Tag Archives: Hastings running

Stick man

So, today is Sunday. Not that I ran today, you understand, just that yesterday I worked, ran and drove to London and ran out of time to blog, so this is again a catch-up on a keyboard with no letters. And I keep making typos as a result. Bad keyboard.

Still, yesterday was an 11 mile day. The route selected was a run up the middle of Hastings from the seafront past Sainsbury’s to the Ridge, where I joined the half marathon course and followed it back to site. The first 5.5 miles of the half course was supplemented by 4 miles up the same overall climb, so I kept the pace sensible and in fact slacked behind my 8.40 target to the scale of 15 seconds through mile 4, leaving me 16 seconds behind my virtual man at the top of the hill. But, sensibly with this being a training run and the first time i’ve been over 8 miles since last March (and on the back of 12 midweek miles), I didn’t rush. Just pulled the time back over the next 2 miles and carried on pulling ahead to the finish.

The weather was glorious, sunny and warm with a wind not proving a problem but for the fishing fleet not getting out, hence a load of  “no fish-winds” signs outside the seafront fishmongers (yep, I extended the bottom leg of the run to extend the true half  course to my truncated 11 miles, if that makes sense). Until the last mile into it on the way home, which was a slog. But to get to 10 miles as fresh as I was, I was delighted.

Then, arriving in Walthamstow, I was donated a gift. A “The Stick”. And, being the sceptic I am, I don’t think it works.

But, having had a go last night and a stretch and waking this morning to the words “I’m stiff. I think my legs have seized”, I gave it another go. And. Well, I didn’t realise but 5 minutes later, i’d swear I had someone else’s legs and felt fresh as the proverbial daisy. And still feel amazing 3 hours on. I think there’s magic going on. And i’m going to carry on trying it to prove it.

So, 11 miles, 8.33 average pace, fresh legs, loads of rain over the two days but a gauge in Headcorn and a blog in London so I can’t see it, and general happiness. 2 mince pies yesterday, one of ’em homemade. Yum.

Smart.

Right, 12 miles – I don’t fancy Queensway without a path at all, but much less fancy a loop of the seafront. Any suggestions?

Old Town, my arse

Today, I had the excitement of looking forward to a 6 miler. But unlike my enjoyable runs in the past, up the hills for a 6 mile circuit to Sainsbury’s and back, this one wanted to be a) done at pace and b) in such a style that it didn’t cripple me before my 11 miles around an interesting route on Saturday. Yep, it’s all about the long runs, now.

So, today would be mainly on the seafront.

The sea has been (on the 3 occasions i’ve glimpsed it) the calmest i’ve ever seen it today – it seems a gentle easterly set in and the harbour arm (well, the bit the fishing fleet launches next to, anyway) was sheltering the leeward side, the result being truly flat calm seas along the front. Which made not a jot of difference at 5.30 when I set out, except to bring the temperature down to chilly.

And as I set out eastwards on the first leg of the run, as well as chuckling at the optimistic “Old Town” tat shop names (why the insistence on local traders hoping a name associating things with the “nice”[it’s all relative – this is still Hastings i’m referring to!] part of the town, I have no idea. I guess it’s better than “Shite Town” names, but the trades descriptions acts would at least find them selling appropriate goods with such honesty), I was dismayed to find the tired leg of the run would be into wind.

I was more dismayed, when I turned around, to find the wind on my still cool (only a mile in) back was actually horrible and chilling to the spine. Nuts. Still, looking at the Garmin, it encouraged my time to come down a bit, so it’s not all bad. But again, with my maths on the move calculating how far away from site I should run so the turnaround point brought me back at 6 miles, my fourth mile was the quickest at 7.45 while I didn’t check my pace at all, which in a way is pleasing. But hopefully the incentive to sprint when i’m not paying attention will soon diminish. I didn’t spend anywhere near as much time as usual checking how much I was beating my virtual partner by, but my mile times are consistent (apart from the fourth) to within 5 seconds of each other. Seems i’m finding a pace. Shame it’s 19 seconds a mile quicker than i’d planned to race at.

Ah, well, I can always slow down.

3 miles tomorrow. Another mince pie today. And a banana. And a 360 calorie energy biscuit thing, which was very nice, but I think I over-toasted the pecan nuts – something to address on the next batch.

This marathon training might make me fat, yet!

Go!

Tuesday. Rubbish.

Still, 5.30 came along, I had my running kit on and was headed out the door, so not everything had failed. For some reason the Garmin took 3 attempts and about 2 minutes to get a signal (seemed it could only locate 3 satellites), but when it did, I set off on the busiest 3 miles of my life.

I’ve never seen so many cars on the hilly route through Hastings. I had to stop at the end of the road, the traffic lights, had to use the pedestrian crossing by the park and nearly had to give way at the other end of the park. It was ridiculous, to be honest, and wasn’t good for maintaining a slowish recovery pace after the 8 miles on Sunday.

