Friday, November 28, 2008

Stepping up

Deprived of swim buddy Jenna, I went to step at lunchtime for old times' sake. It was fun, although the routines aren't as complex as they used to be which is a shame. But I think I'll try and shuffle swimming to another day and keep coming to the class, as it's something a bit different. I reckon my calves and abs will ache tomorrow!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thank goodness for friends!

Easy run tonight in preparation for half marathon exertions over the weekend (organising, not running, for most of us), a familiar route via Bluebell and Unthank. I had to pause on Unthank, visited the lovely Alex to make use of her facilities since I really couldn't run any more, and then resumed. Was slightly concerned when I failed to catch the rest of the group: they should have gone South Park - Bluebell - North Park, so I went down North Park planning to meet them coming the other way. Saw the fast guys who were doing 3 min efforts (x10!!!), but none of my group. Oh well - continued to Bluebell and then to Fiveways and in that way. Turns out the other guys did Christchurch instead of the ring road, and back on the Avenues for a shorter run.

My run totalled 4.8 miles and on the watch I think I had 43 minutes or so (I reset it without really making a note) which would make a smidgen under 9:00/mile. OK, so I had a break in the middle but that seems quite quick, so maybe it was longer. It was defnitely 40-something though, and I did feel I was going quite well.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Recovery run

Nice short run post-Hereward. Went pretty well until I needed the loo, as always on the Avenues heading home. Had to give up and walk on Cow Drive. Overall run was about 4 miles and average about 10 min miles.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Hereward - 75% there!

In more ways than one.

Poor Simon, who only stepped in at the last moment to cover for Andrew, was laid low with some nasty bug overnight and couldn't run. But the three of us remaining (me, Rosie, Rob) decided to go for it anyway - we were already up, ready to go at 6am, what else were we going to do?

Also this race gave me a chance to run leg 3 of 4, so the master plan to do all the way from Peterborough to Ely is 75% complete.

The weather was, er, changeable. We started the journey in snow, following yesterday's flurry and overnight freeze. South of Attleborough the snow faded away, and the north of Huntingdon, it started to rain. At Peterborough it turned into icy drizzle, and Rosie and I left the multi-layered Rob to warm up and start the race while we navigated to March.

By March the icy drizzle was turning to sleet. After a pit stop in the stinky leisure centre (sorry, but it was) we waited out on the playing field, where it intensified to hail. Ow.

Rob came in in about 47 minutes (results TBC), and Rosie set off. Once we'd convinced the car to start, the hail had turned to fluffy snow, and was settling on the road. Negotiating a roundabout on the way out almost got interesting, and the journey to Whittlesey was conducted at 35mph with not much of the famous wide-open fenland views on display. However, as we sat and waited in the car park, it cleared a bit, although by now there was half an inch or more of snow/slush underfoot.

Turns out we waited a bit too long, as upon sauntering over to the changeover I was met by the already-arrived Rosie. No warm up for me, just time to throw her my fleece and set off. That was OK - plenty of time to warm up en route really. Having had Rob and Rosie running ahead of me, I was up with the faster teams, and I reckon I was overtaken by at least 20-25 people over the nearly-11 miles. That was slightly depressing, but I just had to knuckle down and run my own race. However, everybody was friendly and encouraging, in a shared "why do we do this??" kind of way. I reckon it was almost 50% on hard or compacted surfaces (with snow) and the rest on mud and field margins (with snow). Next year I need trail shoes, as over some parts I barely had traction.

It wasn't the greatest run - starting off-road took more out of me than I thought, and by the time I hit the farm tracks around 6k I was already getting tired, but picked up a bit on the harder surface. The field edges about halfway really took it out of me, but my attempt at refuelling with jelly babies led to ickiness and stitch so I abandoned that. Just before 12k I gave in and pit-stopped behind some trees (the best cover available), but ran better after that, although found the rough tractor tyre tracks hard going. Finally at 13k we hit the road for the last time, but I didn't feel I had much left, despite the lovely encouragement from everyone passing. I'll even forgive the guy who said "last km" with a mile left. At 17.6km the village hall hove into view and I was extremely glad to see it (even just staved off the last potential overtaker).

However, I did have the best weather. It was clear all the way, great views over the monochrome fens (with wind turbines) into threatening clouds in the distance. Just as I rounded the penultimate corner, the sun came out. However, I was warm all the way. Thank goodness I hadn't gone with the stupid idea of wearing my waterproof! I set off in long tights, long sleeves, club vest, headband, one buff on my head and another around my neck, and gloves. By 1 mile, the gloves were off. Another half mile, and the neck-buff was off. Half a mile more and I rolled up my sleeves. Towards 3 miles I pushed back the head-buff a bit. At that point I hit equilibrium, thankfully. But I was lucky to avoid snow, sleet, hail, rain, and anything else the clouds had dumped on Rob and Rosie. Just as well, as I had about 1h45 to enjoy it. No doubt my split will be even worse, as I have the time Rosie waited at March to add! But 1:45 would give a mile average of 9:37, which given the terrain and the stop is not too bad really.

