Archive for January, 2012

30
Jan
12

p+c+(rx6)=s

It has been a week of accidental laziness, if such a thing can be said to exist. Work and life in general have joined forces to rob me of opportunities to get out and run. Last Sunday I set off early in the morning to get some of what I loosely refer to as “Duathlon Training” done. Basically I go for a cycle and go for a run. A few weeks ago I did a cycle/run so this time I thought I’d try a run/cycle so I did 10.7kms run and then straight onto the bike for 25kms. It didn’t feel too bad and certainly not as tough as doing the cycle first and then transitioning, on wobbly legs, to a run. The acid test will be in a couple of weekends time when I try to recreate the duathlon itself by doing run/cycle/run…something tells me the legs will complain.
So since my outing last Sunday there has been no additional running. There has been lots of work related driving and some work related overnight stays in hotels and very little else. Apart from eating. Mostly pizza. And cake. It was my eldests birthday, you see, and owing to us celebrating it as a family with pizza and cake and also him having a sleepover where him and his friends celebrated with pizza and cake and then us living off the pizza and cake leftovers the day after, the dietary intake has mostly been pizza and cake.
So I really felt I should make an effort this weekend and get out and make up for the laziness and gluttony of the previous 6 days. And here is where I had a pleasant surprise. I set off on my run with a vague route in mind but, a few kilometres into the run, felt I should extend it a bit as I was feeling particularly fresh. Another few kms in and I was still feeling good so deviated some more. What I had set out planning to be a 12kms run soon metamorphosised into a 17.5km run and the only reason I stopped at 17.5kms was that a friend was coming over for lunch and I needed to get back home. I felt I could have easily run 21kms, possibly more.
Which is how I came up with the above formula for the title of this blog:
P=pizza, C=cake, R=rest and S=stamina
So copious amounts of pizza and large quantities of cake combined with 6 days of no exercise gave me the stamina to run 17.5kms without feeling weary.
I think I’m onto something here…

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14
Jan
12

darkness

With Grim Night Terror less than 3 weeks away, I decided now was as good a time as ever to order a proper head torch. I had a silly little one that was enough to use for changing a fuse in the dark but nowhere near substantial for an 8 mile run around MOD property in the pitch black.

So good old ebay was trawled and a suitably cheap (£12) and suitably bright alternative was purchased. Once it arrived, there was nothing for it but to take it for a night time test run. Out and back along the canal towpath should do the trick so I set off a little after 5pm for an 11km trot. I was worried that the light would slip off my head once I began to work up a sweat but it stayed put and worked admirably. The only modification required was a dab of Blu Tac to hold the adjustable lens in position – a trick discovered whilst training for last years Dunwich Dynamo. 

There was something very peaceful about running along in the darkness with only about 3 metres ahead visible. Bushes to the right of me faded away into the darkness and to the left of me there was about a metre of mud and grass before it all dropped away into the inky (and no doubt icy) blackness of water flowing along the canal. Steam from my breath occasionally caught the beam from the headtorch creating ghostly glows in front of my eyes. It was all very surreal.

Good fun though… and now I’m looking forward to Grim even more than I was. I just need to find something to strap my (weak) right ankle as if I can twist it running Grim in the daytime, imagine the damage I could do to myself in the dark.

Soundtrack to this post: Orbital – Dr Who

08
Jan
12

maintenance

A glance at my last post indicates that it is a while since I last blogged. So to bring us up to date I wish you all a Very Merry Christmas. And a Happy New Year. If I’d have left it any longer, I’d be about to wish you a great Easter too but fortunately here I am.
Christmas was good and very busy socially and I felt I should take time to wind down a little so subsequently eased off of the blogging. I’ve still been running though, just nothing exceptional. 10 to 12kms every 3 or so days just to keep me in practice and to ward off the advent of the “Cheese Baby” that I could potentially have looked like I was about to give birth to.
I knew I had eaten a lot (although not perhaps as much as previous years) so did something that I very rarely do… weighed myself. I was prepared for the worst so was very happy to find that all of Xmas’s excesses had only culminated in an additional 2kgs on top of my average normal weight. To be honest, I would have been surprised at anything under 5kgs so 2 kilos seemed like a pittance.
Over the Xmas break, I signed up for the Marlow Duathlon in March. I’ve decided this year will not be a year of many races and instead I shall attempt things that are a little out of the ordinary of things that I haven’t done before so a Duathlon seemed as good a place as any to start. I also plan to do the running bits in the Vibrams and the cycling bit on the single speed… I’ve a feeling I may incur the wrath of the “serious” duathletes but I just want to enjoy it as much as possible and I’m not too hung up on how long it takes me to finish. With that in mind, I was laying in bed last night just before falling asleep and decided that today would be a good day to do my first bit of Duathlon specific training. I would get up and take the bike out for a spin and then return, change shoes and go straight back out and run.
It took a little will power this morning when I awoke to a chilly and overcast Sunday morning, but 1 capuccino later I was ready to take on the world. I prepared everything (bottle of juice for my “transition”, change of shoes, cycling helmet) and grabbed the bike from the garage. I’d decided on a 20km ride followed by a 10k run (the actual race is 7k run / 25k bike / 7k run) so jumped on the bike, hit start on the Garmin and set off on a vague idea of a route that I thought would cover about 20km. It was mostly winding country roads and once the initial chill of the January morning was overcome, it was a very pleasant ride. I pushed where I felt I wanted to but just concentrated on maintaining and steady but quickish pace. I arrived back at my garage after 21.25km, eased the bike back into position past the other bikes and my motorbike, changed into the Vibrams, swigged at the juice in my bottle, locked the garage and was on my way again. The shift from bike to run was the hardest bit of the whole exercise and felt a bit like Bambi as my wobbly legs struggled to go from a circular motion to a stride. Once the legs remembered what they were supposed to be doing, the running felt slow but steady and I soon got into a comfortable pace. I knew the route I was going to run (my usual out and back 10-12k) so turned off the brain and daydreamed my way through the next 11kms.
At the end, I felt better than I had expected. No worse in fact than if I had just done the run on it’s own. The overall distance was 7kms short of the real thing (4kms bike and 3kms run shy) but the 25km ride is topped and tailed with 7kms of running at either end and that is what I must tackle next. It’s all very well to attempt a run after a cycle but imagine that will feel an auful lot different if I have already run 7kms before the cycle and then have to go and do it again. Still, time will tell and today’s little excursion has boosted my confidence and given me an insight into what I still need to work on next time.

Soundtrack to this post: Louis Prima – Jump, Jive An’ Wail




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