Which was made worse by averaging 7.51 around it. Hardly relaxing on the hills. But I did time myself for a pace up the steepest hill, finding that after 2.5 miles, I can only maintain an average 8.21 pace up it. Yep, it’s steep.

Still, despite my left shin hurting a bit, I feel fine, will stretch again in a minute, and have just worked out the calorific value of my…SELF MADE ENERGY BARS!

Yep, last night I shopped, bought a new set of scales (the old ones are garage accessories now, after weighing my lead sash weights as I cast them for my windows, as well as weight checking duties while lightening the motorbike), bought far too much cereal and stuff and couldn’t resist knocking it all up into Delias finest recipe to date.

I’ve only nibbled them so far but it tasted ace. I’ll have the first one tomorrow for my 6 miler, but a 2 inch square, by my reckoning (and i’ve not deducted calorific loss during the baking process, I don’t know how much to adjust. Still, it’s all relative, I reckon. Relative to what, I don’t know!) packs in 360 calories. 360! Eat your heart out, shop bought energy bars! In 2″ square! Shit!

So, that’s to look forward to. Along with 6 miles on the Hastings prom.

But I have scared myself – my 3 days i’ve agreed to do as overtime cooincide with an 11, a 12 and a 15 mile run. All of which, unless i’m careful, will end up being around Hastings. I didn’t want too many hils as the miles build up, but hey – I suppose if this week goes ok, i’ll end up doing the half marathon after all. It’ll be a walk in the park after 15 miles on the same roads!

Still on a mince pie a day – might have to take a leaf out of Cathy’s book and bake my own soon, I guess.

Oh, and 1mm of rain over the day. And it’s freezing outside again – ice on the raingauge, crispy grass and everything. That’ll be slippery in the morning.

Ruined

Pain, pain, pain. Not a nice way to start a blog, much less a nice way to feel after tonight’s run.

The day has been odd, having gone quickly but without much fun (little drama either, though, so it’s not all bad). Yesterday was good in parts, but coming away from the greatest girl i’ve ever been privileged to spend so much time with, I got stuck in traffic, so didn’t get home in time for exercise or anything. Thus I was considering swapping tonight’s run for a few weights, but knowing I wanted to shop, too, thought I wouldn’t get around to it, so ran instead.

Now, setting off felt ok – not particularly fresh, but fine. I got massively out paced by a runner along the prom, the guy put about 400m on me over a mile and a half, but by a mile, I was aching a fair bit, by 1.5 miles, my legs properly hurt. I turned around at 2 miles, stopped for a stretch and went back to my old damage limitation style of striding for a bit.

It’s odd. My shins feel ok, my calves are tight but not scarily so, but the connecting tissue that runs up the sides of my lower legs feels tight as hell. Stretching pulls it out, but offers not much relief.

Anyhow, about a mile through the return run, I stopped again and stretched some more then continued home in the new style of running to round things off. And stretched some more. I’m going to have a sensible assessment of leg aching before I run on Wednesday – if it’s dubious, i’ll rest until Thursday and avoid an injury before I really pick things up around Christmas Cathy’s birthday in roper marathon training.

And had another look at the moon and the two planets below it, underlined by the calmer than a calm thing sea. Very nice. But bloody cold. So I went shopping, cooked a nice chilli and now it’s time for bed.

November saw the 4th wettest month for the last 3 years, over twice as wet as last year. Not nice. Now it’s just bloody cold. Might have to turn on the heating soon!

A quick, painful run

I seem to have settled remarkably easily into my run every other day regime, usually reserved for times when I think a race may need preparing for properly…er, about 3 times! Only ther race i’m thinking about isn’t until the end of April and won’t really be treated as a race, more a challenge to see if I can make it round. With the secret hope of a sub-4 hour time. Or 3.36 if i’m honest.

So, after purchasing my race and preparation trainers and receiving the man’s advice on time reducing techniques and then trying them on Sunday’s run, my legs were tight as tight can be on Monday and only eased a touch today. I’ve been stretching and everything, honest! The technique definitely needs practice, but I can see the logic, so tonight I had another go.

Deliberately not looking at my watch again, to assist concentration on technique and not lurching around artificially quickly, I set off after stretching yet again to try and encourage a natural gait. And, for the first mile or so, it worked. My calves were wincing a touch, then my hamstrings felt tight (that’s never happened before, so i’m definitely reaching muscle groups i’ve not developed before), then I even managed to slow down. After the mile, I think I managed to keep the style but lose some pace, which is going to be essential, but at the halfway point, I was ruined.

I stopped, stretched again, then set back off in a damage limitation style for about quarter of a mile before having another go. It felt better, then I alternated my new and old techniques before the final half mile push to the site office. Oh, with another stop and stretch with a mile to go.

