Posts Tagged ‘Slow

02
Feb
14

time out

No run for me last weekend. Low-level chest infection coupled with horrible, pouring rain meant that I had time to do a little research about a potential new bicycle purchase. The internet was trawled, bicycle retail establishments visited, hands were wrung. More of this later…

So yesterday, Saturday, I went out for 12km and found it hard going. It was slow and the lungs struggled for the first 5k – to be honest it felt more like a month that I had missed rather than 10 days without a run. However, I returned home, showered and then felt right as rain in no time. Ready for the afternoon..

An afternoon in which I was to collect my new bike!

I had been toying with the idea of a new bicycle for a while and that usually is quite a long process. It goes something along the lines of… research, read reviews, re-evaluate how much I want to spend, ask around, research some more, find something that catches your eye, ignore all previous research and buy on gut feeling. I ended up buying a second hand Boardman CX Team cyclocross bike off of ebay which came strongly recommended by a friend of mine who knows about these things. I collected it on Saturday afternoon and was itching to get out on it to see how it rode.

Sunday morning was almost perfect as long as I stayed out of the headwind and the bike does not disappoint. Silky smooth on the road, even on knobbly cyclocross tyres, and real fun to ride. I am used to using the singlespeed and was concerned that the noise of the derailleur would bother me but it is almost silent and is so much fun to ride that I extended my “quick trial” to just shy of 30 miles of grin inducing pedalling.

So, I know that me banging on about cycling is a little off topic but I suppose the tenuous link to running is that it should hopefully improve my cadence and my stamina and I’ll lose some weight and I’ll become faster. Or not. Who cares?

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17
Jun
13

headwind / headache

 

As part of the planned training for the Dunwich Dynamo, Hauling My Carcass and I always undertake at least one long(ish) training ride. Looking back at the training rides that we have done, every single one has caused us some problems – the first year, HMC was struggling. Last year we got a little, ahem, mis-routed and ended up not only cycling further than we had planned (144kms) but also called it a day at one point and caught the train back. This year, we had planned a round trip to Cambridge – 120kms in total that had been whittled down from a 140km+ route that I had devised. Hauling My Carcass had been eyeing the weather forecast and there was a headwind that we would be riding into for the whole of the return leg so we erred on the side of caution.

 

And it all started so well… HMC arriving at mine just before 8am, a quick espresso and we were off – up the first hill and out of my home town. The first 10kms or so were on fairly busy roads and the world was beginning to wake up so we rode single file. As we got further off the main roads we could ride side by side and chat. A constant side wind from the left made the route tougher than expected but before long, we were arriving in Cambridge. We stopped in a park for lunch and got chatting to an old guy on a hybrid / mountain bike who stopped to ask us for directions before launching into long tales of his years of riding bikes across the UK and abroad.

 

Once we had finished lunch, we were off again and on our way back out of Cambridge. Before very long it was evident that HMC’s prediction of a strong headwind all the way home was horribly accurate. A nasty constant headwind with quite violent gusts saw us slow to a crawl and all the banter and chat of the mornings ride soon dissipated. We realised what we were up against when we found ourselves having to pedal downhill…

 

Meanwhile, what was making things worse (for me) was a creeping headache and feeling of nausea that was slowly getting worse. I began to drop behind. I felt awful and thought I was going to be sick. Another 30km and it began to rain – we discussed cutting the ride short. I was still riding slowly, taking deep breaths and trying not to throw up. It was all I could do to keep the pedals turning. HMC would ride ahead and then have to wait for me to catch up. With about 20kms still to go, the headache and nausea began to retreat just as the heavens opened and it absolutely bucketed down. Thunder was rumbling around and we were both covered in mud that was being thrown up from the track that we were cycling on. A final check of the route and we were back at mine just as the rain began to ease. Without the inclement weather and me feeling unwell it would have been a great route to cycle but the combination of headwind and sickness took all of the fun out of it.

 

And then a run on Sunday morning instigated a full blown Migraine and I suspect it was the early stages of this that had caused me to feel so wretched on the ride the day before. I resigned myself to it and went to bed.

 

So a big thank you to HMC who, even in the pissing rain, waited for me as I dragged my sorry self 60 odd kilometres back from Cambridge. And, now at least I have experienced the truly unpleasant whilst on a training ride – which hopefully is good preparation should it happen again.

 

01
Apr
12

not training

Nope. Not me… No siree. I am still somewhat in denial about The Berlin Marathon and being a paid up and accepted competitor and all that… I know I have a place but it seems like a very long way off and I haven’t really admitted to myself that in 6 months time I now plan to do something that I never intended to attempt and run 26.2 miles.

