Monthly Archives: February 2009

9 more?

So despite my greatest hopes that Friday would stall and i’d not have to face a huge run, face it I had to.

Yesterday, during a snatched moment on my work computer, I planned a route on gmap-pedometer that got me to 17 miles without any nasty loops near home, nor too many repeated junctions. And this morning, I checked my plans to ensure I hadn’t messed up.

Then went and cleaned the car, ate a banana, had a cup of coffee and did pretty much anything to delay my departure…even as far as adding some pressure to the boiler and bleeding a radiator!

Still time came to leave, so I loaded a few jelly babies into my hydration pack, mixed up some drink, adjusted the straps (last time I used the pack, it was on the motorbike so all the straps were well loose) and set off. Now, despite mountainbiking in the pack, i’ve never run in it before. And 17 miles may not be the best way to check if it’s ok. But I thought a slow 17 wouldn’t harm. But as I set off, all concentration was on re-adjusting things, not on pace. ERROR. When i’d settled in and stopped it bouncing, I turned the Garmin to virtual partner mode and nearly broke down crying.

A long, slow 17 miles. With a first mile at 7.44 pace. Bollocks. So much for negative splits. More like blow up at 6 miles and give in! So, with an eye glued on my wrist, I concentrated on holding pace and was rewarded by all the next miles, yep, 16 of them, being within 8 seconds of one another. The overall average of 8.37 is flattered by my first mile, but my freshness didn’t fall away, a few pains kept appearing, but nothing major. Just general fatigue. But if i’m not allowed that with these mileages, then i’m lost.

Plenty of things kept my brain working, though. Taking a wrong turn and forcing an out and back 2 mile leg at Staplehurst wasn’t ideal for my planned route, but then I missed a turning for Frittenden, which made up for it. Two huge packs of cyclists broke my routine for a while, scaring a man tying balloons to identify a party was amusing, I had to stop for cars three times, which resulted in any time gains being lost, but as the splits show, a break in routine doesn’t seem to harm on a long run. I may do it on purpose on the proper race if my mind lets me.

But now, I need to stretch. And eat. And shower. And pack. And see Jogblog for a washing machine repair and a pizza and a party. Yippee! I new there was something to look forward to this afternoon!

Slow Thursday

Well, makes a change from Black Friday (paint the devil on the wall). And if you can identify that musical reference, go to the top of the pile. And go and get a life less sad than mine!

Work today was tiring, mainly owing to wanting to eat all the time. All of it. I think my miles caught up with me today. Well, caught up with my stomach, anyway. To the point of having to eat my (home made, marvellous, delicious, much better with half milk than all dark and white chocolate) energy bars and banana before I even left site.

And then, I was truly thankful that I selected a slow pace to match for my virtual partner. I went for the easy, run the legs out, option of 4 miles along the flat seafront, a simple out and back. And man was I glad I did. Legs are shot to pieces, I was happy lolling along at an average 8.14 and had I wanted to up the pace, well it just wasn’t there.

Thankfully tomorrow is rest before 17 miles Saturday which, quite honestly after today, scares me.

But having just gone out to get some milk, I’ve also found a pair of new trainers waiting for me. Left, dangerously if I lived anywhere other than I do, i’m sure, leaning against the back door. Last time the postman did that, it was with £600 of push bike bits. When it’s £10 of inner tubes or something, he insists on taking them to the post office for a signatue. A rule unto themselves, posties, but I love ’em, really. So i’ll not be trying them out this weekend, but they look very very very nice. They’re certainly extremely light, so hopefully will prove as fast as I hope they will be. I’m going to go for some fast shorter races after London, the Stelling Minnis 10k being one (not that i’ll be fast at it, what with it being too close to London to get my speed back and having a huge hill at 4.5 miles), but i’m hoping the trainers will help. The service in supply was top notch, so lets hope they prove good. I’ll update shortly (possibly with a first run next week, if my legs survive Saturday).

I didn’t resort to two mince pies today, i’ll keep that in reserve for another illness…my ears felt much better even though the left one’s still not quite right.

So, roll on Saturday. And after the run will be washing machine repair and fun, fun, fun. Hope I can fix it.

A late run

Yes, I intended to start today’s 8 miles at something far closer to 5 o’clock than I managed, but had a few e-mails to fire out having seen the attempts of two subbies to sabotage hopes of completing on Friday and time slipped. Still, at just after 5.30, I was off (my Garmin taking about 2 seconds to find a signal, having taken 2 minutes from exactly the same spot yesterday. Odd).

