Category Archives: Hills

Still doing stuff

Honest, I’m still alive!
An absence of ability to upload stats to Running Free has lead to me just doing stuff on my own, enjoying it and getting on with things, really.
I finished last year with an detached run distance of just over 6 miles which, combined with only 3 runs being over 7 miles and no runs after April of under 6 miles means, yep, I just about ran a while year of 6 mile jogs.
This year I’ve already mixed it up more with a couple of hilly interval repeats, a 7 miles outing and some shorter distance cross-country jogs, which I’m enjoying.
Also finished the year and am carrying on with some more upper body strength work, plus some bmx and mountain-bike fun.
So yes, active, just not involved!
But enjoying things.

Just a jog

The crisp weather with zero wind made me almost excited about a run this evening.
Keeping my enthusiasm after I’d started seemed a miracle.
Selecting the hilliest street-lamp-lit route I could was remarkable.
Adding an unnecessary out and back to make distance to 6 miles foolhardy.
Looping a block having arrived at the closed level crossing merely done to keep warm.
Maintaining a spring in my step up the last hill incredible.
Enjoying the whole effort how exercise should be.
The shut level crossing even put me dangerously close to a proper race distance. Good job I didn’t look at my Garmin.

Just a hilly short outing

Well I headed out after several heavy showers, road bound so as not to be soaked by the undergrowth too much, and worke for hills.
A third of a mile steep uphill, a quarter mile of slope, a flat half, a third steep downhill, a flat run out to 2 miles and then a turnaround to head back.
Quite picturesque, not a soul around (except in cars, of course. Can’t escape them) and plenty of sheep.
The hills made me breathe well, to boot.
95, 59, 35

Still here

Time appears to be running away from me! Between running enough to keep me happy but not spending enough time to put in epic mileage, cycling once a week and throwing the weights around the conservatory a couple of times a week, I’m barely progressing with the house at all.
But my runs now back in Rye are super.
I’ve a pavement based 5 miler which is hilly and hard on the motivation. A jog along the Tillingham river when it’s dry, variable mileage but so scenic and peaceful. A quiet out and back to either Wittersham or Udimore which involves a marvelous hill and mileage between 4 and 7 depending on how keen I feel.
Variety through the summer is ace. And I’m injury free to boot. And sticking to my promise of no races, so have no mileage or pace pressure. Just selfish jogging when the mood takes me.
Which is what life’s about, no?
Might even post another blog before the year’s out if I’m lucky, who knows?!
109, 66, 40.

A fair February

After my now traditional loss of hope through Janathon, at least I can report a good follow up.
Losing trees to water and wind aside, I’ve enjoyed some nice runs and, with news that I’m to escape Hawkinge (aka the most despicable place on the planet), I’ve used the fact that it’s almost light enough for a 4 mile plod to make the most of the hills. 2 evening runs this week both on hills, lots of weight training, more February miles run already than last year and maybe the overall picture is rosy after all.
Plus the fact that I’ve started my kitchen refurb at long last. Hmm, excitement or something.
129, 86, 49.

Oddities keep life interesting. Or something.

