January – Time To Get Serious

Bitton Railway Station is handily positioned at the 10 mile point on my Bath to Bristol Cycleway route.

A couple of weeks ago I ran 20 miles. It’s been a long time since that happened and even though was a little sore and tired afterwards, I still felt good and happy to have had that experience. Getting back into a regular routine is taking a long time and I get it together for a few days and then there is a break as my attention gets consumed by other projects. Running has been down to once or twice a week/ten days for quite some time now but recently the urge to run has been growing again.

Yesterday I ran for an hour up on the Downs and am planning on running again in a few minutes for an hour again. Tomorrow there is a Parkrun up at Ashton Court so  that will be 2 plus hours of running. Using shorter races to give myself little stations along the way will, I hope, give me some further inspiration.

I have an account on Fetch and they have useful tools for keeping a training log. Also a nice little tool to map my route so today I found out how long my basic route is and how long it takes. It turns out that its almost exactly 5 miles and today I made sure it was a standard run against which to compare other runs. Today took 49 mins as opposed to yesterdays run where I stopped to stretch and massage my calves and which took 54 mins.

Even though it seems a little slow for the effort, its not so much the time I am concerned with as with putting the miles in on a consistent basis. Lately I have had all kinds of ideas to help stretch the envelope and get some long runs in. The weather is quite mild at the moment so we’ll see what happens over the next few weeks.

Ottawa Self-Transcendence 2 Mile Race

multidays.com logoThis post is by way of celebrating several things that happened today beginning with the 2 mile run along the Canal. Due to various events taking place this weekend, only Caitlin and I were at the starting line this morning. I thought it was going to be a solo performance and I rolled up early, for a change, yet something stayed my feet as I waited and waited not knowing what the time was and not knowing why I was waiting until I looked up and saw someone running overhead on the bridge looking down.

Company changes things. It turned from a solo jog into a situation where I had to try my best. It usually turns out that way anyway but now there’s an independent witness. It wasn’t a competition, I wasn’t racing Caitlin but she helped bring that something to the fore a little quicker. I ran 14:28 and Caitlin ran 20:03 a little slower than last week but as I haven’t been running much lately, anything will do.

The other thing is that this blog has moved today from its old stomping ground in a sub directory as a separate instance of WP to its new location – its own subdomain on Multidays.com. Its hard to figure out how many people actually read this poor specimen of a blog but now the website has the capacity to create blogs I am extending an offer to runners who would like to keep a free running blog – sign up and create their own space on Multidays.com.

20 km runs

Last weekend I managed three 20 km runs in 3 days two at Ashton Court and one out along the BBC with Suswara. Since then I haven’t made it out which should be of some concern as I have signed up for the Gothenburg 6 day race in Sweden. The race is free to non-Scandinavians which is how I am able to go and of course thanks to Ryanair for their cheap flights. The race starts on August 30th at 09:00 and some great runners have signed up and will be great to chat with.I made a post on the front page of multidays.com. Pam Storey will be going as well. It will interesting to see how she gets on.

Assuming I make it to the start, this will be my first 6 day race and something I have been wanting to do for some time so I am looking forward to next Saturday.
I discovered my best 6 day split is 584 km but I have no idea if I will be able to run myself into shape enough to top that. I would be very happy with 360 miles right now.

Salisbury 5-4-3-2-1 – 20 Km Trail Race 2009

Last Sunday the whole house ventured to Salisbury along with Cardiff compatriots Garga and Kokila to make a Sri Chinmoy Athletics Cub outing and we all ran the Salisbury 5-4-3-2-1 20 km race – all bar Garga who’s injured at the moment. Nice morning turned out to be quite hot as we set off under clear skies to run on trails and roads around the old town of Salisbury, famous for the proximity of Stonehenge which lies on Salisbury Plain, 8 miles to the north.
Kokila warned at the start to take as much water as was available at the aid stations and by the time we had climbed Old Sarum I was wishing I had brought my hydration pack as it was really warming up. The trail at that point was a foot-wide narrow rut and was a great opportunity to run in my North Face Voza shoes that I am currently reviewing and I had no problems with any feet issues.
The course runs along public footpaths and roads, bridleways and even (possibly) some private land. Every now and again the hedge would shrink and we were treated to some beautiful Wiltshire landscapes. The great weather enhanced the feeling that this was indeed summer… after all the recent rain and the greeness of life was tangible especially in the shaded section before and up to the 6 mile checkpoint. Coming down off the ridge the course came back into Salisbury along some water ways, idyllic scenes especially at one large castle like property that we came to after crossing a small bridge across a river full of lillies and a pair of swans.

I had started out a little faster than I should have and I guess I slowed a little as in the last quarter, 4-5 people went past me looking very strong but I hung on getting a little disoriented in the last mile but finished chasing a team from Totton RC, just edging the two ladies in a time of 2:00:27, good enough for 50th spot and 3rd in my category. Mark came home first in the team with 01:49:29, 24th overall. Suswara had a spectacular result with a time of 02:02:53 and somehow coming in first place in his category, LV35 and 12th female overall!! He still hasn’t explained how he managed it. Kokila had a great run finishing in 02:37:54 and still smiling. However Kokila also was involved in transgendering as she was listed as MV40, 80th in “his” category.

Afterward we decided to get a shower in the Leisure Centre, conveniently located nearby and I realised I had not brought my towel due to a lost wallet situation prior to departure. However, shower was imperative and worry about drying afterward so jumped in and cleaned up and the only thing I felt I could use was my cotton socks. It worked!!! Hard to believe but I managed to dry myself with a pair of cotton ankle-quarters. Then I wrang them out, put them on with my sandals and sat in the sun for half an hour having a post race picnic and by the time we’d had coffee and got back to the car, they were dry again. I love cotton socks.

Race website: www.salisburyfirestation.info
Race Results:20 km

Sundays

Last Sunday squeezed another 20 miler in on the BBC. Bitton is the goal and this week was not as hot as last. Last week I blew up on the way home just coming out of the Staple Hill tunnel – a 45 minute run home. This week with a slower but steadier, more relaxed pace I arrived home just a little bit tired but not completely wiped out as I have been feeling recently.
So this makes it three 20 milers in a row which is something to be happy about though weekly mileage is still very low.

Long Run