I fancied mixing my route up, but didn’t want too many hills, aiming for an 8.12 pace as I was, so decided on a hilly start, my first ever try at two laps of the park (which can only be an average up and down, but mentally I was convinced I went for the harder of the two directions. My mind will only stop amazing me at how cretinous it can be when I keel over, I think) to see how bored i’d get, followed by a run down to the prom and along to make the mileage up.

And it all went splendidly. The first hilly bit was taken a touch too quickly, what with wanting to set off slowly and that and then up the pace, my two laps felt fine, just watching the Garmin and keeping my virtual partner just behind me at all times so he could catch up a bit on the uphills without getting ahead, the run to the sea went with a bang and a fizz, too. Then I changed plans a bit and ran uphill on a reverse half marathon route up through the old town to  avoid too much flat seafront and thus easy route. Well, of course I regretted it as my calves started to wince, but it was a change, so I think was worth it.

When I did venture onto the prom, I was greeted by man and dog looking identical, as if in caricature of each other. He was grey and tightly cut curly frizz. His dog was a Bedlington Terrier. They looked fine together. Wonder if his wife puts his dinner in the dog bowl by mistake.

And my 3 mile loop was completed in the last 1.3 miles by following a guy who was warming up as I ran towards him, set off as I turned around, ran my pace for about 50 yards, then simply fucked off. I can put it no more politely than that. He simply went. Well, for about half a mile, anyway. I now had the wind behind me and wanted to hear at least a bit of I’ve Never Seen StarWars, so picked my pace up to (now I see it on SportTracks) 7.33 a mile, but he was gone. I caught him stretching and starting off again about a third of a mile later and chatted about injury, recovery and how smooth and quick he looked before I had to turn off the prom and back to the office. If I get as quick as him when I ditch the miles for 10k pace, i’ll be disappointed with 40 minutes, let alone 42.

But i’ve got a marathon to do first. So today, Matthew, I ran 8 miles at 7.59 average pace, and that’ll do. Slow tomorrow to recover for 17 on Saturday. Shame my legs feel heavy. Maybe it’s something to do with having blocked ears. My right one feels fine now, but my left is still underwater. If it’s not better by tomorrow, i’m phoning the doctor. Painful ears I can do without, thanks. Maybe i’ll have to pick things up to two mince pies a day. Will that cure it?


Yep, that was me today. Sick to death of not being able to do a decent day’s work, surrounded by idiots and still coughing, sneezing and blowing my nose all day despite my cold being over 2 weeks old and i’ve just about had enough.

So going out to lock up after just over 10 hours on site, I could barely be arsed to get changed and head out for 4 miles. But since my left hamstring started mysteriously hurting last night and my left shin started playing up and hurting again this morning, I was stuffed if I was going to let my mind not beat my body up, so changed I got.

And headed out around the park before making the miles up  on the prom. Only to wish i’d done all the miles on the front owing to the display the starlings were putting on around the pier. Well, I guess they were starlings – I think it’s those birds that create the huge swooping, turning masses of flight. It all looked very impressive. Which makes it no surprise that a whole one person was watching it. Yep, that sums Hastings up. I’m sure a drug addicted twat having a fight with a policeman would draw a crowd of a thousand, but a natural spectacle which will disappear when they finally let the pier fall into the sea? Nah, they’re simply not interested.

I think i’ll miss the running routes when (if?) I finally get to escape the site, but the rest of the area unfortunately stinks.

Sorry, but my mood is as foul as my hands are cold. I think I need a change.

Still, the 4 miles went at an average 8.02. My shin hurt with every step, which bodes well for 8 miles tomorrow and 17 on Saturday, but hey. As long as I don’t have to put a cast on it, i’m sure a little pain won’t stop me. Just slow me down a bit.

It rained a bit, but I haven’t been out to look at the gauge yet. Too much to do. Hope I feel brighter tomorrow.


Feeling tired after the week’s efforts, I went to bed at a silly hour for a Friday, but a sensible hour for what I had planned for today.

And, having looked at the weather, my plans involved a skydive. I just didn’t know whether to go for it early or late.

