Tuesday, 25 December 2012

114 Days to go - Post christmas half-marathon!

Let's do more running!
Just before things would rapidly go downhill due to christmas, I went on my longest sustained run on sunday. It was a steady two hour run through housing estates, industrial estates and ending with a circuit that included some country lanes and cycle paths. I got lost a couple of times too and almost had to turn back at one point as the path ahead was flooded.

I had my iPod with me (old style, generation 2) and haven't only recently discovered it - I delighted in remembering half-forgotten tracks all from the 80s; power-ballads the lot of them!
Despite the poor hair styles, the music was ok....

After the run, I was mildly surprised that I was not too tired nor out of breath. I felt that I could have run longer but my target of completing the circuit was achieved.

I think this is a good sign.

However, about to be outdone by the inevitable christmas feast about to hit me. 

Last distance run: 22.0 km
Total run so far: 125.0 km

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Monday, 24 December 2012

119 Days to go - The Christmas Hurdle and cracking 100 KM

The herd, try running through this lot eh?

The Christmas is almost upon us and I am keeping in training with avoiding all the last minute christmas shoppers (of which I count myself unfortunately) - however, plenty of stamina and agility is required.

Went for another run last night - a quite late night run (20:00) and it was surprisingly mild though the first KM was tough as I didn't warm up properly and had to take it slow. I did pick up the pace from the +5km mark and the rest of the run was more than manageable.

I have also cracked the 100km cumulative distance run (since training began) - so quite pleased with this. A significant milestone for sure. 

Not too sure what plans I have but intend to stick to the training plan as much as possible over this festive period.

Last distance run: 8.0 km
Total run so far: 103.0 km

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Thursday, 20 December 2012

121 Days to go - Deep Heat Assisted Running

Slightly stiff, but a bit of Deep Heat and I was ready to rock and roll. The clothes I wore however, still damp from the wash the night before. I glanced at the map and decided on a all pavement/concrete run and a new circuit.

Rub it deep, rub it long..........
A bit of a slow run as I wanted to make sure that I did not aggravate my sore calf muscles but mindful that with christmas approaching, it would be a challenge in keeping up the regular run. I mean, christmas dinner and all the trimmings and dessert and chocolates and other goodies OR...more running? A tough choice for sure; however my wonderful wife has found my Saucony running shoes - the lightweight addidas ones aren't sturdy enough so now, I reckon I can tackle longer runs and more off-road routes now. She's also going to insist that I go out and do my bit.

Last distance run: 8.0 km
Total run so far: 95.0 km

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Wednesday, 19 December 2012

122 Days to go - Football last night, means no running today...

A good friend of mine, Darren from WeAreTri has repeatedly told me NOT to play football as I continue with my marathon training. Especially the five-a-side version where there's a lot more stop-start type of play. I usually play in goal so my 'injuries' are more akin to blunt force traumas (ball to face, ball to stomach and ball to er, sensitive parts) so I regard this as part and parcel of the 'fun'.
Ouch - the ball was unharmed in the taking of this photo....
Anyway, I *did* hurt my left calf muscle and it aches when I walk so running at least for tonight, is out of the question. Took a few knocks during the game and was chasing the ball like a crazy hound. I will however go for a run tomorrow if at all possible.

We also had a christmas lunch for my floor/department today: a most excellent choice of calamari to start, pizza as main and a mint cheesecake to end. Very nice and no guilt whatsoever on my part! The pizza was a biggie, however but I wasn't going to be defeated and consumed it with focus and determination. This obviously doesn't compare to the gargantuan pizza that Adam Richman (from 'Man v Food' fame) has attempted to chow down...

Make mine an extra large one please....
So no running today or tonight but back on the road tomorrow afternoon for sure. Am looking forward to it. Oh, am also signing up for a couple of 10Ks and also a half-marathon just in time for the London 2013 marathon. I have my eye on the Berkhamsted Half Marathon in March 2013 but am torn between a number of 10K runs, probably want to do one in January to work off the extra poundage from the turkey and ham that I have consumed!

Last distance run: 8.0 km
Total run so far: 87.0 km

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Tuesday, 18 December 2012

124 Days to go - Muffin Power!

Eat me....now
Not the best food to prepare oneself for the marathon but I can't say no. Lovely day for a training run, tried to increase the tempo a bit with short sprints every 100m or so for 50m; but I couldn't keep this up for long and settled into a steady run.

I think I could do with a iPod shuffle and some cool tunes.

Last distance run: 8.0 km
Total run so far: 87.0 km

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Friday, 14 December 2012

127 Days to go - wet and knackered

Yes, this is me and no, that's not sweat - it was raining very hard outside.....
The weather has turned today - it was very cold (but pretty) a couple days ago, but today it is much milder but so wet. Still, nothing should stop me from my lunch time run so after a few stretches I was off towards the canal. Bad idea.