At that, we called it a day. Rob had toyed with the idea of also running stage 4, but it was not to be. Probably for the best! We tried the local Welney pub, but it was full, so we came home via te Angel at Larling, and rounded off the day rather well.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Get in lane

A good continuous swim today. After swimming with one other person and then on my own for a while, I was joined by two guys I vaguely recognised from the club. With them swimming fairly fast, it felt like a training session and I was able to step up a gear! Really enjoyed it, no idea what I did though.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Declined the offer of Norvic Drive efforts for a good steady run with Granville, Hugh and Claudia. 4.7 miles, no watches among us but it was about 45 mins. Felt really good, looking forward to Sunday apart from the heavy snow forecast!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Very short

Squeezed in a quick run (25 mins!) before meeting up for some Freecycle stuff. Claudia wasn't having a great run so we stuck together. It was a good recovery after yesterday!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

10 is the magic number

Ten miles today, preparing for the Hereward. Just over 4 miles to Whitlingham, and then the club 10k. Getting down there took 37:30 (9:08/mile), the 10k was 54:04 (8:51). Not as good as last time, but given a 4 mile "warm up" and then running on my own, I'm happy with that.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Old favourites

The same bike ride as 2 weeks ago, just different company. Same lack of bike computer battery though, so no idea of time or speed. Rosie, Nigel and I met Kate at Lincoln's for a general chinwag and catch up. Lovely!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Must try harder

For the first time in ages, a proper effort-based swim. 10 mins warm up, then a 1-8 pyramid, with 5s rest per length swum. Found it hard to stick to 30s per length, and was down to 31-32 or even slower (on average) on the long ones. But nonetheless, I did it. I think I should probably try and get back to 2 swims per week, but when?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Lurking at the back

Another run a bit like Monday - I wasn't slow in the grand scheme of things, but found myself there at the back. We did a pyramid run, 1 to 5 minutes and back again, 1 min rest each time. I was with Claudia, who was getting left further behind than me, so felt we should stick together. I just turned around about 30s before the end of the runs to pick her up again, no problem. We cut the route short, going from North Park to the Avenues via Northfields school instead of the ring road, and finished about the same time as everyone else. 25 minutes of effort seems like quite a lot - on the summer it was more like 16-18.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

That's better

Nearly 10k, 55:30. Into the wind all the way to Fiveways, felt good apart from that. Works out as 9:09/mile on average. Thought it might have been a bit quicker, but it was so much better than yesterday I don't care.

Would have run from UEA but I turned up to find a sleeveless top in my bag! Uh-uh. Had to bike home and do my own thing.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Not fun

A Monday run, but I was at the back - there were no 3-milers and all the 5-milers were fast. Lorraine agreed the pace was quick, and we weren't even keeping up with the rest! We looped around by Waterworks Rd and back on the Avenues. Felt breathless by Old Palace Rd, so must remember to take inhaler next time (thankfully Lorraine had hers). I think I just went off too fast and couldn't sustain it. Then I started needing the loo, and ended up walking 3-4 times between the Avenues and home. Bah. Not sure of the overall pace as I stopped my watch when I decided to walk back. Must have been sub-9 min miles for the first bit, at least to the Gibraltar Gardens (although that is mostly downhill....).

Annoying. Hope it's better tomorrow.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Eight miler (just about)

Out at Blakeney for a girls' weekend. Not the world's most successful route, but I made it nonetheless.

Out along the coast path to Morston - bit muddy, windy too, but never mind. Reached the quagmire bit just beyond Morston - impassable in elastic-laced shoes. Back to Blakeney.

Met Anna just leaving Blakeney towards Morston, she decided to join me and come the other way. We followed the road to the east, which turned into a path, which turned into two "private - no access" gates. Back to Blakeney.

Finally, we just kept going on the coast path, out to the north and then following it east. Some very muddy bits again, really quite slippery. I turned back at the time I'd judged would give me 1h20, Anna carried on to make up an hour for her. One the way back it started to sleet briefly. Joy!

Back up the hill by the White Horse - ouch - just about managed to keep it going. Back at the cottage in 1h16, 12.6km total which is 7.8 miles. I wanted 8 but that will do. 9:45/mile, OK considering the conditions and it's the longest run since who knows when.

And I got route 100,000 on Runmap :)

Friday, November 7, 2008


Beige swim. No watch, not really up for it, just wanted to get out of the office. Barely scraped 40 minutes and didn't count lengths!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


My 300th post, and a good run to report. Headed out with Lorraine, along to Colney Lane and around Cringleford, then Unthank Road to Christchurch and back via Earlham and the Avenues, at which point I realised I was at risk of being late for my meeting, so sped up :) Hamstring was niggling slightly, as was my back which randomly played up yesterday, but overall a good pace which averaged at 8:46/mile. Much quicker than I would have gone on my own! Not quite getting up to the distance I need for Hereward, but a good run nonetheless.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Easy run

Out around Bowthorpe with the intermediate group tonight, a nice steady social run with Claudia and some others. One or two stops to keep everyone together, and finished in 51:30 for spot-on 10 min miling. My hamstring was feeling a bit tight towards the end, in exactly the same place as after the Tri-Anglia 10k, so I need to be careful of that I think. My mileage isn't really where I would like it to be with the Hereward coming up, but equally I don't want to injure myself.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

...and back on the bike too!

Failed to go for a run yesterday as I got caught up in other things all day before going out for the evening.

However, Clare and I managed to get on our bikes for the first time in ages this morning and went over to Hingham (OK, so there was a bribery element in the form of tea and a toasted teacake!). The weather was a bit gungy - as were the roads after some serious rain last night - but after our pit stop the sun came out and it was glorious. The trip was only marred by a puncture about 4 miles from home, but that was soon fixed. Given the amount of crap on the roads I am amazed we only had the one.

Can't comment on time or pace as my cycle computer battery has expired! But it was a nice leg stretch (and good tea :)