Well, having decided my legs could do with a half day rest, I went early. Got there about 8.30, name down, called for first lift, but due to a million tandems being briefed, we didn’t walk to the plane until cowboy time. But it was a great start to the day, a few nice chats, a plan for a jump and then a one way flight. Marvellous. My fall consisted of a couple of turns, a couple of flips – one of which I stalled upside down for a second before recovering to stable flight (nice. But strictly not meant to be done. Ah, well. Noone saw me, noone knows, it’s all fun.) Then a couple more turns, a pull and…never before has a slider taken so long to allow a canopy to open. I was just reaching for the rear risers to give them a beating when, a good few seconds after opening, the slider came down and I could get some semblance of control. I even had time to consider how much I didn’t want to chop it away. Faster next time, please!

Still, a smashing flight and landing and it was a rapid pack job, a cycle home, clean the car, have lunch and set off for a lazy 11 miles. I say lazy because I was intent on sticking to my target 8.35 to protect my aching legs. And I did a pretty good job. As well as demonstrating differences in Sport Tracks and Garmin software.

My Garmin says 8.28 average speed. Sport Tracks 8.32. That’s due to the latter recognising I stopped for just under a minute for a wee. Garmin trusted the computer that stopped when I stopped.

So, an 8.32 average for 11 miles, a nice loop including a road I didn’t know existed (within 3 miles of a house i’ve lived in for 8 years – how closed are my eyes?), pretty tired legs, but truly a good day.

And now, I must rush to pick up my fantastic girlfriend from the station. I fear if i’m late to pick her up again, she may never come to visit any more, and that wouldn’t do. That wouldn’t do at all. Not even time to make mince pies, but i’ll do that tomorrow. My last one of the batch today was ace, so i’m keeping to my plan for one a day. And well into February, that’s a good thing.

My legs are tired

Sorry, is it ok to admit that?

After last week’s illness, 5.5 coughing miles on Saturday and general tiredness on the back of it, I think the week is getting the better of me. All my runs have been quick, though, so I can take satisfaction from that, at least. But now it’s Thursday, i’ve run my 16th mile in 3 days and feel weary.

I set off on the hilly start route, slowly again (first mile the slowest, so it was all good), looped to the seafront via a man walking in front of me on a dark path bit, who stopped right in the middle when he saw me – thanks; to be shortly followed by a boy tripping the long way down his (concrete…ouch!) front steps, throwing his drinks bottle in my path as he fell (parents were on the scene before he’d even started screaming!), which I avoided as I winced on my way.

It’s a nice route, though, which gives a hilly challenge, breaks the monotony of the seafront, but isn’t too difficult.

Anyhow, the outcome was 4.05 miles, 7.59 average pace (three runs, a 7.45, a 7.55 ands a 7.59 average – all good), the nicest mince pie of the week, a trace of rain and now i’m sore. So i’m off to eat and recover.

If any of you reading this don’t see Jogblog‘s writings, check her current blog for a great competition…but be sure to include a bribe if you want to win, the deluge of comments is fantastic. Good stuff.


And my ability to mis-read it.

Having been flying around the building this morning and having the dubious pleasure of being stuck with the client for the middle part of the day before receiving the tragic news (third hand, through e-mail minutes of a meeting I didn’t attend, but what else would I expect since no-one tells me anything anymore) that i’m to be stuck in Hastings forever (which means the job on my doorstep will disappear and i’ll once again be travelling over an hour to work while the useless idiots who have sat on their arses while the job goes tits up will indeed get a job on their doorstep to continue being lazy and useless and cock things up again and i’ll continue to be the bitter, twisted individual i’ve become, or at least I will until the mortgage is gone and I become a tree surgeon) I hadn’t paid too much attention to the weather. And locking up, again, it felt ok. And apologising to Cathy for being uselessly busy and not responding to her e-mail, it became a bit of a rush to get out of the door and run off the day’s frustration.

So, on went the trusty Asics, shorts and a long sleeved top. And after about a mile, down came the drizzle, down went the temperature and I was left running for warmth in a attempt to both warm up and finish quicker. Which, having selected a half hilly route for a 7 mile run, wasn’t going to happen too easily.

Things to take my mind off the route were a competition, a competition, possible questions for each (and I think the latter contest may still be in the planning stages…come on, Cathy, nothing like a bit of pressure!), my failure to remember to get mum a birthday card (I just caught the 3.30 post, so hopefully it’ll get there on time) and the hope that summer will be good.

Aside from that, it was all about pace. Like yesterday, I set off slowly, my first mile was slowest (but also most hilly, so I shouldn’t read too much into it), my average for just over 7 miles was 7.54 (targetting an 8.12 pace) and now I feel fresh and ok. Good.

Clearly, the mince pie diet is king. If only it would help me stop coughing.


And lo! It came to pass that on 17th February, not only was I fit enough to fight back against lost mileage due to my cold, it was also warm enough to get my legs out.