However, there has been a little nagging internal voice that had piped up around the time I finished the Marlow Duathlon a couple of weeks back. “You always run the same route.” it whined, “Always 10-11k. I bet you can’t even run any further you’ve run it so often” it sneered. That coupled with myself and Hauling My Carcass discussing Marathon training plans had given me a bit of a kick up the behind but I definitely wasn’t “training” yet… just attempting a few “longer runs”.

So last Sunday, with the sun shining, I set off on a “longer run” which felt surprisingly good. 18.5kms in a big arcing loop taking in some horrible hills and leaving me weary for the rest of the day. Then, a day working from home mid-week afforded me the opportunity to get out for a lunchtime 10k on what turned out to be the hottest day of the year so far. It was horrible as I had taken nothing to drink and by about the 5k mark, I felt like my mouth had dried up and my throat was lined solely with dust and pollen.

The weather forecast for this Sunday said that it would be sunny but only 11 degrees… perfect for another long run. But this time, I was not going to be caught out and took with me a bottle of Lucozade Sport. When I set off, I wondered if my optimistic choice of t-shirt and shorts was perhaps a little, erm, sparse for 11 degrees but I soon warmed up, the feeling in my freezing cold hands returned and I hunkered down and enjoyed the relaxed pace of the run. I sort of fancied about 20k, but as I neared 18km, I still felt relatively fresh and thought that it would be a shame to miss out on running a half marathon distance so amended my mental route map to incorporate a couple of loops and turns to bring the final distance to exactly 21.1kms. At 2 hours and 5 minutes, it was never going to set the world alight but has given me a little confidence boost as it proved that 1) I can still run a half marathon on no real training, 2) taking something to drink is probably a good idea on long and/or hot runs and 3) I didn’t feel wretched at the end of it so I may have a little more to give beyond the 13 mile mark. Admittedly, at the end of my run, I didn’t feel like doing another 13 mile lap but that’s what the training is for. And I haven’t started that yet.

Soundtrack to this post: Aswad – Dub Fire

13
Feb
12

miserable

Everyone gets their fair share of crappy runs. I had one of mine yesterday. After the mild euphoria of my unplanned long(ish) run a couple of Sundays back and then the absurdity of running in the dark and the snow at Grim I came back to Earth with a plop this week. This last week the snow has meant that there was very little I could do in the way of running… normally snow does not stop me from getting out but this was particularly nasty as after the first day it hardened into some kind of superslippery perma-frost which was almost impossible to run on. Then, a little later in the week, another flurry meant that there was a deceptively soft fluffy layer on top of the hard ice beneath. Not running weather.
Becoming increasingly frustrated at not being able to get out and run, I vowed to myself that Sunday morning, come hell or high water, I would venture out. So I wrapped up (hat, buff, 2 x long sleeve tops, gloves, tights, shorts etc) and set off.
And I really wanted to enjoy my first run in a week but failed. Within minutes of me leaving the house, in addition to the black ice under foot, everything seemed to become grey as a misty, drizzley moistness hung in the air, dampening everything including my spirits. Hertfordshire Council seemed to have been caught out by the long predicted cold snap that the media had been threatening for weeks and neglected to grit or clear any of the pathways. The frequent slippery patches meant that some parts of my normal route would be impassable so I had to stick to a workmanlike “out and back” along the main road. Even so, the ice under foot did at points have me tottering like a tipsy lady in too high stilletoes.
So an uninspired and uninspirational 11.6kms and the best thing about it was getting home and getting in the shower. Pah! Things can only get better…

14
Nov
10

two days, two runs

Unheard of outside of Juneathon. But that’s how the dice of fate fell and who can argue with the dice.

Friday was a magnificent day which saw me getting up early to perform my duties as “Ring Bearer” at the marriage of two of of my favourite people. It was a excellent service with only close friends and family in attendance so felt very privileged to be there to witness it all. As with all weddings, food played a part so it was fortunate that I had arranged to go out for a run with my brother-in-law the following day or else I would have been wracked with guilt about the enormous amount I ate at the wedding. Ordinarilly, I would have been reticent about a run with the bro-in-law… he has been running far longer than I have and is the veteran of two New York City Marathons. Fortunately for me, he is recovering from a series of cortisone injections for an ankle injury so I stood at least a fighting chance of keeping up with him. He has moved to the town I grew up in so wanted me to show him where he could run in the local woodland. It was a good chance for me to not only run in different surroundings and with someone but also across terrain more similar to what I will experience at Grim in 3 weeks time. We took it slowly (he still has pain if he runs too far too fast) but completed 7.5 kilometres cross country and it felt good to be running and chatting. We will definitely do it again.
Sunday mornings run was another short one coming in at 8.75kms… this one cut necessarily short by road closures due to Memorial Services so my route was decided on the fly depending on which pathways were still free for me to run down. It was faster than Saturdays run and less than a kilometre longer but felt much harder. Maybe my perceived effort is less when I have the distraction of someone to run with. So it has now been 3 runs in a row where timing has been ignored… I know I am not particularly fast and appear to run at almost the same pace regardless of how I push so for now I’m happy just sticking to concentrating on my running form and having fun.

