Monthly Archives: February 2009


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.

Slow in parts

Oh, dear. Today is Sunday and because yesterday involved work until mid afternoon and all other things conspired to rob me of precious time, things got away from me a bit.

I’ve been worried about this run for weeks. It comes on the back of an increase in midweek mileage at a time when I knew work would be hectic, but to set off at the best part of three o’clock seemed silly. Especially since the thermometer hadn’t got above 2 degrees and there was a fresh covering of snow all over Hastings. But since this is (promise. Honest) my last bit of weekend overtime, it’ll also be my last long run around the town. Resulting on the little demon in my head saying “make the most of it, build your legs all you can and see how much you can do with no food intake and loads of hills”.

So that’s what I did.

And the answer is 12 miles.

I set off for the hills, having outed the idea of doing a reverse route, but included a hilly mile lap of Alexandra park, keeping the pace sensible but still the right side of 8.30. I was targetting 8.40 for the whole run. I even kept it sensible for the majority of the main climb, settling on 8.40’s with a single split dip to 8.45. But then I considered my need to do a loop of something interesting to avoid the tedium of too much seafront at the end and split off towards Battle, up anothr bit of a slope. Not much of one, but after 3 miles of climbing, it seemed a good challenge.

But by mile 6, I was hungry. And that feeling didn’t disappear. All along the Ridge and down to the front where all my energy was gone. Used. I hate the seafront stretch on the long routes – it’s handy since I run past the site and can calculate the out and back distance perfectly for the overall length, but it’s so depressing to run away from home after such a long slog. And yesterday it all got the better of me, revealed in my splits disintegrating to reveal the last two miles as 8.48 and 8.49. At the turnaround point at 12.75 miles, I even walked for twenty yards to have a last really good drink, so drained did I feel. And none of it was helped by the ridiculous cold.

Yep, the sun had gone and my hands were numb, too. But I continued to the office, whereupon I wanted to collapse but found a message from Cathy saying she was on the 16.08. I was reading that at 16.49. 30 miles from home. Only to find I couldn’t text her a reply since my hands were too numb. But I got a call to her, arranged to meet in a pub (didn’t take too much convincing it was a good idea…funny that!), poured myself into the car, ate an energy bar, banana, mars bar, apple and arrived at 5.30 with my hands still frozen to the point of my right ring finger still being pure white. That’s never happened before.

So, things learnt: 1) Don’t do toooooo many hills on a long run. 2) Take an energy style drink (Jogblog recipe no. 1) 3) Take a bit of food for the proper long runs. 4) Wear gloves when it’s freezing. 5) Wait until Sunday to run – it’s lovely and sunny out there and warm as i’d like. And it’s flat at home!

Still, that can wait for next week and my 15 miles. From yesterday, i’ll settle for the 8.24 average pace. If only my left shin didn’t feel like it was exploding, i’d classify it a draw. As it is, I think i’m struggling. Thankfully, I know I will have the last laugh. London’s flat, after all.

Fun, though.

Thursday. Honest.

Yes indeed, tonight i’m pretending it’s last night and i’m back from a run.

Only it’s not; I got straight in last night and went straight out for a curry.

I’m not wasting any more time blogging since there’s upper body exercise to do now, i’m tired, i’ve got to work tomorrow and stuff to do for that, i’ve got to run 14 miles tomorrow as well unless I decide to put it off until Sunday and i’m generally pissed off with the rush i’m always in trying to do the best I can, put as much into my life as I can and still coming up short.

I think i’m going to go back to plan a) when I was counting cars and fuck off to the west country.

It’ll be a lot simpler.

Oh, and 3.5mm rain Thursday, 3mm today.

Same as

Yesterday, that is.

Despite taking a route that started on hills, messing up the first quarter mile by not turning the Garmin on (but not, as seems to be the approved runner way, turning around and stopping. Ahem!) and setting the virtual partner to 8.12 pace, somehow I still ended up at exactly the same average time as yesterday. 7.49. For 7 miles. Nice.

Except it was cold. And windy. With ice on the path for the second mile, while being pursued by another runner (one of the folk who tend to do laps of Alexandra Park. It’s nice, but I can’t see it being nice enough to want to see it more than once on a run.) But after I split off for the seafront for the last 4 miles, I didn’t fancy that, either.

Still, it turned out ok. The fishermen’s huts sheltered me for a bit, two runners left the car park a few yards in front, resplendent in white tracksuit bottoms, one of them making a loud rustle with every pace, which broke things up a bit. A quick chat revealed they’re doing the Hastings Half in 6 or so weeks, something one of them has been putting off for 5 years. Hope the weather’s kind. Still, the pace they were going, they should have no trouble achieving their 2 hour target. I know they’ll never see this, but good luck and happy running.

Anyhow, I was feeling fleet of foot even after the turnaround point. Which was into the biting wind. I think it’s called how to freeze even when putting in a fair effort to keep the pace nice. I know it’s called numb fingers for an hour afterwards. Which is a new quirk this year – previously, cold hands just warmed up. Now, the pain and numbness lasts for ages, sometimes with pins and needles and everything. God, I want this winter over. Why did I get a marathon place to coincide with such a cold season?

Still, tomorrow i’ll slow down in preparation for the weekend. 14 miles. Not sure if it’ll be Saturday or Sunday yet. Long. Eek.

A mince pie was again enjoyed. Again, i’m cold. If I stop eating them, will it warm up?


Well, it is cold.

But at least the snow that almost stopped me getting home safely on Sunday, made my day off on Monday seem wasted since all the lazy wankers decided to join me without even booking it on the 4th December or anything, stayed away and thawed from the seafront to make my run almost ok-ish.

In a my god it’s got cold but I need to be out putting the miles in even though my left foot was hurting this morning through the arch, heel and into my ankle way.

And no, I haven’t a clue why it was hurting. But it was, does and probably will tomorrow, considering my mileage increase demands 7 miles. On a mid week run. Not fair. Still, I trust the training program knows best.

In the same way I trust Jogblog might actually blog again. Which i’m waiting for. Well, she did run on Saturday. It might have been inexcusably short, but it was a run. Without a blog. Not good. She even told me one of her 10 running song nominations on the journey on Satruday. Can’t remember what it was, but she’s thinking about it at least. Now, if I can only persuade her to pick things back up again, maybe the other 9 will follow.

So, 7mm of precipitation (that’ll be the sum total of snow melt in the gauge), still up with the pies, 4 miles in 31.26, a sore foot and a 14 miler to look out for on Saturday. With work, too. Oh, cock. Maybe it’ll have to be a long Sunday run. Oops.