I’d like to have a regular training schedule update to be able to proudly proclaim is doing me wonders in my preparation for the Bupa Great South Run but I’d be lying. A bit.
I haven’t been truly convinced I’ll be running, I guess, but I’ve been preparing anyway in a roundabout fashion. My mid-week runs have continued, one hilly and one undulating but a little quicker. My weekend runs have extended to 10 miles and a few have now been logged (including the laps of the local field from another post). But it hasn’t been straightforward.
A couple of weeks ago, following the Nuts Challenge, I opted to plod around the roads since rain in the days before turned the local trails to a slippery slimebath. It was a dull outing, but did the job – roads seem to lost some allure after the summer of cross country. And my legs felt the impact, as well.
After a recovery run on Tuesday (albeit on the hills; can’t be allowed to recover fully, after all!), Thursday was knocked on the head due to sore calves despite copious stretching and massage. Then, on Saturday, a more interesting 10 mile loop had me suddenly sat at the side of the road with 3 miles to go and no option of a short-cut with my right calf going into spasm, halfway between what felt like a tear and cramp.
With no option but to get home, I massaged some life in to it, started off with a very short gentle stride and managed a mile before a brief massage saw me continue the change in style to the front door. Not a catastrophe, but a concern.
Which demanded rest, which was booked for Sunday watching Cathy complete the London Duathlon.
Which turned into such a disappointment, it’s frustrating. The decent weather of the morning ran away for the Super Sprint category (5k run, 11k cycle, 5k run) so it was to be wind and rain for the three laps of Richmond Park. Even the deer gave little rise to the spirits. And, without music to run to (it’s in the rules), Cathy was disheartened enough that she was going to pull out after the cycle bit. It was a lonely race, with groups of 20 or so started in waves to avoid carnage at transition from cycle to run; the problem was that everyone was alone on a course with no spectators and little in the way of inspiration. Except the marshals, who were absolutely fantastic.
I know this for a fact. Because I couldn’t let Cathy pull out, so ran the last 5k with her. Complete with damaged leg. In jeans. And jacket. With wallet and phone and keys bouncing around.
And I could see how she’d become dispirited. But the finish was excellent and my leg seemed ok, so I was happy enough.
Until yesterday when my calves were, again, as stiff as anything. Not sure what’s going on, but today I decided to run to music. I haven’t really been upping my pace and fear I’ll be slower than last year around Portsmouth and the calf issue is a concern. So I selected Audiofuel’s Thru The Gears (a 15 minute fun interval session, I guess – never particularly fast but it keeps your feet to the beat and focuses the mind when the legs are a worry!) and loved it. Only 4 miles total (I did it twice as an out and back route) but the pace was good, I wasn’t fatigued at all and am fresh for an outing tomorrow.
I’m going to sort my legs and report back shortly.
And I will beat 1.09.53 for the 10 miles. 1.09.52 will do, despite earlier hopes for something altogether more impressive!
The only spanner in the works might be the new push bike I’ve just purchased…

Quietly progressing

Life has been busy of late, even to the point of prioritising proper life (doing stuff, enjoying spare time and that), over Juneathon and the last week.

But exercise has been continuing.

I’ve missed out two weekends of long runs, though. One because of time, the other a combined problem of that and – at last – warm weather. I don’t perform well when the temperature exceeds 21C and yesterday was well above that, so a trip to the seaside combined with stripping the suspension on the mountainbike filled the day without a jog.

Still did weights in the evening, though, as a warm-down routine ready for the week ahead at work.

Runs have been good in the week, though. After work mileage has gradually increased so that, while I’m still only out twice the distance is ok. Monday saw 5.8 very hilly miles in a scenic route around the hills. Tuesday was weights in the conservatory. Wednesday was a mountainbike ride on the jumps and berms around Seabrook in preparation for the trip to Morzine in two weeks, Thursday was an interval session of 6.25 miles around Paddlesworth; it’s hilly and scenic and the splits were slow, what with uphill gradients in all the intervals at some points (the worst was 0.4 miles up a vile hill towards Etchinghill, averaging 7.15/mile – more average flat pace than interval!) but my breathing was pushed, so hopefully they’re keeping me fit. Friday was 15 mile mountainbike ride night, again on some superb hills – the climbing was rotten but the descents more than made up for them.

So the summer is here, I’m enjoying the weather and keeping fit without feeling a slave to running. It feels good for a change.

And this time last year was a few very easy runs following my broken ribs, so all in all I’m in a much better state than then. If I do enter any races as the year wears on, hopefully I won’t disgrace myself completely.

Roll on France…hopefully nothing will break but occasional online videos of the terrain and speed keep reminding me I’ll need to be on decent form while out there.

I’ve a little plan for a jog while in the Alps, too…