Soundtrack to this post: The Young Gods – Lucidogen

14
Oct
10

must… go… faster…

72 hours of inactivity was all I could endure as it had been a fairly frustrating few days and I always feel more inclined to get out and run if I have some frustrations to get rid of. It was getting dark when I set off and I was curious to see how quickly I could run 10k based on my Half Marathon experience and the recent cheeky barefoot 5k. I set off vowing to run 5k, turn round and come back the same way. It just so happened that the 5k point came right at the bottom of the hill I had just run down so had to turn on my heels and run straight back up. I felt like I was pushing hard every step of the way but by the time I had wound my way back to where I started my run (adding in a little loop just to get me to exactly 10k), I hit stop on the Garmin and was disappointed to see that it had taken me 55:36 when it had felt so much faster. Mrs eatingtrees did point out that I had run 13.1 miles 3 days earlier but I still felt it should have been quicker. I now have a new goal – to get my 10k time down to under 55mins and with the RPH out of the way, a new goal is just what I need.

Soundtrack to this post: Altern8 – Evapor8

10
Oct
10

royal parks half: race report – the older I get, the better I was

Just back from this year’s Royal Parks Half Marathon. Anyone who wants a full race report can look here as this is the third time I have run this race and, as the course and much of the logistics of the day are the same as previous years, I won’t bore you with the details. Having said that, it is still one of my favourite races and this one was no exception.
This was the first year that I have run it without Hauling My Carcass, although I wasn’t entirely alone as my friend Dianne (author of the “Juneathon-Only” running blog Hotshoeshuffle) was also running today so we decided to keep each other company pre & post race. It was overcast and a little misty whilst waiting for the start and I did feel a bit of a tit wearing sunglasses but the Met Office had forecast that it would be sunny by 10.30 so I was just, like a good boy scout, being prepared.
Unusually for me, I’d also prepared a race playlist on the MP3 player, even going so far as to predict how long it would take me to complete and picking a slower, more relaxing track for around 7 miles before cueing up all kinds of insanity for the second half where I knew I’d need something with a bit of aggression to keep me going.
It took me longer than normal to get through the start this year (nearly 6 minutes as opposed to about 2 mins on previous years) but once on the course it seemed to thin out quickly. Running through Admiralty Arch then out over Westminster Bridge before turning and coming back straight towards the Houses of Parliament & Big Ben is still exhilirating and, as it occurs at the beginning of the race, I was able to take it all in and enjoy it. As I did with the run down the Mall towards Buckingham Palace. It was only once I re-entered the Parks that I really just zoned out and ran. I was oblivious to everything except the ground about 5 metres in front of me and the music. Which sounds like I was struggling but I really wasn’t… just maintaining. 10k was ticked off in just under 56 minutes and then 10 miles passed at 1:33. And it was only at the 10 mile mark that I began to start to want it to finish. There are a few uphill gradients through the park and they had begun to take their toll. So I just pushed on. It was clear by about 12 miles that the sub 2hr time I wanted was not going to happen but I was just happy to be nearing the end and kept going. The last 1000 meters is a horrible, long, optical illusion as it is a straight road to the finish which is visible long before it is sprintable and therefore feels like you’re never going to get there. Each time you look up and expect it to appear closer and yet it still looks as far away as it did a minute ago.
I crossed the line in 2:05:06 and, although it was 5 minutes and 7 seconds slower than I was aiming for, I wasn’t disappointed. The last 3 miles had beaten me and I know that with a bit more preparation, I could have finished quicker. Although, the first 10k felt easy so I am confident that with a bit of work, a new 10k pb is possible (sub-55mins). And it may even be a barefoot 10k as I think the next 10k I tackle will be in the VFF’s (weather permitting).

Incidentally, Ms. Hotshoeshuffle ran a blinder and finished in 1:55. Ooh, and there is a new “leaf-shaped” medal,too!

As I ran towards Buckingham Palace earlier today, this is what was on the MP3 player…

Soundtrack to this post: Gallows – London Is The Reason




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