Monthly Archives: February 2009

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.