coincided with the 5 miles easy, meaning that the 3 at MP were at least on tarmac and not mud. Picked the pace up Ok, but drifted up in speed for the last one. Last miles were in the gathering gloom, with the street lights coming on.

Thursday was a loop with Janet, then another, shorter one, on my own. Not quite as fast as usual, which suited me fine – an easy run being just the ticket. I got back to work to be greeted by someone asking how the run had gone. When I said 5&1/4 miles, they pointed out that I’ve got to go 5 times that distance at Brighton. That’s not exactly a comfortable thought, but it’s not totally scary either. We then had a discussion on the art of pacing, and somehow a half marathon became a boys day out to the rugby with a selection of ales on tap. A marathon being a whole weekend stag do – it’s all about pacing – not letting anyone get more than one pint ahead, and sticking to a good session beer, not starting on the Stella!

Facts & Figures: (Weds/Thurs)
Distance – 8.02 / 5.25
Time – 1:36:30 / 1:03:04
Average pace – 12:02/12:01

So that’s a respectable set of figures. Just got Silverstone to race now. I’ve been told to try and race it hard, as that will be a good indication of where the training has got me. I ought to expect a good PB simply based on an increased training mileage. However, there would be nothing worse than heading out too fast and then slowing as I’ve run out of energy – that would not be a good for the confidence. My PB time averages out at 10:40 pace. So I’m going to go out at something  between 10:20 and 10:30, with the intention of trying tp pick that up after half way. If it goes to plan, I ought to PB by 3-4 minutes, which would be pretty good if it worked. The weather forecast isn’t looking too bad. Silverstone’s an ex airfield, so it is rather exposed and very bleak if the weather’s bad. But the wind is due to drop and temperatures are in double figures. Should be OK. Just need to pack everything and make my way there… Wish me luck!

Making your mind up

This week should mark my highest mileage week ever – 40 will be clocked if all goes to plan. With Tuesday’s club session coming in at less than the 5 stated on the plan, Wednesday and Thursday both had a little extra added, to make 20 miles in 3 days.

Wednesday was the midweek longer run, which should be 10 miles, half easy, half at MP. Went OK. I started too fast and had to consciously slow myself down, and then found i’d slowed to the bottom end of “easy” pace. But better that then too fast, I suspect. Increased to MP Ok, with my (usual) slight tendency to end up a fraction too fast. It was quite light as I set out, but by the time I was finishing it was still quite dark and the decision to leave the head torch behind no longer looked quite so sensible! Saw a huge number of other runners out, including what appears to be a ladies beginners group based from the leisure centre.

Thursday was out with Janet again, a loop together then 2 extra miles for me. I’m supposed to be running this session as a tempo, so doing some miles at ~ 10k pace. We usually end up running at ~ MP for the loop with Janet, so I decided to at least run the next mile at 10k pace, just to make sure I run some mileage faster than MP. Went OK, the speed was certainly there.

Facts & Figures (Wed/Thurs)
Distance – 10.4 / 5.6
Time – 2:01:14 / 1:04:15
Average pace – 11:39 / 11:28

The weather has been the odd thing this week. It could do with deciding if it is Spring or not. Wednesday night I went out in long sleeves and overheated to start with – although I had the sleeves rolled down again by the time I finished. Thursday I went out in short sleeves and was, if anything, a fraction chilly in the arm department the whole time. Not painfully cold, but it’s certainly not yet a clear-cut clothing decision! I have migrated to a baseball cap rather than the beanie hat, as it hasn’t been so cold that the ears have suffered. However, I still expect to travel to Brighton with pretty much my entire running wardrobe – just so I’m covered for every eventuality!

This week I have mostly been…

Wandering on Wednesday, Jogging with Janet and yelping at Yoga positions

Wednesday is mid-week run. What with a half on Sunday, I went out, but not terribly far. Just down the railway path, round the park & back again. Nice & easy, although it’s getting rather dark out. There are several stretches where I’m very pleased to have the head torch on. Although I did nearly measure my length of an unexpected rise in the tarmac. The light from the torch has quite a flattening effect – rises & dips don’t always seem as prominent as they are in practice, and I just caught one foot. Did that whole comedy fall, recover, stagger and carry on thing! Was very pleased that it was pretty dark out.

