Archive for February, 2010

28
Feb
10

richmond park 10k race report

Late Nights And Early Mornings – Technology Free – Sweat, Sweets And Soviets

After finishing work at 23.20 on Friday night and chucking (hopefully) all my running gear into a bag before going to bed, the thought of getting up at 6am in preparation for a 10k round Richmond Park did not fill me with happiness. And a combination of sunny spells, showers and outright downpours on my drive to South West London did little to lift my spirits. Once I arrived at Hauling My Carcass’s to find the coffee machine hot and toast on the go, my outlook took a turn for the better. 2nd breakfast of the day out of the way and it was a short drive to Richmond Park to register and then loiter around before the race started at 10.15. Strangely, every time we stepped out of the car, it began to rain so registration was carried out quickly and then we hurried back to the car until just before 10. The 5k set off before us and then the 10k’ers were set off in groups of about 30 – a staggered start at about 30 second intervals. Because the park is not closed for the race, it is a little odd to have to avoid walkers, cyclists, dogs etc as you make your way around the course and Richmond Park undulates more than you imagine it would.

The race itself was 2 laps of a 5k loop – nice as you knew what was coming on the second lap and where you could push and where you could relax a little. The distance markers were a little random although the overall distance seemed about right. Unfortunately, my Garmin decided it didn’t want to play today and refused to be switched on despite being fully charged from the day before The race itself is a good mix of path, trail and grass and has a balance of gentle inclines and declines. As the Garmin had packed up, and as it was a relatively short distance, I had opted to not listen to my mp3 player so my race was carried out with a refreshing absence of technology. I found myself singing songs to myself in my head and keeping a nice rhythm with a syncopation of breathing and pounding of feet. This was my first race of the year and up until last week I had been unable to run 10km without pain in my leg so my plan was just to finish without walking and without any pain – which was accomplished in just under 57 mins. Hauling My Carcass bagged a personal best shaving about 5 seconds off his time so a good result for both of us.

Once over the finish line, we received a nice little medal (which, fabulously, resembles a Soviet propaganda poster from the sixties with an engraving of a male and a female running purposefully into a brighter tomorrow!!). There was also water, half a banana for each runner and, best of all, a bowl of sweets containing chocolate raisins and jelly beans. So – a race in London that feels like a local day out, a friendly atmosphere, 200ish fellow runners, a nice medal and sweets at the finish all served to make this a very enjoyable way to spend a Saturday morning.

Soundtrack to this post: La Valse D’Amelie – Yann Tiersen

21
Feb
10

sense of humour failure

Misery Guts – A Carbon Footprint The Size Of A Country – Richmond Or Bust

I have been absolutely horrible the last couple of weeks. Moping around, growling at people, face like a smacked arse etc. And I think the reason for this was 2 fold. Firstly, work. Having to deal with people that either a) couldn’t care or b) are too stupid to understand what needs to be done, is one of the singularly most frustrating things. Fortunately, I rang a colleague and pleaded with them to help me out with something and they went out of their way to give me a hand. So, thanks for restoring a bit of my faith even if I did have to get up super-early and drive literally half way across the country for the help. So having spent a good portion of the week in the car and having covered just shy of 1000 miles in 5 days, it brings me nicely on to my second reason: Not running. After an absolutely horrible day, the first thing I would want to do would be get out for a run. Preferably with something unlistenable playing on the headphones at a mind-shearing volume to “exorcise the demon”. And I’d go out and run as far / fast as I could and I’d get home exhilerated and too tired to care about some nonsense that happened at work. But I haven’t done this in a few weeks because of the silly little injury that keeps threatening to get better, then comes back, then creeps away but may come back and stops me running the Wokingham Half Marathon today because I am woefully ill prepared due to being unable to train and unwilling to risk taking part in case I make it worse and I can’t run in Lisbon.

But I did do it Friday evening. I’d managed to get back from work whilst it was still light. I had spent 14 hours in the car in the previous 36 hours, my left leg was feeling pretty good and so I just seized the moment. And it was great. It wasn’t fast, but it was fun and at almost 11k without stopping to stretch and without any pain from the left knee, I felt pretty good. 10k split time was 58:40 which I was happy with as I just wanted to get some distance done and also boost my confidence a little as I was beginning to worry that even the Richmond Park 10k this Saturday may be beyond me.

I did plan to get another 10-12k done today but the lure of spending the day with the family and an “all you can eat world-cuisine” buffet took preference.