Eugh. What a state.

Still, nothing like a bad day to get the running  juices flowing and today made me especially moist. So, half past five and I was patiently waiting for a Garmin signal, thinking I need to sort my life and contact Adam for a pair of speedy swift trainers to get used to so after my marathon so I can set some pb’s in my upcoming short races (tbc, but definitely the Stelling Minnis 10k at the end of May – hills and lanes and a superb run. With no goody bag at all. Smart.). And then off.

A lap of Alexandra park followed by a loop onto the seafront to make up the 5 miles. My programme calls for 4 miles, this being a cut back week, but having missed last week, I just fancied a stretch. And a nice chat along the front with a jogger out to simply stop himself getting fat (his words) even broke up the monotonous prom. A very good run.

And without looking at my virtual partner at all. Mainly because I left him set to 8.40 in case I was still suffering. But after a first mile at 7.53, I knew I was ok (even including a stop at the traffic lights), but miles 3 and 4 at identical 7.46’s was a surprise in consistency and an average 7.44 pace was ace. And I feel fresh. Even if I did cough to death on my return.

Other than that, mince pies are still being outed, traces of rain are landing in the gauge and I need to finish Hastings to get onto a new job. I’ve had enough of it, to be fair.

Still, 7 miles tomorrow. Or will it be 8?


Owing to my attempts at simultaneously coughing and sneezing to death through the week, I awake this morning to a training schedule in tatters and a potential 30 mile deficit in just a week.

Now, there was no way in the week that I could even contamplate anything but recovery, so today I vowed to at least get a few miles in, just to measure pathetic-ness and inability, if nothing else. And in the back of my mind was the ability to go for a short route that had options to open out to 15 miles, should I be capable, without stretching more than 3 miles from my front door.

Well, it certainly didn’t work like that.

I have been out. I got about a third of a mile before being wracked by coughing fits, continued to 2 miles reasonably well, albeit displaying all the life signs of 3 day old roadkill, had to ford a puddle still shutting off a bit of the road and walked across it. And that was the end, really.

I coughed so hard, I was doubled up. Then plodded on to 2.75 miles, stopped to blow my nose properly and try to eject a lung through my mouth, turned for home having decided even the next size 7.8 mile loop wasn’t going to work, walked for 30 seconds after about half a mile, stopped to cough at the swollen river as I crossed it, plodded up the hill and stopped the Garmin to display average pace of 10.03. For 5.46 miles.

Yep, i’m still not quite back to normal.

However, I feel a touch better as I write this. My chest feels lighter. My legs feel lighter. Which, considering how leaden they felt on the plod, is a revelation. My nose has stopped running (possibly because i’ve run out of fluid). And at least i’ve been out.

Now i’ve got to concoct a way of recovering the miles lost so that I don’t do myself an injury on the next mileage increase week in two weeks. Next week is meant to be a recovery week, so I think I can tinker with it to allow a mileage average to reduce the shock of 17 miles in one go. And tomorrow, i’ll pop out for another brief run to see if I can stretch things a bit further.

But not if it’s going to kill me, so I’ll see how I feel first.

At least the illness hasn’t harmed my mince pie eating, though. Now that would have been serious. Marathon plans in jeopardy, I can handle. Mince pie enjoyment curtailment might have been a touch too much to cope with.

Let down

Sorry, but after Saturday and my experiment in how many hills I can take before exhaustion, it seems i’m dying.

Seem to have a horrendous bout of something (not flu – people die from that and i’m not giving up that easily), creating aches everywhere, pain in all my organs, a head full of fluid, a cough, the nastiest sore throat since my tonsillitis days and a feeling of impending doom.

So running’s off. It’s been so bad, I went to work late yesterday and today and as a measure I haven’t had a day off work (except for an operation) due to illness in 21 years. Nasty.

15mm rain today. 17mm yesterday. No wonder the village is cut off with flood water to the south. And my latest batch of mince pies are better than Jogblog’s. Ha!

Still, tomorrow is a booked day in lieu for Christmas work, so I can rest properly. Still don’t think i’ll venture out though, somehow. Maybe i’ll blog my vegetable seed purchases for the (please, please, please let it come) spring growing season.

Hopefully i’ll be out for 15 miles on Saturday. but I won’t keep my hopes up, or bomb myself out by attacking things too early.

RIP Joggerblogger, he’ll be missed…let’s hope his arthritis improves with rest and he can start a new athletic venture in the future.