What was solid (frozen solid) pathway was a mess of mud, very cold water and the occasional half-hidden iron work. The latter I slipped on twice, with the second time twisting my ankle and my cursing aloud to the bemused ducks and swans around the canal. I was half way round so I just continued round, hoping that running would prevent the ankle from swelling up. This actually worked a treat with me finally coming back to the office in one piece, albeit wet.


My ankle hurts now.

Last distance run: 8.0 km
Total run so far: 79.0 km

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Wednesday, 12 December 2012

129 Days to go - The Canal is frozen!

The canal I ran alongside was a lot cleaner....

A quick run this lunch time with a work colleague, who sets a slightly faster pace than I am used to; so this is a good thing. We decided to run along a canal that leads straight out of town into some quite picturesque countryside, made more special by the the frost covered landscape and frozen canal. The air was very cold however and I really should have worn a hat.

After a 40 minute run, it was back into the office, shower and something to eat. Thank goodness there are showers at work!

Last distance run: 8.0 km
Total run so far: 71.0 km

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Tuesday, 11 December 2012

130 Days to go - Quick sprint

This isn't me.....yet

Last night was an interval training, I came home late from work so had little time and decided to do a quick interval run over a shorter distance. This is where you sprint for 30 seconds, walk/jog for 30 seconds and repeat for about 10-12 times. It breaks up the training a bit for me and also shortens the time required. I have to say, it is getting colder too and I should have put on a hat for the run!

Last distance run: 5.5 km
Total run so far: 63.0 km

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Monday, 10 December 2012

131 days to go - Le Weekend

This weekend past was always going to be written off, in terms of my marathon training - instead it involved eating and drinking (all tinged with a bit of guilt I might add), this is christmas after all! I ate well and this included christmas dinner (venison stew and I went back for seconds), christmas pudding, a delightful pear tart/tort with cardomon flavoured vanilla cream and more cheese than I can shake a stick at. I also had a full cooked breakfast, alchohol and other calorific items of goodness.

So, it was with some trepidation that I pick up the training gauntlet once more, I fear that the last month of training has been up-ended and rolled backwards to a point way, waaay before the start. Oh well. I always relished a challenge.

'tis a daunting task ahead of me....
Knowing that I needed helped, I asked Darren: a MapAction volunteer and a good friend of mine for advice. He is a qualified Level 2 triathlon coach, a tri-athlete and GIS guru and anyone interested in some sound and patient advice should give his team a look see. They're collectively called 'Wearetri'.

Darren had helped me complete my first half-marathon a couple of years back. With 131 days to go, I needed to focus and Sensei Darren was the key. Running throughout christmas and in the winter can be quite demoralising.

So here's the plan in brief: 3 weeks of training with 10% increase in distance per week followed by one week of relatively easy running. The aim is to get me past the half-way distance in two months. This should be a nice challenge but it also means that my runs will be longer (though my lunch time runs can't be extended....)

So, going for my 'sunday' run tonight (monday) and boy does it look cold. Hope the 'Beast from the East' stays put awhile longer....

Last distance run: 8.5 km
Total run so far: 57.5 km

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Thursday, 6 December 2012

136 Days to go - Lunch time run at work

actually, for me - no.
I do most of my running at night though - am sure those training for the London Marathon 2013 have exactly the same programme: come home from work, get running kit on and out you go! Well today, I ran during my lunch hour with a work colleague. Makes a change, running during the day and with light! I did consider waking up early and going for a run but am unsure whether that would energise me for the rest of the day or exhaust me!

Anyway, a good run - excellent pace and a conversation (more or less) all the way round. However, I have discovered that my running shoes are starting to run the inside of my right foot (the arch area) and over the distance of a half-marathon, never mind a marathon - I will get a blister or two. Not too pleasant. 

Also, a wednesday lunch time run is possible because there's no football tonight. Dunno, about next week.

Distance run: 8.5 km
Total run so far: 57.5 km

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Monday, 3 December 2012

138 Days to go - Crazy kittens

These are not my kittens but they are very similar..

Chasing two kittens (one is teething) around the house is exhausting work and they are house-wreckers! With christmas presents already wrapped and lying around there is so much temptation to these rascals. So they make great warm-up exercise.

So, tonight's run was a fast affair. Same route as friday night but it was faster (well at least I thought so, something about running in the dark....) - but the last 1km is all uphill and a heartbreaker for sure.

A good run, had a shower and then cooked a lamb rogan josh. A nice way to end the evening.

Distance run: 8.5 km
Total run so far: 49.0 km

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Sunday, 2 December 2012

139 Days to go - Friday night run and the weekend

Damn it, it's cold tonight...
A quick run in the very cold evening is quite refreshing but friday night was bitterly cold. Made for a  brisk run, something about ice-cold air being pulled into one's lungs certainly keeps you alert!

I ran through some cold fog and almost ran into a few persons, all swaddled up and head down.

No snow, not yet. Lots of ice though and I took an uphill route this time round. My thighs and calf muscles had a good work out but I really need to get some better running shoes!

Distance run: 8.5 km
Total run so far: 40.5 km

Please sponsor me for the London 2013 Marathon, click here