Soundtrack to this post: Fugazi – Give Me The Cure

14
Feb
10

two fives are ten

Unauthorised Absences And Disappointing Distances – Who’s The Daddy – Anger F**king Management

Haven’t blogged for a while. Haven’t run for a while. Although I did go out for a run with an (understanding) friend of mine last Sunday and managed a fairly poor 8km. Except the left leg was hurting from about 4km and I returned home feeling a bit dejected. It was so poor that I decided not to blog about it.

And I’ve finally admitted to myself that I’m definitely out of the Wokingham Half next weekend but have a few things in the pipeline to give me something to aim for.

Firstly, after Hauling My Carcass’ wonderful announcement about his impending fatherhood, his LG very kindly offered me her place in the Richmond 10km on 27th Feb. After a few hasty e-mails back and forth between myself and HMC and the organisers of the race, they very graciously said I could run in LG’s place. My race number arrived midweek and, unusually, has not only the number but the runners name printed on it. Except mine has the runners number, the runners name crossed out and mine written in marker pen. Still, I get to run a 10km so a big thanks to David at The Fix UK for sorting out the entry. I’ve also been busy filling out entry forms for another couple of races – The Wheathampstead 10km which some of you will remember I tackled last year. There is a 2k before hand which last year I ran with SonNumberOne. This year, I shall be running it with SonNumberOne and SonNumberTwo and Mrs Eatingtrees which I am really looking forward to. I’ve also signed up for the Hertford 10km which I got accidentally caught up in a couple of years ago whilst I was out training and was completely oblivious to the race that was going on around me. Currently, 10km is all I feel confident in signing up for as I haven’t fully sorted out my dodgy left leg, but…

Today I felt I should try and get out for a run. After an incredibly frustrating week at work, I wanted to get out and expend some nervous energy. I bashed out about 6 miles on the fixie yesterday and planned on a 10km run today. And I kind of managed it. It wasn’t exactly 2 x 5km runs, it was a 5.8km run, a stop and stretch, a 5 min walk and then a 4.2km run. So I actually did more than 10km but only 10km was run so that’s all that counts!! And I returned home relatively pain free and without the urge to scream and throttle anybody that mentioned that I have to leave the house at 6.30am tomorrow morning for a 7 hour round trip to Leeds for a meeting. Aaaah, therapy…

Soundtrack to this post: Massive Attack – Splitting The Atom

01
Feb
10

this is davina – don’t swear

2k Too Far – Quicker Sorer or Slower Colder – Portugeasy Does It

I didn’t want this entry to be an expletive riddled rant that would shock Gordon-f***ing-Ramsay so waited a few days before typing to see if the situation had improved. And it has. A bit.

Saturday’s 12km run was a cold and uncomfortable affair after the dusting of snow that fell Friday night and then froze solid Saturday morning. I’d set off along the canal towpath thinking that it would be more sheltered only to discover that it wasn’t anymore sheltered and was probably a little more treacherous than the paths and roads that I could have chosen for my route.

The first 7kms seemed quite easy despite having to watch my footing and keep a look out for icy patches but something wasn’t right. I had been feeling confident after my 10kms a few days prior but had still strapped up the knee, taken some pre-emptive Ibuprofen and smothered my left leg in freeze gel. Despite all this, by 8kms, my left leg was sore. Very sore. I had a dilemma as I was 4kms from home and it was freezing. Running was barely keeping me warm so stopping to walk would have meant that I got very cold very quickly and it would have been a long, slow, bitterly cold walk home. The alternative was to keep running, stay warmer, get home quicker but with a left leg that seemed to be getting more painful by the minute. I chose the latter and spent the next 4kms doing a strange grimacey running limp back home.

Once back home, the leg hurt like hell and I spent much of that evening hobbling around and cursing. It feels a lot like the Illiotibial Band again but coupled with a strange, hamstring type ache at the back of the left knee. And the kneecap itself feels quite tender.

The last few days has seen an improvement but there are definitely still twinges around the knee and the back of the calf when faced with stairs and walking after a period of sitting. All of which is really annoying. After last weeks 10km, I was positive I could slowly build up my distance. Now it looks like I will have to stop completely for a while, try and stretch and ice etc. and then start again from a much reduced distance. It is very frustrating as I hate it when my body stops working properly and reminds me that it’s not actually indestructible. It is doubly frustrating as I think I may now have to duck out of the Wokingham Half and concentrate on getting fit for Lisbon.

Soundtrack to this post: Can – Vitamin C




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