Monthly Archives: July 2009


I’m sorry, but it is. I book a week off and it rains for 5 days of it then, just as I return to work, the sun shines all day with fantastic temperatures and I get all annoyed at my luck. Still, that’s all it is, and (ah, there goes my English teacher again – a comma followed by “and”…great!) it does at least prove i’m the luckiest man on the planet…all of it bad.

Still, I did elect to drive to work and run this evening, which is exactly what happened. In such heat, my hair really is getting a bit of a joke. I’ve almost agreed with myself that i’ll attempt to go for the longest i’ve ever managed without getting it cut, but with another 4 weeks to go, I don’t think doing it through the summer will prove the most sensible idea ever. We’ll see.

However, the run was odd. My legs couldn’t get used to running to start with and my first mile was an erratic affair, not assisted much by indecision as to route. I chose the one where I nearly got run over 6 times in the end, so I won’t be repeating it in a hurry, but it was a nice change, with two decent hills in 3 miles, so i’ll have to adapt the route out and back for my hill repeats, I think. Assuming I do them, of course. With my legs being as sore as they are, however, I might leave it a few weeks before I go for that particuler option.

It wasn’t a bad run, though, I feel better for it, and at least the half marathon campaign has got off to a good start.

Out of energy

This week, i’ve mostly been off work. Which was nice.

But (hope my old English teacher reads this – starting a paragraph with “but” used to give her all sorts of facial colours in frustration at how retarded we were) after Monday’s run, my legs have been sore from the knee down to add to the constant pain in my left big toe (which i’m not allowed to mention. It’s the toe that fucked up last September, which I won’t give the doctor the pleasure of telling me what’s wrong with it, only to have him smugly say nothing can be done. Or that it can be done, but i’d have to stay off it for 8 years or something. It’s only a toe. But it does hurt. Lots. All the time. And no amount of stretching, pulling, resting or bending does anything to help it. Hot or cold, the pain’s the same. Even Ibuprofen gel doesn’t help. But I won’t mention it. Oh, no.), which has been a bit annoying since the weather’s been so shit, running might have been the one thing i’d have got something out of. Instead, in an attempt to enjoy the week, I did some shelving, more shelving, shopping, getting new tyres on the motorbike, preparing a window for paint, an afternoon out looking at rhinos, elephants and monkeys and a single skydive.

I guess the soreness is due to not enough running for over a week followed by a quick pace for 4 miles, but it usually goes much quicker. Still, today it felt ok, so after going out to buy paint (got wet on the motorbike again. While it hadn’t rained at home all morning. How’s your luck?) and actually getting to apply some undercoat to the window, I set off for a slowish 5 miles.

But only got just under 3 when I had to stop.

Yep, stop. Simply couldn’t find the energy to carry on. Empty stomach, shaking legs, the lot. And I had lunch and breakfast. Very odd. Took about 2 minutes of swearing, shaking, drinking, quivering, wondering what was going on and swearing some more before I got going again, with barely a spring in my step.

So, pissed off, I took the shortcut home for a 3.5 mile route, made a cup of tea, had my last energy bar (hopefully blog it on Planet Veggie tomorrow if the promised rain hits us all day. If it’s not raining, i’ll be painting, going for lunch on the bike and skydiving. Sorry.) and now i’m having a sulk.

Which might go on for a few weeks, but hopefully will lift with a shower and a beer later.

Still, with 13 weeks until the Royal Parks half, hopefully I can sort fuelling issues out before then. Maybe it’s just a glitch having eased off the cycling to work thing as well as changing routine quite so dramatically for the week. I’ll see next week, with any luck.

Yep, work on Monday. Yippee.

Or is that oh, cock? Still, hopefully fewer than 440 days to go.

Back to it

This week, i’ll mostly be off work.

Which, as far as dedicated exercise goes, can be taken as both good and bad. Good that yesterday was the first for ages that i’ve had the energy to properly weight train; good that today I went for a proper training style run; good that I also went out (in a fine old fashioned, knuckle-dragging “get your knee down everywhere and anywhere you can, you slacker! style) on the motorbike, despite the good being tempered by getting soaked on the way home, which incidentally was done by the shortest possible route (24 miles) owing to a nail in my back tyre (3 punctures in 5400 miles having been 18 years previously without one. Something’s not right!) and a desire to not have to push; bad because my 16 mile cycling option for exercise isn’t done on auto pilot.

Okay, then. On balance being off work is a great thing.

Still, I couldn’t summon the enthusiasm for the run this morning, so went at my usual after work time, partly out of habit, partly because it works for me and partly because it’ll feel natural when I start to pick thing up in mileage ready for the Royal Parks Half. I think there’s 14 weeks to go, so it’s about time to start, I guess. I’m not going to try and stick to any co-ordinated training plans this time. I seem to be stuck in the above a novice but not intermediate runner capability. I know i’ll get injured or worn out or both if I go for 5 runs a week, know i’ll perform badly if I use a pure novice plan, so have decided to do what I feel to be right in order to enjoy the thing.

If that means not running for a bit, that’s what i’ll do. If it means running more because I feel like it, then so be it – but i’ll keep an eye on both plans to ensure I neither slip under the novice or exceed the intermediate plan in any time period. My difficulty is going to get the balance right for doing a good time. I fancy a sub 1.40 time if I can, but know this will be at the sticky edge of my performance envelope. It corresponds to the equivalent time on McMillan’s running calculator from my poor race in the Ashford 10k last year (felt slack and pace-less), so should be achievable with a good performance on race day, but I just don’t know.

Guess all I can do is try. And today, my 4.2 mile loop was outed at a surprisingly quick 7.15 average pace, so at least I know i’ve got the pace at the moment, albeit for about a third the distance.

It feels nice to be in control of my running, though. After the stick-to-the-programme London plan that went awry to getting fed up with Juneathon, it feels nice to just make it up as I go along. Almost back to the spirit of four years ago when Geoff called the Canterbury half marathon out of the blue when I wasn’t training at all, with 8 weeks to prepare, when a time of 1.48.15 for the hilly course was a miracle of effort over preparation.

I fancy a bit more of the same. Shame it’s with a bit less youth!