Still, back in the office, a good stretch later I felt surprisingly okay. My upper legs feel great, my calf muscles are properly tight, but also certainly better than they used to be when I stopped for a couple of months then ran like a loon again when I realised I ought to be running. They’re certainly on the improvement cycle, not the injury one, so I reckon if I can cope with the initial discomfort, I might be onto a winner. Just got to get good at the technique, then go for a timed run to compare notes and i’ll decide if it’s for me.

Oh, and as I write this, I seem to be listening mostly to hardcore/hard house, so maybe the running style is also reducing my mental age to about 14 again, too. Excel-bloody-lent!

Oh, and I think i’ve managed a whole post without manageing to post anything even mildly offensive about anyone. It’s all good. I like it.

Back to the old school

Looking at my running log, it’s been rest, rest, rest, since the 12th October. Owing to my ability to acquire injuries since I got old, my intention to cure my foot with rest is with the most genuine of hopes.

So, having had a pain free Wednesday a week ago, I put off running for a week; a night out in the week and a need to do grown up, owning a house and arranging my brother’s birthday evening stuff put off my run until tonight. But come about 4 o’clock, I was actually excited. Properly excited.

Still, I needed to finish another odd week at work, so it wasn’t until 5.50 that I got out and put in the first trepidatory paces on a dodgy toe. And the first steps weren’t hopeful. I’ve been rotating boots at work, wearing my DC trainers more than my Etnies (they seem broader but more supportive), even keeping my feet warm with thicker socks, but I think i’m going to have to see someone after all. The seafront beckoned, the wind was strong, the sea was rough but despite all this, there were loads of runners out (mostly wearing masses of clothes – how hot do they want to get? It wasn’t cold, just windy) and I was happy to be there. Oh, and I think I might invest in a Garmin – i’m still struggling to keep to a sensible pace when I want to and wonder if a “training partner” might help.

Still, I paced along to my turnaround point, noted my foot ache, jogged back, saw 3 of the runners i’d passed on the way out now going against the wind, and wondered why my legs felt so fresh after 4 weeks off. Nice. But on returning to the office, my toe nagged without feeling bad, I got home and creamed it to try and continue any healing, thought it felt ok but as the time is now wearing on, the pain is returning so i’m going to see how it feels in the morning and if it’s bad, i’ll seek help. I won’t attempt 26 miles in April in an under-prepared state due to injury, even i’m not that daft.

Oh, and why did I return to the office with a cold old chap? I’ve not noticed a cold pecker before when running through the winter, despite some sleet and snow affected runs, so why now? Very odd. And not even particularly pleasant!

Still, the car count goes on…only 16 to go. Expect a brave decision to be made sometime next week! I’ll be running again before that, though, so it’s all good. Even if my foot does drop off as a result.

No skydiving expected over the weekend, but a forest mountainbike ride should be a laugh in the mud. Hopefully Jogblog will survive the experience too, she’s promised to venture there with me on Sunday – if she blogs that as amusingly as her catbook post, it’ll be worth it for the blog alone!

Mad Monday,running out of time

Wow. The weekend was really good – possibly the nicest skydive ever, all the way down was great with the smoothest landing possible, a great Saturday evening watching some oddball freaks in Islington followed by a bit of DIYWIWBBIWACH (do it yourself well it would be but I was at Cathy’s house), a ride, a fry up, a shopping trip and a new sofa. Got home late but happy, wondering how to pack 5 days exercise into 4 having missed Sunday evening while driving and being out for a celebration on Wednesday.

Well, the intention is to run Monday and Friday, upper body bits Tuesday and Thursday and then pop in a bit of a run at the weekend maybe. Maybe not!

So, after a day at work, I was keen to get going and headed for the hills aiming for a 4.6 mile effort. My toe has been okay of late but my foot does seem to turn over easily at the moment, so the few tight corners on the way out were trepidatory affairs but all was good. I passed the goth/punk type bloke I haven’t seen for aeons (he now sports even bigger earrings, the same black hair and eyeliner but has now progressed to cherry red DM’s rather than big black boots), and felt hungry on the way up the long hill.

I’m always hungry at the moment, a result of having no chocolate for a couple of weeks, I fear. Still, the turnaround point was welcome, I rolled down the hill with no spring in my step at all until I passed the punk/goth man at the bottom of the park, realised I was nearly home so legged it up the last hill and sweated my way out of the office, through Sainsburys all the way to the phone.

Ah, yes. I got in to a bill from British Gas. Wankers. I’ve got £260 credit from being cut off for 9 days. The last bill was 20 quid, they’ve stated i’m still £239 in credit and then send me a final demand for this or a supply termination. Cretins. Still, the man on the complaints line was very patient, even understanding my desire to wedge a meter somewhere dark and brown about his body if I wasn’t obliged with at least a merry apology. Ah, well.

So. 4.6 miles. 104 cars. No rain, but it’s pelting down at Geoff’s. And time for bed. Again.

Oh, and Annette’s been made redundant. Not good news. Especially when her last day is the 9th and her birthday’s on the 2nd. Good luck to her in finding something soon.