I’d mentioned going out for a run to Janet, someone at work. The company sponsor the local race, and last January there was a scheme to get people out & running, such that a trainer met them at work and organised runs. That finished after the race, but some of the group have now decided to try and keep it going over the winter. When I mentioned that I’d be running from work, she expressed an interest in joining me, giving her a second run a week. So Thursday, she & I met up in reception and headed out. Just a nice slow jog, with a few walks to cross roads. I’ll need to extend the distance as I head into marathon training, but the pace was perfectly good for what I’ll treat as an easy run. Also, while it’s dark, going with someone makes sense, and it’s a nice break from running alone.

Facts & Figures (Weds/Thurs)
Distance – 4.8 / 3.1 miles
Time – 57:22 / 38:03 minutes
Average pace – 11:57 / 12:12 mins/mile

After a stretch, I headed out to try a yoga class. I’ve regularly attended a yoga class on 2 previous occasions. Each time I’ve found that, over time, it increases my flexibility (bearing in mind I’m about as flexible as a brick) and works the core muscles all at once. I tried this one out because it fitted reasonably well with running – which has to come first for the time being. A 2-hour class, but we did spend the last 20 minutes doing breathing exercises. A mixed class, of which I would suggest I lowered the average age. Some very impressive ladies in their 70s if not 80s who were far more flexible than I am! A practical instructor too, suggesting mats, cushions, straps & blankets to make the poses more comfortable and achievable for even the most inflexible amongst us. I could feel it in the shoulders & back today, and I think I’ll give it another go. I know it will do me good – just need to remind my body how to get back into some of those poses!

As an aside, I note that the next view of my blog will be the 500th. I know a fair few of them have been Mum, but I can’t believe she accounts for all of them. Welcome readers, I hope you find something to amuse or entertain you in passing through.

Busy busy

I thought weekends were supposed to be relaxing?! I seemed to dash about like a mad thing. There’s an element of being out of routine, which always makes things seem different. Started with a more relaxing early morning,  not having to be out of the house quite as early as usual. Ringing was for the Remembrance day service, so we didn’t need to be there until 10:15, rather than the usual 8:45. Half muffled ringing sounds lovely, but we don’t get to practice too often.

Home, then a bit of a potter about until the Grand prix started at 1. Lunch during the preamble, so we were ready for the off. It wasn’t a cracker, but had moments of interest. Would have been interesting to see if Hamilton could have stayed with Vettel, but the puncture at least gave us a different winner. Then, as soon as they’d finished, I started sorting out to get off for a run. Downed a pint of squash, but didn’t have quite as long to let it settle as I normally would; what with needing to get the joint in the oven for dinner and the darkening evenings I had to get on with it.

Went out in short-sleeved top, as I need to save the three long-sleeved versions for the evening runs in mid-week. But I did add my new lightweight gloves to the ensemble. I did think that was a mistake initially. For someone who always has cold hands, they seem to overheat very quickly when out running. Within a mile they were sweating, and I did think this was going to be uncomfortable. But they seemed to stay at that state, and not get any hotter, in which case that was bearable.

Set off aiming to do 10 miles. Down to the sailing club lake and round there as usual. However, the last 3 or so miles of the usual route are along a fast back road with no lights and no pavement. I’d not put the reflective vest or head torch I would usually wear in the dark on, as it hadn’t been dark when I’d left, but it was getting dark now. I decided to change plan, and headed back towards town. I figured that I could run around town, keeping to footpaths in a bit more safety than a dark road. And so the last few miles were a bit made up as I went along, and I got back to the end of our road with 9 miles showing on the Garmin. Made a decision to call it quits at that point – not as far as I’d have wanted, but far enough.

 Facts & Figures
Distance – 9.03 miles
Time – 1:50:54
Average Pace – 12.17 minute miles.

Which is reasonable. Brings me to what I’d be prepared to bet is my highest weekly mileage, at a grand total of 23-24 ish (a bit ish due to 2 Garmin-less runs). The intention for this week is to try and run 5,6,5 during the week and 8 at the weekend. It’s my next half in 2 weeks and I want to have an all out go at that before knuckling down to Marathon training as of the 28th November. It’s getting awfully close now!